State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2009ME192B
Title: Citizen Science:  Solving Groundwater Issues in New England
Project Type: Education
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 2
Focus Categories: Education, Groundwater, Water Quality
Keywords: Groundwater Quality, & Water Quality
Principal Investigator: Peckenham, John
Federal Funds: $ 4,607
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 0
Abstract: The current project will broaden citizen science research by investigating environmental education outcomes after implementing a groundwater quality curriculum, Groundwater Education Through Water Evaluation and Testing (GET WET!) in two different settings. The two settings include a formal (K-12 classroom) and an informal (4-H) environment in four different watersheds located across New England. The data will be collected through qualitative interviews and quantitative social science survey methodology. The current project will explore the differences between the formal and informal setting, and determine what factors influence the differences observed in outcomes (if any) of GET WET!. Some factors that have not been fully researched, but may be integral to the differences observed in the two settings are:  life skills, classroom climate, interest, motivation, and science learner identity.  Additionally, this investigation will address intergenerational knowledge transfer; the study of how parents and children influence each others' environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Intergenerational knowledge transfer has the potential to not only influence the youth participants, but also their parents, household and community. However, there is little research that has fully delved into that potential. Therefore, this project will determine how intergenerational learning occurs between the students that participate in GET WET! and the parents of those students. The research will then further expand our understanding of intergenerational learning by creating a predictive model of parental behavior. This includes examining action competence and behavior change of the parents, as well as whether behavioral intention of the parents matches actual behavior. This will provide the information needed for researchers to utilize intergenerational knowledge transfer for environmental action, and allow students to act as catalysts for parents and communities. The predictive model of parental behavior will increase understanding of action competence, focus future programs on fostering intergenerational learning, and help remediate environmental problems of today and tomorrow.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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