The EERC is partnering with the Department of Geography Education at College of Education at Catholic Kwandong University, Republic of Korea to design empirical studies based on community- and project-based learning that will examine changes in social participation competency in environmental monitoring projects in the greater Seattle region, US and the Gangwon-do region, in Korea. In this project we will: 1) develop modules geared toward the engagement of high-school students for monitoring various environmental issues, such as coastal erosion, landslides, invasive species, 2) verify the effectiveness of community-based approaches to deepen the capacities of participating students to depict, analyze, and advocate for solutions to environmental issues, and 3) evaluate social participation competency and transnational citizenship of students. This is 3-year research project supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea and a scholarship grant from Wells Fargo.
The specific goal of our landslide project is to develop a learning experience for high school students that will focus on landslides (dynamics and impacts) in the greater Seattle area. This experience will include a workshop that will be taught at the EERC at Saint Edward State Park where students will learn to collect and analyze geophysical and environmental data. In this project, we will partner with community organizations in the Bothell, Kenmore, and Kirkland areas, particularly school districts and K-12 organizations to engage students in applied environmental research and nature-based learning.
From a thematic point of view, this project focuses on landslide dynamics and the assessment of their socio-environmental impacts. These issues are particularly relevant in the Pacific Northwest region due to the physical characteristics of the area, including irregular topographic and wet climate conditions, and their overlap with intense human driven processes. We will take advantage of many benefits that the EERC setting offers to enhance students’ learning. These benefits include proximity to study sites and the opportunities for outdoor learning at Saint Edward State Park. Through learning modules designed by students for students, youths will directly interact with the physical environment in an engaged way. From an implementation perspective, undergraduate students at UW Bothell will be supported by faculty and curriculum for delivery of research experiences for high school students. This type of implementation has been proven as an effective strategy leading to increased self-perception among high school students to pursue college degrees.
Community outreach is an important aspect of this project. To find students to participate in this learning experience, partnerships with key local organizations will be established. For this purpose, we have partnered with the office of Community Based Learning and Research (CBLR) at UW Bothell who will be providing support for meaningful community participation.