- One goal of this environmental education curriculum is that students will gain an appreciation of
Willamette Valley wetland prairies, a threatened ecosystem, and will gain an understanding of the
importance of protecting these wetlands. A second goal is that students will see first-hand the
processes involved in conducting scientific field experiments and discover the benefits and
limitations of science in restoring native wetlands.
To achieve these goals, a partnership was formed between scientists and teachers to develop
environmental educational materials on Willamette Valley wetland prairies. Scientists from
Oregon State University contributed information about the ecology of wetland prairies and on the
scientific processes involved in restoring native wetland prairies. Educators from Eugene public
schools and Oregon State University shared their expertise on effective teaching methods for
middle and high school students. The involvement of both scientists and educators insured that
the scientific content of the curriculum materials was sound and up-to-date, that the educational
approaches were effective, and the materials were useful in the classroom.
These educational materials were developed in conjunction with a scientific field experiment,
conducted by OSU scientists, to determine appropriate restoration actions for the native wetland
prairie located at the Bureau of Land Management's Danebo Wetland Office site in west Eugene.
Lessons in this curriculum emphasize participation by the students in this and other research
projects. Direct experience is a powerful educational tool, especially for fostering an appreciation
for nature and for the role of science in understanding and protecting native ecosystems. By
encouraging student participation in scientific research projects, the curriculum helps students
focus on the process of science, not just on its conclusions.
- Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, Coast Range Resource Area Eugene, OR
- Project No. 1422H090-P4-0089