" BES Project Abstracts 2006
Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2006 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

What is the urban environmental education “landscape” in 6 northeast cities? Preliminary results from the UEC Urban Environmental Education Inventory.
Berkowitz, Alan
Co-Authors: Alan R. Berkowitz, IES Janie Gordon, IES Rebecca Bell, MDE Ashley Traut, BES
Abstract: The Urban Ecology Collaborative Education Working Group surveyed environmental education providers in Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, and Washington DC to identify overlaps and gaps in coverage, and to assess their capacity to sustain and expand services. In Baltimore, 33 groups responded (nearly 60%). Eight government agencies rated their government funding as very secure. The other organizations depend on a mix of funds, including private and public grants, but indicate that these are either only somewhat or not secure. User fees and member fees (used by 5) are more secure. Donations and school grants are used by only a few, and only 3 have limited endowment funds for education. Of 89 scores for the security of funding sources, only 3 were in the least secure category, 12 in the next least secure category, while 19 were rated as very secure. The 33 organizations provided information about 118 programs. Topics covered the most are nature and wildlife, and ecosystems, followed by water and natural resources. Urban ecology, biodiversity, environmental health, and pollution prevention are next most common. Interestingly, schoolyard ecology, energy, air quality, and sustainable development are covered by fewer than 15% of the programs. The least covered topics are climate change, transportation and environmental justice (covered by only 2 of the 118 programs). Field activities (used by 67%) and classroom or workshop instruction (used by 45%) are by far the most common delivery modes listed. The patterns in Baltimore will be compared to those in the other UEC cities.