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Contact Information

Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD


[image:] artwork representing NorthSTAR

Environmental Literacy

[photo:] Students from Harlem Link Charter School on a nature walk through Central ParkBackground

Responsible environmental management requires sound environmental choices. While Americans widely support environmental education, most do not have an understanding of complex ecological interactions that leads to true environmental literacy. Nationwide, organizations and agencies are restructuring environmental education programs to reach past traditional activities that increase environmental awareness towards activities and programs that actually affect change. Research has a role to play in this effort.

The Goal

Integrate NRS research into regional efforts to improve environmental literacy.


  • Educators are aware of opportunities to integrate NRS research into formal and non-formal education
  • Educators receive clear, usable research results that are appropriate at different instructional levels, and that can be matched to existing, state-specific standards for education
  • Educators can locate and apply existing lesson plans, curricula, and materials that can be combined with specific NRS research information to support local educational efforts
  • Educational organizations and associations are aware of NRS environmental literacy commitment and efforts to enhance local and regional programs and activities
  • Consumer confidence is enhanced as users associate NRS R&D with its products, tools, technologies, expertise, and knowledge

Research Results

Bringing the northern forest to your classroom. 2008. Twery, Mark J.; Hildreth, Sandra J.; Evans, Celia A.

New York City Urban Field Station Environmental Literacy work



Barbara McGuinness, US Forest Service Northern Research Station Forester and Environmental Literacy Coordinator

Last Modified: 01/18/2011