Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Measuring and Developing Ecological Literacy to Conserve the Critically Endangered Mariana Crow
by Cook, Emily Louina, M.A., Prescott College, 2018, 78; 10813561
Abstract (Summary)

The Mariana crow (Corvus kubaryi), locally and henceforth in this document called Aga, is a critically endangered species endemic to two Northern Mariana Islands. Aga are extirpated (locally extinct) on Guam but still persist on Rota. Multiple studies calculate a 93%–95% population decline over thirty years, with a recent estimate of 170 Aga on Rota. The primary reason for the decline on Rota is unknown, though predation by introduced mammals, habitat loss, and harassment are likely. The majority of research concerning Aga is in the biological sciences. The only social science survey conducted on Rota regarding Aga revealed that the majority of adult residents condone harassing Aga; yet, knowledge amongst Rota's inhabitants about bird ecology in general remains low, and youth residents were not surveyed. My study developed and implemented an avian-focused environmental education curriculum intended to increase ecological literacy, and evaluated the curriculum using social science research methods. My curriculum was based in storytelling, kinetic activities, and place-based education. I collaborated with local teachers to align the 5-lesson curriculum to science standards. Pre- and post-surveys were conducted with 18 control and 18 treatment students to gauge knowledge and attitudes in elementary students on Rota. Formative evaluations were also used to understand the preferred learning styles of students. Overall, students displayed some improvement in their avian ecological knowledge and positive attitudes towards Aga, and the treatment group improved in bird identification. Students in the treatment group increased their Aga identification by 38.8%. Notable for the treatment group, 23.5% of students thought it was okay to chase Aga in the pre-survey, yet 0% thought it was okay to in the post-survey. To save Aga from extinction, long-term environmental education initiatives are needed to raise ecological literacy, increase appreciation of these birds, and empower citizen science efforts on Rota.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ormsby, Alison, Langmaid, Kim
Commitee: Langmaid, Kim, Nietmann, Lindsey, Ormsby, Alison
School: Prescott College
Department: Environmental Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Conservation biology, Environmental education, Science education
Keywords: Corvus kubaryi, Ecoliteracy, Endangered species, Environmental education, Mariana, Rota
Publication Number: 10813561
ISBN: 978-0-355-98933-5
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