Development of Freshwater Literacy Standards By Members of American Fisheries Society and Society for Conservation Biology

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 8:20 AM
302B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Paul L. Angermeier , Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Geological Survey and Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Anna L. George , Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, Chattanooga, TN
Proponents of ecological literacy seek to imbue citizens with sufficient scientific understanding of the benefits and operation of healthy ecosystems that they can make informed decisions about complex environmental issues. Specific literacy standards, used by educators and agencies, have been developed for some ecosystems, but not for freshwaters. We are initiating an effort led by members of the AFS and SCB to draft and disseminate freshwater literacy standards based on expert knowledge. Our initial workshop in Chattanooga, TN, in April 2014 will develop Core Principles and Fundamental Concepts (CPFC) in freshwater literacy. The ten expert participants represent government agencies, universities, and NGOs, all vested in conservation of freshwater biota and habitats. The draft CPFC will span four literacy domains: scientific concepts (eg, water cycle), sense of place (eg, water issues), respect for others (eg, future needs), and cognitive competency (eg, adaptability). We will summarize and critique workshop products, including the CPFC, using experts and educators across the country. Our long-term goal is to help ensure that freshwater literacy standards are embedded in K-12 curricula, and used by freshwater advocates, scientists, and resource managers in interviews and outreach programs so that societal decisions about freshwater issues are more informed and coherent.