The Math-Science Partnership “Culturally relevant ecology, learning progressions and environmental literacy” is an NSF-funded project that connects the research and education prowess in the environmental sciences of universities and the Long-term Ecological Research Network with the professional development of science teachers of partner middle schools and high schools. The program focuses on coupled human-ecosystem interactions in the context of socio-ecological systems as a framework to promote place based learning and environmental literacy and seeks to increase students understanding of global water and carbon cycling, as well as biodiversity. We are developing learning progression frameworks and associated assessments that document pathways to understanding these three themes for middle school and high school students. The project involves four LTER research sites (Santa Barbara Coastal, Short-grass Steppe, Kellogg Biological Station, Baltimore Ecosystem Study) and 22 K-12 schools/districts that extend across the nation, and directly impacts over 250 science teachers and up to 70,000 students of highly diverse backgrounds. Learn more about our project participants and where we work.
Biodiversity: Phenomena included in the Biodiversity learning progression include the nature of relationships among populations in ecosystems (including both natural ecosystems and human production systems such as farms), biological community assembly, microevolutionary changes in populations, and changes in ecosystems associated with succession and disturbance. Click here to learn more about our biodiversity research, teaching materials, professional development materials, assessments, and publications.
Carbon: Transforming processes in socio-ecological systems at multiple scales, including cellular and organismal metabolism, ecosystem energetics and carbon cycling, carbon sequestration, and combustion of fossil fuels. These processes: (a) create organic carbon (photosynthesis), (b) transform organic carbon (biosynthesis, digestion, food webs, carbon sequestration), and (c) oxidize organic carbon (cellular respiration, combustion). The primary cause of global climate change is the current worldwide imbalance among these processes. Click here to learn more about our carbon research, teaching materials, professional development materials, assessments, and publications.
Water: The learning progression for water in socio-ecological system describes student accounts (i.e., explanations and predictions) of water and substances in water moving through natural and human-engineered components of surface water, soil/groundwater, biotic, and atmospheric systems. Click here to learn more about our research, teaching materials, professional development materials, assessments, and publications.
Citizenship: Using scientific knowledge to make informed decisions about environmental issues. Click here to learn more about our research, teaching and professional development materials, and publications.
* This research is supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation:Targeted Partnership: Culturally relevant ecology, learning progressions and environmental literacy (NSF-0832173). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.