03 Aug 2016

Science communication project creates positive attitudes towards amphibians and their habitats

The study "Can Environmental Education Actions Change Public Attitudes? An Example Using the Pond Habitat and Associated Biodiversity"  conducted by Eunice Sousa from CIIMAR showed that science communication projects have important positive impact on the attitudes of young adults towards biodiversity and habitats.

During one school year, the team of the “Ponds with Life” environmental education campaign implemented a series of visits and direct contact activities in 6 schools from the north of Portugal to raise public awareness and engagement with ponds and its biodiversity. The project focused in promoting the direct contact between the public and nature, create a link with scientists and scientific research on amphibians and ponds, and to create and apply pedagogical hands-on exploration activities.

The project evaluation methodology comprehended a two moments analysis:  a pre-post- project survey was set-up to assess the effects of the project on the environmental consciousness, knowledge and attitude changes towards ponds and the associated biodiversity in 134 participants. The survey questions were based on Likert scales and their pre-post project comparisons used an innovative multivariate hypothesis testing approach. The results showed that the project improved the students’ knowledge and attitudes towards ponds and associated biodiversity, especially the amphibians.