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Incorporating Service Learning into a Non-Majors Environmental Biology Course Dr. Lissa Leege Professor of Biology and Director, Center for Sustainability.

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Presentation on theme: "Incorporating Service Learning into a Non-Majors Environmental Biology Course Dr. Lissa Leege Professor of Biology and Director, Center for Sustainability."— Presentation transcript:

1 Incorporating Service Learning into a Non-Majors Environmental Biology Course Dr. Lissa Leege Professor of Biology and Director, Center for Sustainability Georgia Southern University

2 What is Service-Learning and How Does It Work? Apply course content to service Learn course content through service Reflect on service and how it relates to content Gain skills, confidence, sense of self-worth Deeper understanding of content

3 I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. –Chinese Proverb Service, combined with learning, adds value to each and transforms both. -Honnet & Poulsen (1989)

4 Service Learning: appropriate for all levels and class sizes Large non-majors (235) Medium upper level (20) Small graduate seminar (<10)

5 Large enrollment (230) Environmental Biology classes 3 hours required environmental service, reflective paper Reinforces course content Schedule of events with community partners Fall 2011: 460 students ~1,580 hours Overwhelmingly positive response Environmental Biology Service-Learning Model

6 The Assignment

7 The Calendar

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9 The Assignment

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12 Environmental Biology Service-Learning Model All students can participate -- numerous and diverse opportunities Encourages involvement in the local community Portrays Georgia Southern students positively to local community Provides students with a structured introduction to service Leege, Lissa M. and Michelle J. Cawthorn Environmental service learning reinforces classroom concepts and engenders environmental responsibility. Journal of College Science Teaching 37:

13 Does it work? Pre and post tests in classes with and without service-learning component –Positive impact on worldview –Increase some environmentally sustainable behaviors –Improve learning outcomes Cawthorn, Leege and Congdon Improving learning outcomes in large environmental science classrooms through short-term service-learning projects. J Environ Stud Sci (2011) 1:75-87

14 Finding Community Partners Keep America Beautiful Outreach centers (museum, garden, wildlife center) Riverkeeper Local organic/ecological farms Recycling activities at university Farmers market

15 Making Partnerships work Keep task simple and relevant Ask partner to provide educational information, training if needed Keep it positive Provide incentive for students to show up (or penalty if they do not!)

16 Campus Projects -- Get Pumped: Tire Inflation Campaign Mandatory training Large, busy parking lot (RAC) Educate drivers about the benefits of checking tire pressure monthly Teach how to find proper pressure, how to use tire gauge, how to pump up tires Provide reminder (window cling) and pledge Send over to pumping station if tires are low Pump tires if needed

17 A Bright Idea: Campus Relamping Campus Relamping Project –Training sessions –Students teamed up to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents in all offices and conference rooms on campus and in residence halls –Provide education, pledge card, change bulb –Partnership with Georgia Power, Center for Sustainability, Sustainability Manager, and Physical Plant Paired with Sustainability Seminar Series speaker: Ed Begley Jr. - provided kickoff and some great publicity

18 Establish need Simple is best Partnerships are key Provide incentives (build environmental service- learning into courses, volunteer credit) This generation of students wants to do service Guiding Principles: Service-Learning for Environmental Science

19 Contact Information Lissa M. Leege Director, Center for Sustainability & Professor of Biology Georgia Southern University PO Box


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