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Contribution to Book
Coupling Geospatial and Computer Modeling Technologies to Engage High School Students in Learning Urban Ecology
STEM Faculty Publications
  • Dennis J. DeBay, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver
  • Amie Patchen, Boston College
  • Anne C. Vera Cruz, Boston College
  • Paul E. Madden, Boston College
  • Yang Xu, Boston College
  • Meredith Houle, San Diego State University
  • Michael Barnett, Boston College
Document Type
Publication Date
This chapter is a description of the Urban Tree Project where high school students were engaged in the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies to determine the economic and ecological value of trees in their neighborhood. Students collected data on tree locations and conditions and then used CITYgreen to evaluate the economic and ecological value of their trees. Urban high school youth had the opportunity to explore urban ecology in their neighborhoods. Pre–post interview and written assessments were conducted across a wide sample of school contexts. The goal of these assessments was to explore the students' beliefs and understanding regarding the ecosystem services that trees and greenspace provide to a city. The results were mixed as students' understanding measured by the written assessments increased significantly. However, upon further probing, students often showed difficulty in drawing coherent concepts and ideas that depicted a robust understanding of urban ecological principles regarding green space and the services that trees provide.

This is a chapter in Improving K-12 STEM Education Outcomes through Technological Integration

Citation Information
DeBay, D., et al. "Coupling Geospatial and Computer Modeling Technologies to Engage High School Students in Learning Urban Ecology." Improving K-12 Stem Education Outcomes through Technological Integration. Eds. Urban, Michael J. and David A. Falvo. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2016. 235-58. Print.