Ecosystem Services Education: Engaging Diverse Audiences with EnviroAtlas

Symposium A15

Abstract:

The benefits humans receive from nature, called ecosystem services, are influenced by natural, built, and social infrastructure. The EnviroAtlas, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and partners, has a collection of web-based maps and information about these benefits. As an online tool, EnviroAtlas can be used for education and to make better decisions for building healthy communities. This session will introduce the audience to EnviroAtlas and give examples of educational materials related to the benefits humans receive from nature.

EnviroAtlas has two main tools: An Interactive Map with hundreds of maps across the U.S., and an Eco-Health Relationship Browser with results from hundreds of scientific publications on the connections between ecosystems and their benefits to human health. Anyone can use EnviroAtlas with an internet browser and some introduction to the web-based tools.

This session will focus on education using EnviroAtlas for K-12, higher education, and beyond. The first part will show how K-12 education can combine online tools with outdoor experiences. We will hear from a K-12 teacher about her experiences testing three lessons in multiple classrooms. We will also hear from university professors about how education on nature’s benefits can be used in higher-ed classes and research projects. Beyond higher education, EnviroAtlas can train professionals on the value of natural ecosystems.

EnviroAtlas can help us learn why nature’s benefits should remain at the forefront of infrastructure preservation and new design considerations

Speakers:
Ferdouz Cochran, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education/ Environmental Protection Agency
Jenna Hartley, Association of Schools and Programs for Public Health/Environmental Protection Agency
Anne Neale, Environmental Protection Agency, Physical Scientist, EnviroAtlas Project Lead
Chris Jensen, PhD, Pratt Institute, Associate Professor
Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn, PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lecturer
Genevieve Bennett, Senior Associate, Ecosystem Marketplace, Forest Trends

 

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