Urban Ecology is a comprehensive project developed by the Urban Ecology Institute and Boston College to provide 7-12th grade teachers and students with scientific, instructional, and technological training in urban ecology field studies. The program introduces 2 curriculum modules: Bioacoustics and Urban Trees, designed to help students learn science by studying the ecological health of their own neighborhoods. To best serve the Boston Public School district, where a majority of students are minority or economically disadvantaged and have reduced access to emerging information technologies, the program offers comprehensive curriculum materials with multiple entry points to fit any school's technological resources, from advanced computer analysis and modeling technologies to low-tech alternatives to implementing the curriculum.
In the featured profile we see both Bioacoustics and Urban Trees projects
in action: students learn the basic physical and ecological context
of their field study, experience the technical aspects of field data
collection, gain a working knowledge of cutting edge data analysis software,
and develop hypotheses with respect to their data that can be tested
experimentally. Students are engaged in authentic scientific
investigations that inform urban planning and design, and are empowered
by knowing the outcome of their research effects how the city itself
behaves. Urban Ecology gives students a powerful experience to
re-envision their neighborhoods and the world around them and their
role in shaping it.
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