Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015
Environmental education is an important way to provide information to the public regarding natural resources, ecosystems, and sustainability. The School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosts an annual family nature event, NaturePalooza, with the goal to educate families with hands-on activities about the environment, nature, natural resources. My main objectives are to find if there are correlations between environmental responsible behaviors, connection to nature, and environmental attitudes; also to determine if new knowledge is learned and new behaviors willing to be practiced at home. A ten minute survey was provided using Qualtrics online survey system on tablets for adults, 19 years and older. The survey is comprised of questions addressing: demographics (4 items), evaluation of the event (4 items), and a three-part nature relation assessment. Connection to nature is about seeing ourselves as part of the environment and having a value that underlies environmental concern and behavior (Dutcher et. al. 2007). Environmentally responsible behavior are behaviors that consciously seek to minimize the negative impact of one’s actions on the natural and built world, like minimizing resource and energy consumption (Kollmuss & Agyeman 2002). The connectedness to nature scale (CNS) is useful because it provides a validated and reliable assessment to measure an individual’s emotional connection to the natural world. Positive correlations are found between Connection to Nature, Environmental Responsible Behaviors, and Environmental attitudes. Over 90% of participants learned a minimum of two new things at NaturePalooza, while over 78% of adults indicated willingness to try 2 or more new behaviors after the event.