Participatory Professional Development: Geospatially Enhanced Urban Ecological Field Studies

  • Michael BarnettEmail author
  • Meredith Houle
  • Sheron L. Mark
  • Daphne Minner
  • Linda Hirsch
  • Eric Strauss
  • Eric Strauss
  • Lindsey Cotter-Hayes
  • Beth Hufnagel


Bohr’s often quoted phrase “reduce experience to order” highlights that studying science is about collecting data through experiences, inferring patterns or relationships in those experiences, and then developing explanations that provide understanding into why certain patterns emerge and others do not. Geospatial technologies offer educators powerful learning resources to engage students in this scientific process. For 3 years, we have been using a range of geospatial technologies including online applications such as Google Earth to powerful desktop applications such as geographic information systems (GIS) to assist teachers who are introducing their students to the rapidly emerging field of urban ecology. Geospatial technologies along with computational modeling tools have proven to be a powerful way to support teachers and students as they critically examine their own neighborhoods.


Field Studies Urban Education Urban Ecology 



This work is supported in part through a National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program (Grant # 0525040) and a Hewlett Packard Foundation – Technology and Teaching Foundation (Grant# 189660).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Barnett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Meredith Houle
    • 2
  • Sheron L. Mark
    • 3
  • Daphne Minner
    • 4
  • Linda Hirsch
    • 5
  • Eric Strauss
    • 6
  • Eric Strauss
    • 7
  • Lindsey Cotter-Hayes
    • 8
  • Beth Hufnagel
    • 9
  1. 1.Lynch School of Education, Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.School of Teacher EducationSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.STEM Education Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Urban Resilience (CURes)Loyola Marymount UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Director of Public ProgramsThe Arnold Arboretum of Harvard UniversityJamaica PlainUSA
  5. 5.Learning and Teaching DivisionEducational Development CenterWalthamUSA
  6. 6.Urban EcologyLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.The Center for Urban ResilienceLoyola Marymount UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  8. 8.Groundwork LawrenceLawrenceUSA
  9. 9.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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