Document: PAD-3-99-122

Impact of out-door-ecological education on students at Oakwood College.


Oakwood College, Huntsville AL 35896 USA 1

The SEEDS grant at Oakwood College has made an impact on ecological instruction and understanding on students, faculty and administrators. The number of students taking the Ecology course has increased over the past two years, resulting in the admission of one student into marine biology and another into environmental health for graduate studies. An Outdoors-Ecological laboratory was established in 1998 to motivate students to obtain Ecology education. Under this initiative students studied the disappearance of Oakwood's wetland and restoration strategies. Field trips to ecological places of interest in Alabama such as the Wheeler National Wild life Refuge and Huntsville Botanical garden were undertaken. The 1,100-acre Oakwood College property provided a rich variety of habitats to study ecology. Several outdoor labs were performed. Some of the labs the students enjoyed the most were the "Ideal free ducks," an experiment designed to study if ducks were smart enough to choose feeding patches in such a way that they maximize their own rate of energy gain; and a study of distribution patterns of stomata in relation to the habitat. A survey was conducted to ascertain the impact it had on their motivation skills in pursuing careers in Ecology. The responses were positive. Several students are contemplating careers in ecology as a result of Oakwood's outdoors-Ecological laboratory.

Keywords: seeds

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This abstract is being presented at: 3:30 PM in session:
Poster Session #3: Education.