biodiversity outreach education summer postcard frogs

A graduate student in elementary school

When your research is about environmental education, you end up spending all your time at school!

From: Evan Kuras Clifford A. Phaneuf Environmental Center Porter Lake, Forest Park Springfield, MA

ECOS building

Fig. 1 The Clifford A. Phaneuf Environmental Center on a sunny morning before the students arrive (Photo credit: Evan Kuras).

My dear TLS,

I apologize if this postcard arrives with all the summer ones! But the fact is, my research is about environmental education in schools, which means I collect my data before summer break rolls around. Here I am at the Clifford A. Phaneuf Environmental Center in Forest Park (Springfield, Massachusetts). Each year, elementary school students throughout the district come to the park to learn about environmental science. The program is called E.C.O.S., which stands for Environmental Center for Our Schools. In just a few weeks, 4th grade students arrive to learn about animal habitats and life cycles by exploring the trails, catching bugs and tadpoles, and observing animals up close. But today I am conducting surveys with the 5th grade students about their memories from last year. I want to know – after catching frogs in the pond at E.C.O.S., did students want to go out and catch frogs again with their friends and families or did they just want to catch Pokémon instead? We’ll find out soon, after I collect the surveys and crunch the numbers! In the meanwhile, I hope you’re getting out there too and experiencing as many amazing salamanders and ladybugs as possible!



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