Forest Fridays

Leveraging Land Manager-Educator Partnerships to Overcome Barriers to Outdoor Environmental Education

Authors

  • Jack Burnett Northern Arizona University
  • Catrin Edgeley Northern Arizona University

Keywords:

outdoor education, environmental education, program development, manager-educator partnerships, K-12 education

Abstract

Land manager-educator partnerships provide opportunities to overcome barriers associated with outdoor and environmental education within the United States’ K-12 education system. This case study reviews the design and implementation of a novel outdoor environmental education program for kindergartners called Forest Fridays that involved half-day excursions to a local forest. Forest Fridays emerged from a unique partnership between three kindergarten teachers and a forest manager in Flagstaff, Arizona that removed resource and planning barriers in order to facilitate program establishment and operation. Immersive observation and informal program review with the program coordinators informed recommendations that may support the establishment of similar partnerships and programs elsewhere.

Author Biographies

Jack Burnett, Northern Arizona University

Jack Burnett is a Ph.D. student in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. His dissertation research addresses the state of collective action towards wildfire and finding ways to improve this critical component in the pursuit of building fire adapted communities. Jack holds a Master of Forestry from Northern Arizona University, which centered on a project where he partnered with a local elementary school to design, implement, and evaluate an environmental education program called Forest Fridays. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Tulane University.

Catrin Edgeley, Northern Arizona University

Catrin Edgeley is an Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Sociology in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. She teaches courses on human-environment interaction, including wilderness management and human dimensions of forestry. Catrin holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, and both a Master of Science in Risk and Environmental Hazards and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Durham University in the United Kingdom.

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Published

2022-02-23

Issue

Section

Reports from the Field