.|  Baltimore Ecosystem Study
Demographic and Socioeconomic Research Projects


Education, Social Ecology, And Urban Ecosystems, With Examples From Baltimore, Maryland
  • Karen Hinson, Baltimore County Public School System
  • J. Morgan Grove, Northeastern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
  • Rob Northrop, MD DNR Forest Service (Formerly)
A social ecology approach must meet four criteria in order for teachers to adopt it in their existing curriculum. A social ecology approach to the study of urban ecosystems must 1) relate to a teacher's subject matter; 2) be an integral component of their existing curriculum framework; 3) prepare students for achievement in district, state, and?national assessments; and 4) be relevant to students' lives while producing significant and?enduring learning. We use the activities of Karen Hinson, her students' 11th grade Advanced Placement United States History Course (1998-1999), and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) as an example to demonstrate the incorporation and application of a social ecology approach in?an education context. As part of the students' year-long project, and in partnership with the Forest Services of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the United States Department of Agriculture, the students were assigned to apply skills learned from their existing curriculum--both knowledge (information) and performance (analytical)--to understand the?social history, current status, and future trends of the development of the City of Baltimore's drinking water supply.
Finally, although this course occurred in an academic setting, it is ultimately not an academic exercise. These students might have numerous land management roles in the future: as a homeowner, concerned citizen, or professional offering "expert" advice.
Grove, J.M, Hinson, K. and Northrop, R. 1999. "Education, Social Ecology, and Urban Ecosystems, with examples from Baltimore, Maryland." In A.R. Berkowitz, C.H. Nilon and K.S. Hollweg, (eds.) Understanding urban ecosystems: a new frontier for science and education. Springer-Verlag, NY.
Hinson, K. (1999). A Land Use History of Loch Raven Reservoir , Prettyboy Reservoir , and Liberty Reservoir Watersheds throughout the History of the United States (p. 192). Baltimore County, Maryland: Western School of Technology and Environmental Science.