Date of Award

Spring 4-2-2018

Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology


Environmental and Forest Biology

Major Professor

Elizabeth Folta


Gregory McGee

Steering Committee Member

Andrea Feldpausch-Parker

Steering Committee Member

Brandon Murphy


An environmentally literate public is crucial for combatting our world’s problems. This study evaluated impacts from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Outreach Department’s program: Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhood and City Environments (SCIENCE). Environmental literacy was assessed by administering pre-, post-, and follow-up tests to both SCIENCE participants and a comparison group. Counselors were interviewed to determine how their expectations matched participants’ performance. Environmental attitude scores were higher for SCIENCE versus the comparison group, but attitude scores did not increase over the program. Environmental knowledge was higher at the end of the program for both SCIENCE and the comparison group, but gains in environmental knowledge did not differ between them. Counselors understand they had limited impacts but still overestimated the scores participants would receive. These results add to the understanding of how best to increase environmental literacy with non-formal education experiences.