Paper No. 79-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM
POTENTIAL CORRELATION BETWEEN NATURE INTERACTION IN YOUTH AND UNDERSTANDING OF EARTH PROCESSES LATER IN LIFE
Determining whether interacting with nature as a child can impact one’s understanding of earth processes later in life can help shape geoscience education for students from diverse living situations. Currently, place attachment research has found that people with strong place attachment take threatening environmental issues affecting their home more seriously (Kyle et al., 2004). Additionally, geoscience education research has found that students who participate in entirely field-based introductory geology courses tend to increase competence greater than in classroom-based geology courses within nine weeks (Elkins, 2007). In this study, we hypothesize that subjects who spent a large amount of time outside growing up or grew up near water (oceans, rivers, heavy rainfall, etc.) will be better at explaining what geologic processes are occurring in images of natural landscapes. Interviewees will be from economically and geographically diverse backgrounds using image-processed think-aloud protocol and asking them to describe images of natural landscapes like a receding glacier, meandering river, and eroding beach bluff. Directly after the image analysis, subjects are given the Place Attachment Instrument (Raymond, 2010), which is used to relate life experiences and background to interpretation of earth processes. We look forward to input from the community as we refine the process being used to evaluate subjects and results from individuals and their experiences.