The Google Doodle for Earth Day 2019 celebrates one of the most interesting aspects of our earth: biodiversity. Framed in terms of superlatives, the doodle highlights the bird with the widest wingspan (wandering albatross), the tree with the tallest height (coastal redwood), and the cricket in the deepest cave (deep cave springtail).
Google is right: The diversity of life on earth is truly wonder-worthy, but we don’t have to go into the deepest cave or to coastal California to experience biodiversity first hand! In my city of Cambridge, MA, we have close to 100 unique 50 species of public trees, and the city has even published a map of every single street tree. I am fascinated by urban biodiversity and how people experience it. You can read my blog posts about the biodiversity we encounter in our back yards, in our phones, and in our homes on That’s Life [Science] blog.
One of the most effective ways to experience biodiversity is through environmental education. Conveniently, Earth Day also kicks off Environmental Education (EE) Week, thanks to the National Environmental Education Foundation! We know that EE can expose people to our earth’s diversity, provide meaningful interactions with nature, and increase interest in biodiversity conservation. Hooray for EE!
In recognition of EE Week, I’ve uploaded pdf’s of my 2018 and 2019 presentations at the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES) Annual Conference in Worcester, MA. I’ve been lucky to facilitate workshops for the past two years alongside some stellar colleagues and hope to work with MEES and others to continue providing professional development workshops focused on EE evaluation. Please peruse and use the resources below and the next time you are outside (or even inside), take a moment to appreciate the wonderful biodiversity that surrounds us on this earth!
- 2018: Identifying Barriers, Imagining Solutions: Using Research to Improve Urban EE (pdf here) alongside Maureen Keating-Lessard (ECOS teacher)
- Barriers and Solutions Worksheet – a resource to help educators plan and address barriers using available assets
- Four Corners Activity – an activity guide to rapidly assess where EE participants are “at” by two questions and tracking how answers “clump” among a group
- 2019: Highlights in EE Research and Evaluation (pdf here) alongside Jeff Perrin (Lesley University) and Lucy Gertz (Mass Audubon)
Featured image photo credit: Jason Hollinger via Flickr