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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks CA L GI

ACTIC DID

PARK

POSITIVE ACTION

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LANDSCA PE S

PERCEPT CIAL ION SO ECO-AWARENESS

URBAN

ECO-ETHICS

Vanessa Nevers


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Vanessa Nevers

Submitted in partial fulfillment for the Master of Landscape Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon.

June 12, 2013 Approval

Master’s Project Chair, Roxi Thoren: Master’s Project Committee, Liska Chan:


Abstract: Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks examines how zoo design strategies can be improved to foster ecoliteracy and stewardship behavior in zoo visitors. The research consists of a survey of the historical relationship between zoo design and zoo missions over time to demonstrate how zoo design strategies are intended to be both reflective and supportive of zoo missions. In addition, an overview of current research in zoo design and public perception of environmental issues was done to establish that there is a need to develop zoo design strategies that more effectively support the emerging zoo mission of teaching ecoliteracy and fostering sustainability. In response to this need, an on-site analysis was done of the current strategies used to promote ecoliteracy for ten environmental issues at four West Coast zoos. These strategies were then evaluated against the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy as defined by The Center for Ecoliteracy to identify strengths and weaknesses in the application of these practices to the ten environmental issues included in on-site zoo evaluation audit. This evaluation concludes that there is a low rate of application of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy to these ten environmental issues at the zoos visited. In addition, while this study has identified a set of design criteria for teaching ecoliteracy and fostering sustainability, more research is needed on the effectiveness of the methods of the design solutions that respond to these criteria in the zoological park setting.


Table of Contents Introduction

I

1. History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

1

• • • •

2 6 12 15

The First American Zoos Out of the Cage Landscape Immersion Beyond Landscape Immersion

2. Emerging Role of Zoos as Environmental Mentors

19

• The Need for Research on the Impacts of Zoo Visits on Environmental Awareness • The Ocean Project Research • The Cultural Impact of Zoos and Aquariums

20 21 24

3. Strategies for Ecological Education and Stewardship

29

• • • •

30 33 35 37

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences Daniel Goleman’s Theory of Ecological Intelligence Ecoliteracy and Ecological Intelligence The Five Practices of Emotionally and Socially Engaged Ecoliteracy


4. Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

45

• • • • •

46 49 55 81 83

Method of Evaluation and Documentation The Evaluation Audit Evaluation Results of Environmental Issues Addressed at West Coast Zoos Zoo Evaluation Summary Questionnaire Method and Summary

5. Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

93

• • • •

94 145 162 164

Assessment of Audit Results Against the Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Findings in Ecoliteracy Practice Across Zoos Conclusions Recommendations for Future Study

Works Cited

167

Figures

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Introduction Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks aims to identify a set of design criteria that facilitate the emerging role of zoological park landscapes as progenitors of ecoliteracy and stewardship behavior for the American public. Since their conception, American Zoological Parks have had an intrinsic relationship with popular perceptions of the natural world. The design of zoological park landscapes has typically reflected or paralleled these perceptions and has evolved with them throughout the last century and into the present. Both the American Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) include conservation and conservation education as two key tenets in their mission statements. It is also widely recognized and accepted within the zoo and aquarium communities that conservation efforts are directly impacted by global and regional environmental issues ranging from climate change and ocean acidification at the global scale to watershed management and forestry practices at the regional level, to name just a few. It is also recognized that public environmental awareness in and of itself is not enough to change the trajectories of the human induced environmental forces that thwart and potentially nullify the species and habitat conservation efforts made by zoos, aquariums, and wildlife conservation organizations. To effect real change on mitigating or minimizing the negative environmental impacts of human behavior, individuals need to be not only aware of relevant environmental issues, but must also be engaged I


Introduction

in stewardship behavior that counteracts the trajectory of these human induced environmental forces. Recent research by organizations such as the Ocean Project and the Wildlife Conservation Society has shown that the American public is looking to zoos and aquariums for leadership and guidance on environmental issues and local stewardship. In addition, this research also shows that the current educational methods employed at zoos and aquariums have not been effective in fostering behavior changes that elicit stewardship action in adults. This implies that a different set of design criteria and strategies are needed within the zoological park setting which move beyond simply enhancing awareness of environmental issues related to conservation and begin to facilitate a deeper understanding of the relationship between individual actions and global and local environmental issues that initiates a behavioral shift in American adults toward individual environmental responsibility.

II


1

History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

Figure 1 Opening Day Program, 1899

Figure 2 Comp. Plan Cover , 1979

Figure 3 Sustainability Program , 2013

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

1

History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions The First American Zoos American zoological parks have been part of the public landscape for 139 years, beginning with the Philadelphia Zoological Garden which opened in 1874. The establishment of the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens was followed soon after by the Cincinnati Zoo in 1875 and the National Zoological Park in 1889. Today there are 221 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and Canada. While there were still few zoos at this time, small urban menageries existed within urban parks in several major American cities. A primary distinction between these menageries and the zoological gardens that succeeded them is the educational and scientific agenda of the zoological gardens. The first zoological societies had education at the heart of their mission. This is in contrast to the menageries of the time which were established more for the amusement and curiosity of the public. Despite these differences, some of these menageries transformed into later known zoological parks, such as the Central Park Zoo in New York, the Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens in Chicago, and Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence. Even at this early juncture in the advent of zoological parks, there was debate over the real mission of a zoo and its differences from a menagerie. It was thought that it was the mission that 2


History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

Figure 4 Polar Bear Exhibit National Zoo, Washington D.C. 1920’s

3


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

set a zoological park apart from simply being a menagerie. A quote from an 1889 issue of Popular Science Monthly provides a glimpse into the cultural perception of the early zoological park mission; “a zoological garden…has within its means to powerfully aid, encourage, and stimulate human progress, education, and science in an infinite variety of ways; and such an institution stands among the very best of investments to be made either on the part of the State or city.” (qtd in Kisling 158). This statement also reflects a commonly held belief at the time that the zoological park was a symbol of achievement and culture. Despite being held up as great cultural institutions for the betterment and education of society, most late 19th century and early 20th century American zoological parks kept their animals in bare, concrete, cage-like enclosures (Figure 4). A great deal of attention went into the design of the architecture and the formal park grounds for the benefit of visitors, but there was little effort to create naturalistic enclosures for the animals at this point (Figure 5). Some of the animals were placed in naturalistic settings, primarily because of the emphasis on naturalistic aesthetics within the greater park setting, but for many animals the cage-like or pit enclosure was still more common (Hanson 24). It should be noted that the naturalistic exhibit areas that some animals were displayed in did not reflect the native habitat of the species and did not provide any form of ecological education for the zoo visitor. Instead, the naturalistic exhibit areas were reflective of the formal park setting and were not idyllic for the animals. In effect, “zoos reformed the image of animals by placing wildlife in a landscape of visual and behavioral conventions that were familiar to middleclass viewers.” (Hanson 29). 4


History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

Figure 5 “Bear Pits” Philadelphia Zoological Garden, steel engraving, 1876

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Out of the Cage The Bronx Zoo’s Bison enclosure in the early 1900’s consisted of an open grassy plain and is one of the first examples of a naturalistic exhibit area in an American zoo (Figure 6). William T. Hornaday was the director of the Bronx Zoo at this time and was an advocate for naturalistic enclosures, particularly for the larger animals. In his vision, the zoological park should show “the larger wild animals of North America…in a free range of large enclosures, in which forests, rocks and natural features of the landscape will give the people an impression of life habits and native surroundings of these different types.” (Hanson 130). Hornaday hoped that the bison exhibit would provide zoo visitors with the illusion of being transported to the Great Plains and the opportunity to view the animals from the perspective of a field naturalist observing the animals in their native habitat. Hornaday’s idea of conveying an impression of an animal’s natural habitat to zoo visitors was unusual at this time. Early 20th century zoo planners typically knew very little about the natural state of existence of the animals being displayed and did not make an attempt for the animals’ zoo habitats to reflect their native eco-systems (Hanson 130). There was also no attempt to demonstrate ecological relationships between the animals and their environments either through the display of vegetation from the animals’ native ecosystems or by grouping exhibits by bioregion. Instead, the first naturalistic settings approximated an aesthetic ideal that middle-class Americans had come to associate with encounters in nature through their familiarity with landscape painting, nature 6


History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

Figure 6 Bronx Zoo Bison Enclosure, 1902

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Figure 7 Tierpark Postcard Image, 1929

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History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

tourism, and nature writing. In addition, many of the early designers of the first naturalistic exhibits in zoos were taxidermists who trained in the natural history museums and were more familiar with the design of the dioramas used to display taxidermied animals than the design of enclosures with living animals (Hanson 131). This is reflected in the artificiality of the zoological exhibits and the use of painted backdrops in animal enclosures. Another major influence on early naturalistic exhibits was Carl Hagenbeck’s Tierpark exhibit near Hamburg. Tierpark used a system of moat barriers to confine the animals rather than bars or other visible barriers. The moat system was not just used to separate the animals from visitors, but was also used to separate animals from each other such as predator and prey in a style of exhibit that Hagenbeck referred to as the panorama (Figure 7). This style of exhibit became quite popular in American zoos because it responded to the public’s desire to view animals in a setting where they did not appear to be confined. The panorama exhibit style utilized a series of constructed landscape stages that stepped higher as they moved into the distance. Each stage of the exhibit was separated by a moat to enable the display of different animals in what appeared to be a single continuous landscape from the perspective of the visitor. The Tierpark exhibit Animal Paradise is an early example of the panorama style. The foreground of the Animal Paradise exhibit consisted of a lake with swimming water birds, followed by meadows with cranes, flamingoes, pelicans, and ibises. Beyond the meadow was a 9


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

grotto with lions and a rocky hilltop with sheep, goats, and antelope. Artificial mountains and sculpted rock made from concrete defined the topography throughout Tierpark. The entire display of Tierpark could be viewed from a central restaurant or from paths hidden from view by heavy foliage that ran between the exhibits (Hanson 140-2). Though they were artificial, some of Hagenbeck’s Tierpark exhibits made an attempt to recreate the appearance of the animal’s natural habitat. For this reason, American zoo directors quickly began referring to this exhibit style as habitat exhibits and criticized them for their artificiality because it was thought to detract from the educational value and aesthetics of the exhibits (Hanson 144). For this reason, the first American zoos to adopt the moat system and panorama style of exhibit made no attempt to recreate the native habitats of the animals being displayed. The first American exhibits that integrated the moat system and panorama style exhibit placed an emphasis on accurately recreating local geological formations that had no relevance to the animals being displayed. This was perhaps because of the growing popularity of American National Parks and Monuments at the time that the moat system and panorama style of exhibit was being adopted in American zoos. Cities were more interested in replicating impressive geological formations of their regions and thought this was more educational for the zoo visitor who may not be able to travel out of the city to see these geological features for themselves because it would increase their awareness of local geological treasures; in turn, generating an increased pride of place and appreciation of natural beauty (Hanson 150). 10


History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

An example of this type of geological replication in moat exhibit design, is the elaborate bear and monkey exhibit commissioned by the Denver Zoo in 1912 (Figure 8). The naturalistic design of the exhibit space was based on a mountain ridge in the Colorado Rockies. The final construction was 200 feet long, 40 feet wide, and surrounded by an 18 foot wide moat. Crevices in the concrete were filled with dirt and planted with native plant species from the Colorado Rockies. The bears, monkeys, and sea lions that the exhibit housed over the years were not, however, native to the region. This is an example of a highly designed naturalistic exhibit space that has no ecological relationship to the native habitat of the animals on display (Hanson 145). Figure 8 Article about the Denver Bear and Monkey exhibit, 1912

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Landscape Immersion In the mid-1970’s, Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo hired the landscape architecture firm Jones & Jones to design a long range plan for the renovation of the zoo. The changes implemented in this plan are considered the first example of landscape immersion design strategies in an American zoo. The most important concept of landscape immersion design is to extend the landscape of the animal exhibit area into the realm of the visitor viewing area. The extension of the exhibit landscape is paired with naturalistic landscape designs intended to reflect the habitat of the animal on display. The purpose of combining these strategies is to transport the imagination of the visitor to places not typically accessible to tourists and to foster an emotional reaction and sense of appreciation in the zoo visitor for the natural habitats of the zoo animals (Hanson 160-61). The lowland gorilla exhibit at the Woodland Park Zoo opened in 1978 and was the first exhibit to reflect the new landscape immersion design strategies incorporated into the zoo’s long range plan by Jones & Jones (Figure 9). The gorilla habitat was a replica of the animals’ native forest designed to provide a stimulating enclosure for the gorillas and to create the illusion that the visitor was within the same forest. The effect was achieved with the extensive use of appropriate plantings and manipulation of visitor sight lines. The lowland gorilla exhibit and the other Woodland Park Zoo landscape immersion exhibits of Jones & Jones were praised by both zoo professionals and landscape architects.

12


History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

It was thought that these types of exhibits represented more than just a physical change in the design of zoos. Landscape immersion was thought to represent a new “shift in zoo philosophy, from the ‘homocentric’ perspective that had long prevailed to a ‘biocentric’ ethic more in tune with the environmentalism of the day” (Hyson 23). By the 1980’s, landscape immersion design strategies are purported to have become the zoo industry standard and they continue to dominate exhibit design today (Figure 10). This is in keeping with a cultural shift of increasing environmental awareness, as landscape immersion is partly a response to the idea that exhibits should be about more than the animals in order to effect a change in zoo visitors’ political behavior (Hanson 175-77).

Figure 9 Lowland Gorilla Exhibit Woodland Park Zoo, 1979

Figure 10 Lowland Gorilla Exhibit Woodland Park Zoo, 2009

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

While landscape immersion is perceived as the present standard in zoo exhibit design, David Hancock, former director of Woodland Park Zoo, thinks that many exhibits purported to be designed according to landscape immersion standards often fall short of the challenge (Schaul). According to Hancock, most zoos never attempt true landscape immersion exhibits despite the consensus that landscape immersion is the standard of modern zoos. Instead, most zoos have animal enclosures that look naturalistic, but are actually constructed of artificial materials such as concrete and plastic. While these materials are manipulated to appear naturalistic to zoo visitors, they do nothing to meet the needs of the animals in the exhibits. The result, according to Hancock, is a lot of missed opportunities to highlight species biodiversity, native species, habitat ecology, and the interconnected nature of all living things. It is important to acknowledge, however, that in some cases, the trend toward artificiality over living exhibits may have more to do with climate and the difficulty of maintaining plant species from an animal’s native habitat. In Jungles of Eden: The Design of American Zoos, Jeffrey Hyson questions the idea of landscape immersion as an innovation in exhibit design that fosters a heightened sense of ecological awareness and environmental responsibility in zoo visitors. Hyson points out the reality of the artificiality of many exhibits that are labeled as landscape immersion and also notes that this type of highly artificial naturalistic exhibit is the modern day evolution of Carl Hagenbeck’s early 20th century naturalistic exhibits. In addition, Hyson notes that despite claims that landscape immersion design is more effective in shifting zoo visitor’s political behavior regarding the environment, there is no conclusive evidence to support this claim (Hyson 39). Hyson states that “this claim simply does not 14


History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

hold up. Although visitor studies are often inconsistent, both scientific and anecdotal observations suggest that zoogoers do not learn nearly as much as designers claim they do� (Hyson 39).

Beyond Landscape Immersion The market survey research conducted by The Ocean Project (see chapter 2) occurred well after landscape immersion became accepted as the exhibit design standard in American zoos. The research revealed that while the American public’s awareness of environmental issues has increased over the last twenty years, most Americans are not actively engaged in taking actions in their daily lives to mitigate these environmental issues. This indicates that while awareness is increasing, ecoliteracy is not; as ecoliteracy is defined as the knowledge, empathy, and actions which support sustainable living practices. In addition, according to The Ocean Project research, Americans are looking to ZAMs for guidance on ways to protect the environment. This suggests new opportunities for zoo exhibit and master plan design to create opportunities for increased ecoliteracy in zoo visitors. Landscape immersion exhibits, when done correctly, have been shown to increase the level of emotional satisfaction with the zoo experience in zoo visitors, which often creates an increased sense of empathy for the animals and their native habitat (Hyson 38). While empathy for all living things is an important aspect in fostering ecoliteracy, it is only one aspect of effective practices for teaching ecoliteracy and motivating stewardship behavior in individuals (Bennet 10-12).

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Chapter 1 Works Cited Croke, Vicki. The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: past, present, and Future. New York: Scribner, 1997. Hancocks, David. A Different Nature: The Paradoxical World of Zoos and Their Uncertain Future. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. Hanson, Elizabeth. Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. Hyson, Jeffrey. “Jungles of Eden: The Design of American Zoos.” Environmentalism in Landscape Architecture. Ed. Michel Conan. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 2000. Kisling, Vernon Jr. , ed. Zoo and Aquarium History: Ancient Animal Collections to Zoological Gardens. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2001. Schaul, Jordan. “A Critical Look at the Future of Zoos—An Interview with David Hancock.” National Geographic. <http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com>, 2012.

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Emerging Role of Zoos as Environmental Mentors

17


18


2

Emerging Role of Zoos as Environmental Mentors

Figure 11 The Ocean Project Report

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

2

Emerging Role of Zoos as Environmental Mentors

The Need for Research on the Impacts of Zoo Visits on Environmental Awareness Just over forty years have elapsed since researchers of visitor learning at zoos first began to describe the need for understanding the relationship between zoo visitor experiences, ecological education, and conservation-related behavior change. As early as 1972, environmental psychologist Robert Sommer published an article discussing the role of zoos in public education and the need to learn” the extent to which the zoo serves to develop a proper environmental ethic”. Sommer’s definition of an environmental ethic refers to environmental respect and stewardship, what we now might call a conservation ethic. At this point, Sommer was already recognizing the need for systematic inquiry into what zoological park visitors learn about the environment during their visit to the zoo. Thirty years later, in 2000, Jeffrey Swanagan, then executive director of the Florida Aquarium, commented in an overview of a study which examined factors influencing conservation behavior in zoo visitors conducted at Zoo Atlanta that “research specifically documenting the impact of conservation messages in zoos, and by extension aquariums, is in its infancy” (Dierking et al V). Prior to this, several researchers in the 1990’s expressed the need for research that “documents the impact of visits to zoos and aquariums on visitors’ conservation knowledge, awareness, affect, and behavior” (Dierking et al V). 20


Emerging Role of Zoos as Environmental Mentors

According to Deirking et al. in their literature review for visitor learning at zoos, there has been an increasing realization of the need for research that specifically documents aspects of zoo experiences that result in affective change, a change in emotion or disposition, in zoo visitors and “which further examine(s) the link between education, conservation attitudes and conservationrelated behavior change, with the hope of ultimately being able to describe the best methods for achieving conservation education goals”. In an effort to begin to address these research needs, The Ocean Project and Monterey Bay Aquarium have initiated two major market studies, one in 1999 and again in 2009, to better understand the American public’s awareness of environmental issues and perception of zoos and aquariums. There was also a study in 2009 (Fraser and Sickler) sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Public Research and Evaluation Program to measure the cultural impact of zoos and aquariums on American adults. However, there has yet to be a study which effectively describes the best strategies for achieving the conservation and environmental education goals of zoos and aquariums.

The Ocean Project Research The Ocean Project is a global network of zoos, aquariums, and museums dedicated to advancing ocean education and action by providing their partners with research, tools and other resources intended to engage visitors and inspire them to take personal action to protect the world’s oceans. In 1998-99, The Ocean Project conducted major public opinion research to gain insight into American’s “understanding of and attitudes toward the ocean” (The Ocean Project 2009). This

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

research expanded on the 1996 ocean attitudes research by SeaWeb, an international non-profit organization dedicated to informing and shifting human interaction with the ocean. SeaWeb’s 1996 study was the first time public opinion research had been used to inform conservation and advocacy efforts. The Ocean Project’s 1998-99 research findings established a baseline from which future research projects could measure changes in the way the American public perceives the health of the ocean. In 2008-09, The Ocean Project conducted a second public opinion research project to quantify the public perceptions and use of the ocean. “Comprising qualitative and quantitative data from 22,000 Americans, it is believed to be the single largest, most comprehensive public opinion research project ever undertaken on behalf of any environmental concern” (The Ocean Project 2). One of the primary goals of this research project was to “significantly expand the ocean-health knowledge base and provide ZAMs (zoos, aquariums, and museums) and others in the ocean conservation community with actionable information”. The actionable information in this context provides ZAMs with a better understanding of how effective their climate and ocean education strategies have been in creating awareness among the American public. In addition, this research also provides ZAMs with new knowledge of the American public’s perception of ZAMs role in providing leadership on environmental issues and guidance on stewardship action (Corwon, IMPACTS Research).

Scott Corwon, research consultant for IMPACTS Research, and Julie Packard, executive director of Monterey Bay Aquarium, summarize the key findings from the 2008-09 Ocean Project public 22


Emerging Role of Zoos as Environmental Mentors

opinion research and the implications of the research for the AZA zoo and aquarium community. Key findings of the research indicate that while there is a growing awareness among the American public regarding environmental issues such as climate change, the majority of Americans are not actively engaged in activities to counteract or alleviate these issues. The research also indicates that the majority of Americans decouple climate change from concern for the ocean and do not understand the impacts of climate change on ocean health. In addition, there has been a generally eroding perception among the American public that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can effectively protect the quality of the ocean and the environment. At the same time, there is an increasing perception that non-profit organizations like zoos and aquariums do have the capacity to protect the environment. Findings also indicate that the public is looking to zoos, aquariums and natural history museums to provide guidance and leadership regarding ways to protect the environment; this has to do in part with their detachment from political agenda. Julie Packard states that the primary implications of The Ocean Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research findings include an urgent need to raise public awareness regarding climate change, ocean health, and conservation, as well as an urgent need to find out how zoos and aquariums can do a better job of informing and providing guidance for the public on these issues. In addition, the American publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expectation for zoos and aquariums to provide environmental leadership and guidance demonstrates a market demand for these organizations to provide recommendations to the public. If the public perceives that this demand is not being met they will increasingly seek alternative providers which do not always provide the most accurate or helpful information. 23


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

The Cultural Impact of Zoos and Aquariums In 2009, John Fraser and Jessica Sickler of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Public Research Evaluation Program published a paper summarizing their findings from a research project that attempted to measure the cultural impact of zoos and aquariums on the American public. Their motivation in publishing this paper was to â&#x20AC;&#x153;reveal how popular perceptions of zoos can be used to realign institutional assessments of their role in contemporary culture and how zoos might find new ways to achieve this mission based on an understanding of how those perceptions do or could contribute to developing a culture of sustainabilityâ&#x20AC;? (Fraser & Sickler 103-4). Fraser & Sickler identify and examine the disconnect that occurs between the conservation mission of zoos and aquariums, the types of experiences provided, assessments of success in communicating conservation messages, and the perspectives of visitors. This disconnect is important because zoos and aquariums claim to accomplish their conservation mission, in part, through the learning experiences they provide for visitors. While the visitor learning experiences provided by zoos and aquariums are identified as being an important component of their conservation mission, little is known about the actual contribution a zoo visit makes to conservation. Fraser and Sickler highlight the lack of substantive evidence in three key areas of visitor conservation-learning experience: practices, logic about learning objectives, and measurable outcomes as a result of these experiences. Practices are the methods used to facilitate visitor conservation learning; these might include landscape immersion 24


Emerging Role of Zoos as Environmental Mentors

exhibit design, nature play-scapes, or informational signage. Logic about learning objectives refers to the criteria used to define conservation learning objectives and why. Measurable outcomes of these experiences refers to what conservation messages the visitor takes away from a zoo visit and how these messages may or may not influence stewardship behavior. They also claim that this lack of substantive evidence on practices, logic about learning objectives, and measurable outcomes is related to the assumptions regarding the role of zoos and aquariums in contemporary culture, in that adequate consideration has not been given to how these institutions may contribute to advancing conservation goals in society because it is assumed that they are already achieving these goals. It is important to note that while there is presently insufficient evidence and study of the impact of visitor education experiences on conservation, there has been significant research such as the The Ocean Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major market survey on the American publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perception of zoos and aquariums and environmental issues that contributes to the body of measurable evidence on the perceived cultural roles of these institutions. This and other smaller studies have provided demonstrable evidence that the American public perceives conservation advocacy as the primary reason that zoos and aquariums exist (Fraser and Sickler 104).

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Chapter 2 Works Cited Churchman, D. The educational role of zoos: A synthesis of the literature (1928-1987) with Annotated bibliography. (ERIC ED#289742). 1987. Dierking, Lynn, Kim Burtnyk, Kirsten Buchner, and John Falk. Visitor Learning in Zoos and Aquariums. Annapolis: Institute for Learning Innovation. 2002. Fraser, J. and J. Sickler. “Measuring the Cultural Impact of Zoos and Aquariums.” International Zoo Yearbook. 43 (2009): 103-112. Fraser, John and Dan Wharton. “The Future of Zoos: A New Model for Cultural Institutions.” Curator. 50 no 1 (2007): 41-54. Sommer, Robert. “What do we learn at the zoo?” Natural Hisory.81 (1972):26-29. The Ocean Project. “America, the Ocean, and Climate Change: New Research Insights for Conservation, Awareness, and Action.” The Ocean Project. 2009. Zimmerman, Alexandra, ed. Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation?. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 26


History of Zoo Design & Zoo Missions

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3

Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

Figure 12 Nature Play

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

3

Ecological Education & Modes of Learning Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences Gardner’s book Frames of Mind is the first in a series published as part of a research project guided by the Harvard Graduate School of Education called The Project on Human Potential. The project began in 1979 with the intention of assessing the current state of scientific knowledge “concerning human potential and its realization and to summarize the findings in a form that would assist educational policy and practice throughout the world” (Gardner xiii). Gardner hoped that his theory of multiple intelligences would help to inspire future educationally minded individuals to “develop a model of how intellectual competencies may be fostered in various cultural settings” by recognizing that different intelligences are used to acquire different skills in different settings (Gardner 10). Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is applicable to how individuals comprehend their place in the world and how they interact it with it; this has particular relevance to the comprehension of environmental issues and the role of stewardship behavior. Gardner puts forth several prerequisites in definition of intelligence. He defines a human intellectual competence as “ a set of skills of problem solving” as well as the ability to find or create problems, which enables the future acquisition of knowledge. In addition, Gardner also states that 30


Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

“a prerequisite for a theory of multiple intelligences, as a whole, is that it captures a reasonably complete gamut of the kinds of abilities valued by human cultures” (Gardner 62). The initial intelligences identified in Frames of Mind are: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, and the personal intelligences. Traditional education has focused primarily on the linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences and the musical and spatial intelligences to a lesser degree. The bodily-kinesthetic and personal intelligences are not part of the traditional educational model, but are essential to the development of the whole person as a physical, social,and emotional being as well as an intellectual being. The personal intelligences are particularly relevant to ecological education and the development of ecoliteracy. The personal intelligences are broadly defined by Gardner as internalized and externalized intelligences that inform understanding of the self or the community. The internal aspects of a person have to do with “access to one’s own feeling life, one’s range of affects of emotions: the capacity instantly to effect discriminations among these feelings and, eventually, to label them, to enmesh them in symbolic codes, to draw upon them as a means of understanding and guiding one’s behavior” (Gardner 239). The externalized, or outward, personal intelligences are those that facilitate “the ability to notice and make distinctions among other individuals and, in particular, among their moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions” (Gardner 239). An individual with an advanced outward personal intelligence has the capacity to read the intentions and desires of a group and to use this knowledge to effect change “by influencing a group of disparate individuals to behave along desired lines” (Gardner 239). 31


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Unlike the other intelligences identified by Gardner, the personal intelligences are described as being more integrated. The reason for this is that the development of both interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences is closely related in all cultures. Further, under ordinary circumstances, neither of these intelligences can be developed without the other. Gardner also makes a point of considering the importance of the roles of the personal intelligences in society and states that without their consideration it is exceedingly difficult to understand “the goals of many cultures and the ways in which these goals are achieved” (Gardner 241). The development of the personal intelligences begins at birth and continues into adult life. There is a shift in development that typically occurs during adolescence where the individual’s understanding of the social world becomes more differentiated than during childhood. Social order is understood, but not unquestionably, and the recognition that individualizing factors must be considered in different circumstances begins to develop. Another key shift during adolescence is the emergence of identity that evolves from a developing understanding of oneself and of others (Gardner 251). The sense of self becomes increasingly autonomous into adulthood and the potential for self-actualization increases as the personal intelligences become more developed. While Gardner describes the development of the personal intelligences as largely emergent (developing naturally as part of the human maturation process) and not requiring specific instruction or guidance, he also describes situations in which explicit instruction is advisable. These situations are typically at “the behest of the society” and the instruction may be in the form of 32


Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

formal education, literature, ritual, or other symbolic forms that ultimately help the individual to make distinctions about their own feelings or the feelings of others. This then better enables the individual to develop the skills necessary to assess social situations correctly and then form and initiate an appropriate response (Gardner 254). This is especially relevant to fostering ecoliteracy, as the personal intelligences help individuals to understand their role in the ecological community and their impact on environmental issues by learning and taking cues from others in the community who are practicing stewardship behavior. In addition, the personal intelligences help individuals develop empathy and the motivation to take action and change their behavior.

Daniel Goleman’s Theory of Ecological Intelligence Psychologist Daniel Goleman draws from Gardner’s theory of the personal intelligences and defines ecological intelligence as the understanding of organisms and their ecosystems combined with “ the capacity to learn from experience and deal effectively with our environment” (Goleman 43). Ecological intelligence enables individuals to translate what they learn about the impacts of human behavior on ecosystems into behavior changes that minimize these impacts; ecological intelligence begets stewardship behavior and is the development of Gardner’s personal intelligences in the ecological context. Goleman argues for the need to develop ecological intelligence in the individual to effect social environmental change at the global scale. In his argument, Goleman states that the “routines of our daily lives go on completely disconnected from their adverse impacts on the world around us; our collective mind harbors blind spots that disconnect our everyday activities from the crises those same activities create in natural systems. Yet at the same time the global 33


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

reach of industry and commerce means that the impacts of how we live extend to the far corners of the planet” (Goleman 42). Goleman also extends the definition of ecological intelligence to include empathy for all living things. Empathy in this context adds to the rational understanding of the impacts of human behavior on ecological systems and effects the motivation to help by changing one’s own behavior and influencing the drive to provide guidance to others. Goleman makes the comparison between ecological intelligence and social and emotional intelligences, which are derivative of Gardner’s intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences. Goleman claims that “just as social and emotional intelligence build on the abilities to take other people’s perspective, feel with them, and show our concern, ecological intelligence extends this capacity to all natural systems” (Goleman 44). Systems thinking and collaboration are inherent to Goleman’s definition of ecological intelligence. Systems thinking enables the individual to begin to understand the complex matrix of interactions that now exists between the man-made and natural worlds; “only such an allencompassing sensibility can let us see the interconnections between our actions and their hidden impacts on the planet, our health, and our social system” (Goleman 44).Understanding the complexity of interactions between the man-made and natural worlds requires a great deal of knowledge; more knowledge than is possible to retain in an individual capacity. The complexity and quantity of this knowledge makes collaboration between individuals and groups of individuals necessary for the development of ecological intelligence. 34


Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

Building off the ideas presented by Gardner and Goleman it can be said that ecological intelligence is dependent on the development of emotional and social intelligence, and the availability of knowledge to inform individual understanding of the relationships between man-made and natural ecological systems. Returning to Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences it is clear that effective collaboration and leadership requires a developed interpersonal, or social, intelligence. Therefore, to further the effectiveness of conservation education in zoological parks, in terms of demonstrating the relationship between individual action, and local and global environmental issues, strategies that appeal to the development of the social and emotional intelligences of zoo visitors are needed to develop ecological intelligence and foster ecoliteracy.

Ecoliteracy and Ecological Intelligence In 2012, The Center for Ecoliteracy published Ecoliterate: How Educators are Cultivating, Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence which presents a model of education to foster ecoliteracy and influence stewardship behavior. This model emphasizes the integration of emotional, social, and ecological intelligence to “cultivate the knowledge, empathy, and action required for practicing sustainable living” (Bennet et al. 2). In addition, this model focuses on the role of educators in school settings. Bennet et al. discuss the critical need to identify and utilize opportunities to foster ecoliteracy and stewardship behavior. They ground this need in an argument based on a 2009 study led by Johan Rockstrom, director of the Stockholm Environment Institute of Sweden, and two dozen of the world’s 35


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

leading scientists which sought to answer whether there is a breaking point for the environmental state of the planet. The study identified â&#x20AC;&#x153;nine life-support systemsâ&#x20AC;? critical to human survival which include both biochemical cycles, such as carbon and water, and physical circulation systems including the climate and oceans. The study also identified a safe zone for each of the nine lifesupport systems in which human life can safely operate. Beyond the safe zone, the risk of triggering irreversible environmental changes increases. For seven of these life-support systems, humans have already surpassed the safe zone, or will have surpassed it by the middle of the 21st century. The boundaries of the safe zones for biodiversity, the nitrogen cycle, and climate change have been surpassed, and we are projected to surpass the safe zones for ocean acidification, freshwater cycles, and land uses by 2050. (Bennet 3-4). However, since these safe zones have only been recently surpassed or are impending, the opportunities to mitigate these changes are still available, which means there is a critical need to develop ecological intelligence and foster ecoliteracy across all age groups before the opportunities to mitigate these environmental changes are lost. Bennet et al. frame the evolution of the integrated social, emotional, ecological intelligences model in the context of Howard Gardnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s multiple intelligences theory. Gardner published his theory of multiple intelligences in 1983 in Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner argues that the human mind learns and responds through a range of differentiated intelligences and that individuals are more adapted to different modes of learning that engage a range of these intelligences. This is in opposition to earlier education and intelligence models which emphasize a singular logic based intelligence. 36


Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

Bennet et al. builds off of the theories of social, emotional, and ecological intelligence and integrates them into a single model that conceives of these intelligences in constant play with one another (Bennet et al 5). Emotional intelligence is key as it informs empathy and the ability to understand and show concern for others. This becomes integrated with ecological intelligence when this empathy extends beyond humans and is applied to all living things. In conjunction with emotional intelligence, ecological intelligence is characterized by cognitive studies that inform how humans understand the ways in which nature sustains life. This understanding is directly related to individual capacity for systems thinking because the ways in which nature supports life are defined by “patterns and processes, such as cycles, networks, and nested systems” (Bennet et al 7). Bennet et al. also point out that the ability to fully understand “all the ways in which human systems interact with natural systems and then act upon that knowledge” is not possible individually. This is why social intelligence is integrated with ecological intelligence; ecological intelligence is inherently collective.

The Five Practices of Emotionally and Socially Engaged Ecoliteracy

Bennet et al. discuss five vital educational practices necessary to integrate emotional, social, and ecological intelligence which have been identified by the Center for Ecoliteracy ( Bennet 10-12). Bennet et al. also state that each of these five practices can be “nurtured in age-appropriate ways for students, ranging from pre-kindergarten through adulthood, and help promote the cognitive and affective abilities central to the integration of emotional, social, and ecological intelligence.” (Bennet et al 12). These five practices are: 37


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

1. Developing Empathy for all Forms of Life This practice emphasizes a view that acknowledges humans as being part of the web of life as opposed to separate from it. This is based on the idea that recognizing the common needs we share with other organisms can help to shift our perspective of ourselves relative to other species. Once this perspective shift occurs then the foundation for empathic concern can be established, which leads to the consideration of the quality of life of other life forms and their well-being, and the motivation to act on this concern. Some lessons that emphasize the importance of other species in sustaining the web of life include developing empathy through direct contact with other species and developing an understanding of the way indigenous cultures relate to their environment and understand connective relationships between themselves and other species. 2. Embracing Sustainability as a Community Practice This practice focuses on the role of learning about the interconnectivity of all living things and the role of this interconnectivity within the community. The underlying idea is that making apparent how thinking and acting cooperatively within a community can strengthen the health of the whole system. Recommendations for this practice include promoting the idea that everyone is in this together and that there is a need for a cooperative effort to create conditions that are to the advantage of all people and life forms. Practicing sustainable strategies as an example of responsibility within the community allows individuals to contemplate the impact of their own 38


Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

lives and whether their lifestyle is in accordance with the common good. When educating the community, it is important to provide opportunities for reflection, discussion, and idea contribution. Ways to translate these ideas into daily living include education about: preserving soils, habitats, and water for the long term; practicing energy conservation; prioritizing renewable resources; and keeping waste to a minimum. Education about economic and governmental systems that sustain community in the event of unanticipated disruption, such as the decentralization of essential goods and services, and building in redundancy to keep the whole system functioning if one part fails is also an important aspect of this practice 3. Making the Invisible Visible The goal of this practice is to bring forth the range of effects of human behavior on other people and the environment with the intent of empowering individuals to act in more life-affirming ways. Understanding the magnitude of human behavior through time and space is extremely complex and may be difficult to comprehend. Making the invisible visible is intended to help reveal these relationships and make them more comprehensible. Revealing the far reaching consequences of our actions is important because the complexity and spatial distance inherent in the chain of actionreaction in contemporary society usually hides the implications of our choices from us. Some ways to help make the invisible visible are the use of digital media and tools such as Google Earth, which can reveal the devastation in remote parts of the planet, and the use of technological applications such as GoodGuide and Fooducate that package research into formats that are easy to understand. 39


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

4. Anticipating Unintended Consequences (Precautionary Principle) This practice has two key concepts: predicting the potential implications of human behavior, and accepting that it is not possible to foresee all implications. The purpose of this practice is to encourage people to embrace systems thinking and the precautionary principle as guidelines for leading a sustainable lifestyle. This practice is important in conveying that many of the environmental crises confronting us today are the unintended consequences of human behavior. The precautionary principle helps individuals to think about the consequences of everyday human behavior and then shift their thinking and behavior accordingly. According to Bennet et al, the precautionary principle states that â&#x20AC;&#x153;when an activity threatens to have a damaging impact on the environment or human health, precautionary actions should be taken regardless of whether a cause-and-effect relationship has been scientifically confirmedâ&#x20AC;? (Bennet et al 12). Another method to help people understand the unintended consequences of human behavior is to practice applying the precautionary principle in retrospect by considering how the outcomes may have been different if decision makers had practiced the precautionary principle and refrained from acting until consequences were understood. This is followed by thinking about how the precautionary principle can be applied to decisions impacting society today.

40


Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

5. Understanding How Nature Sustains Life (Systems Thinking) This practice is intended to help individuals understand how actions in the present affect the quality of life for future generations and other non-human life forms. A better understanding of the relationships within the web of life better enables individuals to understand the implications of human disturbances. One method of applying this practice is to study or present locations as a system in order to understand the interconnections of the web of life. Another method is to apply systems thinking to problems to understand the web of consequences and the relationship between different parts of the problem using a mapping approach that facilitates systems thinking. This can also help enable an understanding of how the dynamics of nested systems can be applied to relationships within the community and other ecosystems. This chapter has highlighted the importance of developing ecological intelligence to foster ecoliteracy in individuals. Conservation-based messaging that focuses only on generating awareness of conservation issues has been shown by The Ocean Project research to not be effective in influencing zoo visitors to engage in stewardship behavior. More effective methods that move beyond generating awareness to develop ecological intelligence and foster ecoliteracy are needed. In order to understand the ways in which zoological parks can improve their strategies for designing for ecoliteracy, the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy will be used as part of an evaluative framework for assessing the current strategies used in West Coast zoos to support their conservation education mission. 41


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Chapter 3 Works Cited Bennet, Lisa & Zenobia Barlow. Ecoliterate: How Educators are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2012. Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books Inc. 1983. Goleman, Daniel. Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy.

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Ecological Education & Modes of Learning

43


44


4

Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Figure 13 Solar Walkway at the Toledo Zoo

45


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

4

Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today Method of Evaluation and Documentation In order to gain an understanding of what environmental issues are currently be presented to zoo visitors in the zoo landscape and how they are being presented, four West Coast AZA accredited zoos were evaluated as part of this research project:

1

Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle, WA

46

2

Point Defiance Zoo

Tacoma, WA

3

Oregon Zoo

Portland, OR

4

San Diego Zoo

San Diego, CA


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

The initial on-site evaluations of these four zoos took the form of an audit to determine which specific local or global environmental issues and actions were being addressed in the zoo landscape. The audit also accounted for how the issues were being addressed and where in the zoo they were being addressed (Figure 14). ZOO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION EVALUATION MATRIX

Zoological Park

WOODLAND PARK ZOO

Location in Zoo

ANIMAL EXHIBITS LOCAL

BRIDGE

DESIGN STRATEGY Stormwater

Vegetation (natives) 

Waste & Recycling

Materials

Energy

Relationship between  global & local

Guidance on individual  actions for change

GLOBAL

Climate Change

Habitat Conservation

Ocean Health

Species Status

Environmental Issue

Signage

Interactive  Displays

Methods of Addressing Env. Issue

Digital Media

Programs

Special Events

Practice Only        (no informative  piece)

Figure 14 Sample Zoological Park Evaluation Sheet

47


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

48

San Diego Zoo Evaluation

ed ia

Ex

ice ac t Pr

ive

Di gi ta lM

In te ra ct

Strategy:

Si gn ag e

Ar Am

en ity

ul at io n

al E

Ci rc

An im

Location:

ea

xh ib it

hi bi t

Issue: Stormwater/Water conservation (local)

Local-Global Connection 0

NOTES:

10

5 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy: Developing Empathy for all life forms

Anticipating Unintended Consequences

Embracing Sustainability as Community Practice

Understanding How Nature Sustains Life

Pr a

M ta l gi Di

ct ice

ed

ia

Ex hi tiv ra c te

na Si g

Strategy:

In

ge

e

Ar e

n

ity

io at ul

en Am

Location:

Ci rc

m

al

Ex h

ib

a

it

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t

Making the Invisible Visible

An i

Zoo evaluation sheet notations and on-site photography were the primary means of documenting current environmental education practices at these zoos. Prior to the San Diego Zoo evaluation the format of the evaluation sheet was revised to accommodate ease of note taking as well an additional layer of evaluation based on the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy described in Chapter 3 (Figure 15). These changes were based on the effectiveness of the on-site evaluation experiences and development of the evaluation criteria. The notes and photographs from Woodland Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, and the Oregon Zoo were evaluated against the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy after the initial site visits. These results are described in Chapter 5 and are part of the final assessment of evaluating design for ecoliteracy in 21st century zoological parks.

Local-Global Connection 0

NOTES:

10

5 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy: Developing Empathy for all life forms

Anticipating Unintended Consequences

Embracing Sustainability as Community Practice

Understanding How Nature Sustains Life

Making the Invisible Visible

Figure15 Sample of Revised Zoological Park Evaluation Sheet


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

The Evaluation Audit Environmental issues included in the audit: The audit includes both local and global environmental issues. These issues are a combination of the global issues included in The Ocean Project research, such as climate change and ocean health, and those typically addressed at zoos and that relate directly to conservation, such as habitat loss and species status. The local issues are drawn from standards in evaluating the sustainability of the built environment in relation to mitigating larger environmental issues such as climate change. Local issues are those that have a direct relationship to the community and the everyday environment of zoo visitors; these issues are also those which the zoo visitor may more easily perceive the relationship between individual action and environmental change. Local Issue â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;E. Local Foodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; emerged out of the first zoo evaluation visit to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA and does not appear in the first sample evaluation sheet (Figure 14). However, it was included in the subsequent evaluations of the other three zoos and appears in the summary evaluation table (Figure 16). Global issues, though they may impact the everyday environment of zoo visitors, are those issues which are perceived as extending beyond the community or as impacting global environmental conditions.

49


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Local Issues A. Water: This may address water quality, water consumption, or education about the health and importance of the regional watershed.

B. Native Plants: This may address the importance of native plants in providing habitat for native species in the urban landscape, or instruction on incorporating native plants in residential gardens.

C. Waste & Recycling: This may address minimizing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills through recycling, composting, and making consumer choices that minimize or eliminate the purchase of goods with non-recyclable packaging.

D. Materials: This may address education about the lifecycle and toxicity of materials used in building construction and finishes, consumer goods, and cleaning products.

E. Local Food: This may address the importance of the local food system, agricultural practices, or growing produce in residential gardens.

F. Energy: This may include education about conserving energy in the home, renewable energy resources, or the imbued energy in consumer goods. 50


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Global Issues A. Climate Change: This may address global warming, greenhouse gasses, heat-island effect, or the consumption of non-renewable energy resources.

B. Habitat Loss: This may address significant habitat loss that threatens the survival of specific species, or contributes to climate change.

C. Ocean Health: This may address ocean acidification, pollution, or overfishing. D. Species Status: This may address any threatened species, or biodiversity. Strategies for addressing specific environmental issues included in the audit: These strategies are those typically found in the zoological park setting for the purpose of providing conservation-education based messaging for zoo visitors. A. Signage: This is an educational strategy that includes written and/or pictorial information about an environmental issue. B. Interactive Exhibit: This includes any educational strategy that physically engages the zoo 51


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

visitor in the learning experience such as the nature play habitat trail at Woodland Park Zoo, the ice flow playscape in the arctic exhibit area at San Diego Zoo, or native garden demonstration areas.

C. Digital Media: This type of educational strategy involves video, audio, or other forms of digital media to engage zoo visitors in the learning experience.

D. Programs: This includes daily education programs available to zoo visitors as well as programs that require pre-registration and are only available intermittently. E. Special Events: This includes any special event intended to generate public awareness of environmental issues. F. Practice: This refers to zoological park design strategies that respond to a specific environmental issue through practice, such as the use of solar panels to reduce the consumption of energy sourced from non-renewable energy resources, the installation of water efficient and/or water recycling technology to reduce municipal water consumption, or the implementation of solid waste reduction programs such as recycling or composting.

52


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Location of the strategies used to address specific environmental issues within the zoo: These locations are divided by programming into the three types of areas typically accessible to zoo visitors which includes areas for viewing exhibits, areas for moving between exhibits, and amenity areas.

A. Animal Exhibit Area: This may include the area physically within the exhibit as well as the viewing area for the exhibit.

B. Circulation Area: This includes all areas intended to accommodate movement between the exhibit areas, and the amenity areas.

C. Amenity Areas: This includes all concession areas, retail areas, and rest areas.

Connection between local and global issues: An important part of the on-site evaluation assessed whether these zoos addressed the relationship between individual local stewardship actions and global environmental issues. This part of the evaluation is in response to the results of The Ocean Projects market survey research which indicates that the majority of Americans are not actively engaged in local stewardship behaviors to mitigate the negative impacts of global environmental issues, and that they are looking to ZAMs 53


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

for leadership and guidance on ways to protect the environment. The evaluation of methods for addressing the connection between local stewardship behavior and global environmental issues in zoological parks identified four possible scenarios: 1. No observable connection is made. 2. A descriptive connection is made. Example: There may be a narrative that discusses the relationship between coffee consumption, coffee bean production, and loss of rainforest habitat. 3. A descriptive connection is made and a specific local stewardship action is recommended Example: In addition to the discussion about the relationship between coffee consumption, coffee bean production, and loss of rainforest habitat, it is also recommended that the zoo visitor utilize their consumer power to support only shade grown coffee. 4. A descriptive connection is made, a specific local stewardship action is recommended, and the zoo practices the recommended stewardship action. Example: In the case of the recommendation to support only shade grown coffee, the zoo itself would only sell shade grown coffee in their concession areas. 54


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

In some cases a specific stewardship action is recommended by the zoo, but that there is no observable connection made between the action and environmental change. This action may be local, an action the zoo visitor can take in daily life, or global, a special event action such as participating in conservation tourism. In both cases, these recommended actions are noted in the evaluation summary tables (Figures 14 and 15)

Evaluation Results of Environmental Issues Addressed at West Coast Zoos The information gathered from the on-site zoo audits is divided into two major categories of analysis. The first category analyzes three items from the audit: which environmental issues are being addressed at the zoos; whether the issues are being addressed through education, practice, or both; and whether a connection is made between local stewardship actions, local environmental issues, and global environmental issues. The second category examines the environmental education practices observed during the on-site visits and evaluates them against the Center for Ecoliteracyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s five practices for effectively teaching ecoliteracy and motivating stewardship behavior. The results of the second category of the analysis are detailed in Chapter 5. For the first category, environmental issues addressed at West Coast zoos, the analysis is divided into two summary tables. The first table is based only on what was observed during the onsite evaluations (Figure 16). The second table includes information about sustainable practices and programs found on the zoosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; websites (Figure 17). The differences between these two tables reveals 55


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Evaluation of Environmental Issues Addressed At Zoos Zoological Park

Global Issues

Local Issues water

native plants

waste & recycling materials

Woodland Park Zoo Point Defiance Zoo Oregon Zoo San Diego Zoo

local food

energy

climate change

habitat loss

ocean health

species status

AG

AG

AL

AG

AG

AL

AG

AL

AL

AL

AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection AG global stewardship action suggested by zoo practice

connection between local & global issues

Figure 16 On-site Evaluation Summary

56

education

education & practice

0

0

0

no connection

1 2

1 2

1 2

descriptive connection

3

3

3

descriptive connection specific local action suggested practice

descriptive connection specific local action suggested


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Evaluation of Environmental Issues Addressed At Zoos Zoological Park

Global Issues

Local Issues water

native plants

waste & recycling materials

Woodland Park Zoo Point Defiance Zoo Oregon Zoo San Diego Zoo

local food

energy

climate change

habitat loss

ocean health

species status

AG

AG

AL

AG

AG

AL

AG

AL

AL

AL

AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection AG global stewardship action suggested by zoo practice

connection between local & global issues

Figure 17 On-site & Website valuation Summary

education

education & practice

0

0

0

no connection

1 2

1 2

1 2

descriptive connection

3

3

3

descriptive connection specific local action suggested practice

descriptive connection specific local action suggested

57


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

the level of transparency of the zoos’s sustainable practices to the zoo visitor. When a zoo’s sustainable practices are not apparent to zoo visitors, this represents a missed opportunity for environmental education and leadership. The analysis of the information gathered on-site during the zoo visits shows both inconsistencies and consistencies between the four zoos’ approaches to addressing the environmental issues included in the audit. There is greater consistency in the four zoos’ approaches to addressing the global environmental issues included in the audit then there is in their approaches to addressing the local environmental issues. Woodland Park Zoo addresses five of the six local issues and actions, while no more than three are addressed by the other zoos. Waste & Recycling is the only issue addressed at all of the zoos, but is only addressed through practice and not education. For the issue Materials, none of the zoos have observable practices in place. All four of the zoos address the global environmental issues of Climate Change, Habitat Loss, and Species Status through practice, education or both. None of the zoos address the global issue Ocean Health. One possible explanation for the higher level of consistency between the four zoos in addressing the global environmental issues is that these issues are more directly connected to and associated with conservation. Information at all of the zoos portrayed climate change as the biggest threat to wildlife habitat and species status. In addition, education about an animal’s habitat and species status accompanied each animal’s exhibit at all four zoos. Much of the information presented by the zoos on 58


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

the global issues is correlated to specific exhibits and is not presented as part of a larger discussion. This may be the reason why none of the zoos addressed the issue of Ocean Health because there are not as many opportunities to correlate information about this issue with specific exhibits. Some of the zoos visited do have aquatic or coastal species, but no information on Ocean Health is provided in conjunction with their exhibit areas. This represents a missed opportunity to educate zoo visitors on this issue. The Ocean Project research that shows that the American public has an increasing awareness of environmental issues such as climate change and habitat loss, but does not actively engage in stewardship behavior has only been available for a few years. This may be part of the reason that there is higher level of inconsistency in the local environmental issues and actions addressed at the four zoos. Zoo educators are only recently becoming aware of this perceptual disconnect between individual behavior and global environmental issues. In addition, some local issues and actions may receive greater attention because of trends in local culture. The results of the on-site zoo analysis are detailed on the following pages and are organized according to whether the environmental issue in question is categorized as a local or global issue. The summary chart for each issue is provided as well as descriptions of the strategies observed across the zoos regarding education, recommended stewardship actions, practice, and connection made between local and global issues and actions in relation to each issue. 59


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Local Environmental Issues A. Water: Connection Between Three Local & Global Issues Education: of the four zoos visited have educational strategies in Zoological practice education & practiceor water quality. Methods of education place about water conservation education water Park include: Woodland Park 1. 0 Narrative 0 signage 0 no connection Zoo 2. Demonstration landscapes.

1 1 1 descriptive connection descriptive connection 2 2Stewardship2Actions: Recommended Two of these three zoos also specific local action suggested recommend specific stewardship actions. connection Oregon 3 3 3 descriptive

Point Defiance Zoo

specific local action suggested Zoo 1. Install water efficient plumbing fixtures in the home. practice San Diego 2. Practice water efficient drip irrigation in the garden. Zoo 3. Capture rainwater in rain barrels for irrigation purposes. Figure 18 Local Environmental 4. Be mindful of pollutants that are carried into the stormwater Issue Water system from residential stormwater runoff, such as chemicals used in the garden and detergents used for washing cars.

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Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Practice: One of these three zoos has observable practices in place that address water conservation and water quality. 1. Water efficient fixtures are installed in the restrooms and are identified with signage that includes a narrative about water conservation. 2. A green roof is installed on a highly visible building in the primary amenity area of the zoo and is accompanied by signage that includes a narrative about stormwater runoff. 3. Rain barrels are installed in a demonstration garden and are accompanied by signage that provides information on where the zoo visitor can acquire rain barrels for residential irrigation. Connection Between Local & Global Issues: All three of the zoos that have educational strategies in place about water conservation or water quality also make a connection a between individual stewardship action, local, and global issues. 1. Narratives accompany recommendations for stewardship action that explain the correlation between water quality and regional habitat viability. 2. Interpretive trails demonstrate the relationship between urban development and impacts on watershed health. 3. Signage in animal exhibit areas discusses the relationship between global warming, glacial melt, and diminishing fresh water sources 61


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

B. Native Plants: Education: theIssues four zoos visited have education strategies in place Connection Between Two Local &of Global Zoological about planting native plants in the garden to provide habitat for native practice & practice education education native Park plants birds and insects and to reduce the need for irrigation. Education Woodland methods include: Park 0 0 0 no connection Zoo 1. Narrative signage descriptive connection 1 1 1 Point Defiance 2. Demonstration landscapes Zoo

2

2

2

descriptive connection specific local action suggested

Oregon Recommended Both of the two zoos with descriptive connection 3 3Stewardship3 Actions: specific local action suggested Zoo education strategies in place also recommend specific stewardship practice actions. San Diego Zoo 1. Plant native species in the garden; examples of native species are Figure 19 Local Environmental provided in demonstration garden areas and accompanied by Issue Native Plants informational signage.

62


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Practice: These two zoos also have observable practices in place that demonstrate the relationship between native plants and habitat. 1. Demonstration gardens with native species and information on providing for the habitat needs of birds and insects. 2. Regional animal exhibit areas that highlight native plantings and habitat information.

Connection Between Local & Global Issues: Both of the two zoos with education strategies in place about native plants also make a connection between individual stewardship actions, local, and global issues. 1. Narratives describe the role of native plants in providing habitat for native birds and insects. 2. Narratives describe the impact of urban development on habitat viability.

63


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

C. Waste & Recycling:

Education: No strategies observed.

Connection Between Local & Global Issues

Zoological Park

waste &

practice

education

education & practice

recycling Recommended Stewardship Actions: The signage accompanying the recycling containers encourages zoo visitors to recycle appropriate Woodland Park 0 0 0 no connection materials while at the zoo, but no recommendations are made to Zoo AL 1 1 1 descriptive implement recycling practices in dailyconnection life.

Point Defiance Zoo

AL

2

2

2

descriptive connection specific local action suggested

Practice: All of the have a connection recycling program in place 3 3 zoos visited 3 descriptive local action suggested 1. Recycling containers arespecific distributed throughout the zoo grounds. AL practice The frequency of containers varies between zoos. San Diego Oregon Zoo Zoo

AL

Figure 20 Local Environmental Issue Waste & Recycling

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AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection

Connection Between Local & Global Issues: No connections observed.


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

D. Materials:

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Figure 21 Local Environmental Issue Materials

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

E. Local Food: Education: theIssues four zoos visited have educational strategies in Connection Between Two Local &of Global Zoological place about supporting the local food system. Educational methods practice & practice education education local Park food include: Woodland Park 1. signage in demonstration gardens. 0 Narrative 0 0 no connection 2. Narrative signage in food concession areas. Zoo Point Defiance Zoo

1 1 1 descriptive connection descriptive connection 2 2Stewardship2Actions: Recommended Both of the two zoos with

specific local action suggested educational strategies in place recommend specific stewardship actions connection Oregon 3 3 3 descriptive specific local action suggested Zoo for supporting the local food system. practice San Diego AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection Zoo 1. Patronize local farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets. Figure 22 2. Grow edibles in the garden. Local Environmental Issue Local Food 3. Grow pollinator plants to support pollinator species necessary for agricultural production. 4. Select local food products at the grocery store.

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Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Practice: Both of the zoos with educational strategies in place about supporting local food also support local food within the zoo. 1. Food vendors in the zoo concession area select locally grown and locally processed food products whenever possible. Local is defined as within a 500 mile radius of the vendor site. Connection Between Local & Global Issues: Both of the zoos with educational strategies in place for supporting local food also make the connection between stewardship, local, and global environmental issues. 1. Narratives discuss the relationship of decreased travel distance from field to table to reduced environmental impacts.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

F. Energy: Education: theIssues four zoos visited have educational strategies in Connection Between Two Local &of Global Zoological place about energy.education Educational practice & practice methods include: education Park energy 1. Narrative signage Woodland 2. energy no meters Park 0 Demonstration 0 0 connection 3. Interactive experience Zoo AL 1 1 1 descriptive connection Point Defiance 4. Art installation Zoo

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specific local Both action suggested Zoo Recommended Stewardship Actions: of the two zoos with practice educational strategies in place about energy also recommend specific San Diego A L local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection Zoo stewardship actions. Figure 23 Local Environmental 1. Support local renewable energy projects. Issue Energy 2. Practice energy efficient behavior in the home. 3. Install insulation at home to increase thermal efficiency. 4. Purchase â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;energy starâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; certified appliances.

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Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Practice: One of the two zoos with educational strategies in place about energy also has observable green energy practices. 1. Solar panels are installed at multiple locations in the zoo.

Connection Between Local & Global Issues: One of the two zoos with educational strategies in place about energy also makes a connection between stewardship, local, and global environmental issues. 1. Narrative signage about climate change accompanies recommendations for specific stewardship actions about energy.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Global Environmental Issues A. Climate Change: Connection BetweenAll Local & Global Education: four of Issues the zoos visited have educational strategies in place Zoological practice address climate & practice education education climate that change. Park change 1. Narrative signage Woodland 2. Park 0 Interactive 0 exhibit 0 no connection Zoo

1

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descriptive connection

Recommended Stewardship Actions: Three of the four zoos visited connection 2 2 stewardship 2 descriptive recommend specific actions thatsuggested relate to climate change. specific local action Oregon 3 1. Practice energy conservation atconnection home. 3 3 descriptive specific local action suggested Zoo 2. Do not unnecessarily idle vehicles. practice San Diego 3. Choose alternative transportation. Zoo 4. Plant trees. Figure 24 Global Environmental 5. Recycle Point Defiance Zoo

Issue Climate Change

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Practice: No practices observed.


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Connection Between Local & Global Issues: All four of the zoos visited make a connection between stewardship actions and climate change. 1. Narrative signage discusses the correlation between human behavior and climate change. 2. Specific stewardship actions are recommended to help mitigate climate change.

71


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

B. Habitat Loss: Education: four of the Connection BetweenAll Local & Global Issueszoos visited have educational strategies in place Zoological about habitat loss. education These educational strategies include: practice & practice education habitat Park 1. Narrative signage in animal exhibit areas loss 2. Interpretive trail with narrative signage in circulation area Woodland Park 0 0 0 no connection 3. Interactive play Zoo AG Point Defiance Zoo

1 1 1 descriptive connection descriptive All connection Recommended four of the zoos visited 2 2Stewardship2Actions:

Oregon recommend either stewardship action to mitigate descriptive connection 3 3 a local or3a global specific local action suggested Zoo habitat loss. AG practice 1. Support organizations that work with developing communities to San Diego AG global stewardship action suggested by zoo Zoo prevent habitat loss as the community grows. Choose ecotourism options when making vacation arrangements. Figure 25 2. Global Environmental Issue Habitat Loss 3. Choose alternative transportation options. 4. Practice water conservation behavior. 5. Choose shade-grown coffee and other products that are sustainably grown and harvested. 6. Recycle aluminum products. 7. Choose environmentally safe products. 8. Do not support the exotic pet trade. 9. Educate your friends about habitat loss and what they can do. 72

AG

specific local action suggested


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Practice: All four of the zoos visited have observable practices about habitat conservation. 1. Narrative signage describes the habitat conservation efforts the zoo is currently involved in. 2. Gift shop sells products made from sustainably grown and harvested products, or from cultural groups that are partnered with habitat conservation organizations to protect their local habitat. Connection Between Local & Global Issues: Three of the four zoos visited make a connection between stewardship and habitat conservation. 1. Narrative signage discusses the relationship between human development and consumer choices to habitat loss and degradation. 2. Specific stewardship actions are suggested to help mitigate habitat loss.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

C. Ocean Health: Zoological Park

Education: No strategies observed.

Connection Between Local & Global Issues

practice

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1 1 1 descriptive connection descriptiveIssues: connectionNo connections observed. Connection Between Local & 2 2 2 Global specific local action suggested

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Figure 26 Global Environmental Issue Ocean Health

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education & practice

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Point Defiance Zoo Oregon Zoo

education

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descriptive connection specific local action suggested practice


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

75


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

D. Species Status: Education: four of the Connection BetweenAll Local & Global Issueszoos visited have educational strategies in place Zoological about species status.education & practice practice education species Park status 1. Narrative signage in animal exhibit areas Woodland 2. trail with narrative signage and displays in circulation Park 0 Interpretive 0 0 no connection areas. Zoo AG Point Defiance Zoo

AG

1 1 1 descriptive connection descriptive connection 2 2Stewardship2 Actions: Recommended Three of the four zoos visited specific local action suggested

Oregon recommend specific stewardship actions related to species status. connection 3 3 3 descriptive specific local action suggested Zoo 1. Support organizations that work to preserve habitat of threatened practice or San Diego endangered species. global stewardship action suggested by zoo Zoo AG 2. Support organizations that work to improve the species Figure 27 Global Environmental status of threatened or endangered species. Issue Species Status 3. Choose shade grown coffee and other sustainably grown and harvested products to protect the habitat of threatened or endangered species.

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Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Practice: All four of the zoos visited have observable practices in place related to species status. 1. Narrative signage discusses the species and habitat conservation programs the zoo is involved in. Connection Between Local & Global Issues: Three of the four zoos visited make a connection between stewardship actions and species status. 1. Narrative signage discusses the relationship between stewardship, habitat conservation, and species status.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Evaluation of Environmental Issues Addressed on Zoo Websites In addition to the on-site evaluation of four West Coast zoos, an additional evaluation was done for each zoo based on the information available on the zoosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; websites about environmental education, management, or operation programs. This secondary evaluation impacted the results of two of the four zoos evaluated: Woodland Park Zoo and the Oregon Zoo. No information about these types of programs was available on the websites of Point Defiance Zoo, or the San Diego Zoo. Figure 28 summarizes the results of both the website and on site only evaluation results for Woodland Park Zoo. This comparison demonstrates that Woodland Park has practices in place that address the local environmental issue materials and the global environmental issue climate change, and that these practices are not apparent during a visit to the zoo. Figure 29 summarizes the results of both the website and on site evaluation results for the Oregon Zoo. Similar to the results of the Woodland Park Zoo comparison, differences are revealed that show that the Oregon zoo has practices in place that address the local environmental issue materials and the global environmental issue climate change. In addition, the Oregon zoo also has practices in place that address the local environmental issues water and energy. For both zoos, these difference between what practices are in place to address environmental issues and what practices are apparent during a visit to the zoo represent missed educational opportunities for these zoos. These missed opportunities directly correlate to two of the five practices for teaching ecoliteracy: Making the Invisible Visible, and Embracing Sustainability as a Community Practice. 78


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Woodland Park Zoo Evaluation

Global Issues

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Website & On site Evaluation On Site Evaluation Only

local food

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descriptive connection specific local action suggested

Figure 28 Comparison of Website & On site Evaluation results at Woodland Park Zoo

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Oregon Zoo Evaluation

Global Issues

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Website & On site Evaluation On Site Evaluation Only

local food

energy

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AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection AG global stewardship action suggested by zoo practice

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Figure 29 Comparison of Website & On site Evaluation results at Oregon Zoo

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Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Zoo Evaluation Summary The on site and website evaluations of environmental issues addressed at the four zoos visited identify a consistent weakness in the local environmental issue materials and the global environmental issue ocean health. The finding regarding ocean health is consistent with the Ocean Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market survey research which shows that the American public has a low level of knowledge about environmental issues related to ocean health such as ocean acidification. This may indicate that the low level of knowledge of environmental issues related to ocean health is a result of the lack of education about these issues at zoos. However, more zoos need to be evaluated in order to determine if there is a conclusive correlation between this lack of knowledge and the lack of information provided. Other areas of weakness include the local environmental issues energy, waste and recycling, and native plants. General education on these issues and the relationship between stewardship action, and local and global environmental impacts was consistently low with two to four zoos having no education strategies in place depending on the issue. This is also consistent with the Ocean Projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research which indicates that despite a growing awareness about global environmental issues such as climate change, the majority of Americans are not actively engaged in stewardship behaviors to mitigate these issues. Again, more zoos need to be evaluated to determine if there is a conclusive correlation between the lack of engagement in stewardship behaviors and the lack of educational strategies in place at zoos that provide information about the relationship between 81


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

stewardship action, and local and global environmental impacts. With the exception of the global environmental issue ocean health, all four zoos visited are consistently strong in addressing the global environmental issues included in this evaluation. Educational strategies are in place at all four zoos about climate change, habitat loss, and species status. In addition, for the issues of habitat loss and species status all four zoos have practices in place that address these issues. For the issue of climate change, however, there are no observable practices in place at any of the zoos that address this issue. It is only through an examination of the zoosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; websites that practices addressing climate change become evident. These differences are likely due to the longer history of zoos educating visitors about habitat loss and species status and the association of these issues with conservation and conservation education, which is the number one mission of AZA accredited zoos. Information about climate change and the impacts of climate change on conservation issues has emerged more recently and may explain why strategies addressing climate change are not more integrated into the zoo visitor experience.

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Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Questionnaire Method and Summary For the purpose of assessing current trends and attitudes about environmental education strategies in zoos, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to representatives of the four zoos visited and to the principals of four design firms specializing in the design of zoos. The return rate of the questionnaires distributed to zoo representatives was very low with only one of the zoos choosing to participate. The return rate from principals of design firms was higher with three of the four design firms choosing to participate. The questionnaire consists of eleven questions targeted at determining the perceived importance of: specific environmental issues, environmental education in zoo design, and the role of stewardship in mitigating environmental issues. Additional questions were included to determine types of specific design strategies used for environmental education and types of resources or studies used to inform these design strategies (Figure 30). Summary of Questionnaire Responses Question 1: How important is environmental education of zoo visitors in your approach to zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design, explain? All four of the respondents indicate that the environmental education of zoo visitors is a top priority in their approach to zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design. The methods of achieving this are described differently and include: creating beautiful 83


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Zoo & Zoo Design Firm Questions Question Asked

Question # Question 1

How important is environmental education of zoo visitors in your approach to zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design, explain?

Question 2

Which environmental issues do you think are most important to educate zoo visitors about: climate change, ocean health, habitat conservation, other?

Question 3

On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, how highly do you feel that the zoos/design firms you have worked with prioritize environmental education in your design proposals, explain?

Question 4

How important do you think it is to communicate the role of local stewardship or individual action to global environmental issues, explain?

Question 5 Question 6 Question 7 Question 8

On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, how highly do you feel that the zoos/design firms you have worked with prioritize communicating the role of local stewardship or individual action to global environmental issues, explain? What strategies does your firm/zoo utilize to incorporate environmental education into zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design? (Additional for zoos: Are these strategies typically part of the design package offered by the design firms you have worked with?) Are there specific resources that inform the strategies your firm/zoo uses to incorporate environmental education into zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design (i.e. precedents, specific areas of research, other)? Which environmental education design strategies do you think are the most successful in eliciting behavior change in zoo visitors, explain?

Question 9

Does your firm/zoo perform post-occupancy evaluation studies, monitoring, or other follow up methods to determine the effectiveness of your environmental education design strategies?

Question 10

What do you think are the biggest obstacles to implementing environmental education design strategies that effect behavior change in zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design?

Question 11

What additional information, not covered in this questionnaire, do you think is important to inform research on designing for environmental education to elicit behavior change in zoo visitors?

Figure 30 Questions from Zoo/Design Firm Questionnaire

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Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

environments that the zoo visitor want to spend time and that help develop a sense of care in the zoo visitor; and incorporating environmental messaging in the overall storyline of the exhibit. One of the respondents emphasizes the importance of creating awareness of environmental issues at both the local and global scale and conveying to the zoo visitor that they have the ability to make changes in their own lives that can help to protect the environment. Question 2: Which environmental issues do you think are the most important to educate zoo visitors about: climate change, ocean health, habitat conservation, other? While respondents felt that all of the environmental issues provided in the question to be important, special emphasis was placed on climate change, habitat, species status, and connecting these issues to human activity as the principle cause. Question 3: On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, how highly do you feel that the zoos/ design firms you have worked with prioritize environmental education in your design proposals? Responses to the question of how highly the zoos or design firms the respondent had worked with prioritize environmental education in their design proposals were varied. Respondents were asked rate this priority on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest priority. Responses ranged from 3 to 5. Reasons given for the lower score include limited resources, priority given 85


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

to animal care and well-being, and thinking that the responsibility for communicating environmental issues is not their primary responsibility. Question 4: How important do you think it is to communicate the role of local stewardship or individual action to global environmental issues, explain? Responses to this question were unanimous. All of the respondents think that communicating the role of local stewardship or individual action to global environmental issues is extremely important and that it is critical to foster stewardship action at home and make every visitor an advocate for change. Question 5: On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, how highly do you feel that the zoos/ design firms you have worked with prioritize communicating the role of local stewardship or individual action to global environmental issues, explain? Responses to the question of how highly the zoos or design firms the respondent had worked prioritized communicating the role of local stewardship action or individual action to global environmental issues to the zoo visitor were varied. Respondents were asked rate this priority on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest priority. Responses ranged from 3 to 5. Reasons given for the lower score include: some zoos still see their role as communicators of scientific information and not as advocates for action; and limitations in resources that 86


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

restrict a zoos ability to prioritize issues outside of the scope of animal care and well-being. Question 6: What strategies does your firm/zoo utilize to incorporate environmental education into zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design? ( Additional for zoos: Are these strategies typically part of the design package offered by the design firms you have worked with?) Respondents gave varied responses when asked what strategies that they used to incorporate environmental education into zoo masterplan, exhibit, or facility design. The strategies provided include: interpretation; layered stories that convey related information over the course of the exhibit experience; combinations of conventional graphics, multi-media, interactive play, and three dimensional displays; and immersion exhibits that reflect habitat combined with interactive exhibit elements. Question 7: Are there specific resources that inform the strategies your firm/zoo uses to incorporate environmental education into zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design (i.e. precedents, specific areas of research, other)?

Respondents gave varied answers when asked what specific resources they refer to inform the strategies they use to incorporate environmental education into their designs. Resources listed include: National Association for Interpretation Guidelines; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fostering Sustainable Behaviorâ&#x20AC;? by Doug MacKenzie-Mohr; front-end evaluation research; creative 87


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

experience; and client expertise. Question 8: Which environmental education design strategies do you think are the most successful in eliciting behavior change in zoo visitors, explain?

Respondents gave varied responses that include: Conservation Behavior Social Marketing techniques; empathy building by getting zoo visitors to take on the perspective of the animals; targeted campaigns that get zoo visitors to think as they go thought the zoo and when they go home; communication with zoo educators and docents combined with a personal and local connection to global issues; and free choice learning which allows visitors to have an enriched shared learning experience. Question 9: Does your firm/zoo perform post-occupancy evaluation studies, monitoring, or other follow up methods to determine the effectiveness of your environmental education design strategies? All of the respondents said that they try to do follow up, but that the extent of the study varies depending on the client or other circumstances. Types of follow up described by the respondents includes: formative and summative evaluations; post-occupancy evaluations; keeping the lines of communication open between zoos and designers; and front-end evaluation during design. 88


Environmental Education in Zoological Parks Today

Question 10: What do you think are the biggest obstacles to implementing environmental education design strategies that effect behavior change in zoo masterplan/exhibit/facility design? Respondent answers vary and include: time and money; difficulty of tracking behavior after visitors leave the zoo; lack of understanding of social marketing; institutional concerns over taking a stand on controversial issues; short attention spans of visitors; overloading information on signs; and the difficulty in developing inquiry driven exhibits that engage and target visitors of all ages and education levels. Question 11: What additional information, not covered in this questionnaire, do you think is important to inform research on designing for environmental education to elicit behavior change in zoo visitors? Only two of the four respondents chose to respond to this question. Their suggestions include: considering the role of the executive team and the board in implementing changes as a high level of commitment from both of these parties is critical to success; and taking advantage of design strategies that elicit a high level of emotional engagement from zoo visitors. 89


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

While the overall number of responses to the questionnaire is low certain consistencies regarding the importance of environmental education for zoo design strategies begin to emerge. All of the respondents feel that providing environmental education for zoo visitors is extremely important and that education which reveals the connection between individual actions and local and global environmental issues should be prioritized. Even though the importance of environmental education is agreed on, there is quite a bit of variation on the strategies employed to facilitate the environmental education of zoo visitors and the strategies used to evaluate their effectiveness. However, a larger sampling of questionnaire respondents is needed to make conclusive statements about the consistences and inconsistencies regarding environmental education in zoo design.

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91


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5

Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

5

Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos Assessment of Audit Results Against the Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy The final phase of evaluation of current practices for teaching ecoliteracy and encouraging stewardship action in West Coast zoological parks examines the current methods of addressing the environmental issues included in the on site zoo evaluation against the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy established by the Center for Ecoliteracy. This examination is done individually for each of the four zoos visited. The results for each individual zoo are compared to identify consistent weaknesses and strengths across the four zoos as a group. Recommendations for improvement are made based on these results. The five practices of teaching ecoliteracy were chosen as a standard for evaluation after an examination of current thinking on the best practices for environmental education and encouraging stewardship behavior (Chapter 3). The five practices are described in detail in Chapter 3 and are summarized here for review.

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

The Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy

Develop empathy for all forms of life: This emphasizes a view that acknowledges humans as being part of the web of life as opposed to separate from it.

Embrace sustainability as a community practice: This makes apparent how thinking and acting cooperatively within a community can strengthen the health of whole system.

Make the invisible visible: This makes the range of effects of human behavior on other people and the environment apparent.

Exercise precaution and anticipate unintended consequences: This emphasizes the importance of predicting the potential implications of human behavior, and the acceptance that it is not possible to foresee all implications.

Apply systems thinking to understand how nature sustains life: This highlights the relationship of present actions to the quality of life for non-human life and for future generations. 95


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Woodland Park Zoo Evaluation Woodland Park Zoo Evaluation Evaluation Type

Global Issues

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On Site

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community practice visible precaution systems thinking

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descriptive connection specific local action suggested

Figure 31 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy applied to Environmental Issues at Woodland Park Zoo

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Empathy: Total score of 5 Water: Illustrations of fish and birds accompany recommendations for stewardship actions that address water conservation and preventing pollutants from entering the waterways from residential runoff. This demonstrates the relationship between human actions and the health of wildlife.

Native Plants: Illustrations of birds and bees accompany recommendations for planting native plants in residential gardens to provide food and create habitat for wildlife. A demonstration garden attracts actual wildlife and provides opportunities for zoo visitors to observe wildlife interacting with the garden.

Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed.

Materials: No strategies observed.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Local Food: Illustrations of hummingbirds and bees accompany a discussion about the importance of these species in the local food web and how individuals can support these species by planting pollinator plants in the garden. There is also a discussion about local farmers working toward a better environment through ecologically responsible farming practices and how supporting local farmers in turn supports a healthier regional ecosystem. This highlights the interconnectivity of humans, food, plants, and animals.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: No strategies observed.

Habitat Loss: Information about specific areas of habitat loss are placed in the viewing area of the animals species impacted by the loss. This gives visitors the opportunity to experience appreciation for the species which may increase concern for habitat loss. In addition, landscape immersion exhibits provide a living example of the habitat which enhances visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; emotional and sensory experience. Information about habitat loss includes types of human actions that are negatively impacting the habitat which increases overall understanding of the relationship of humans to nature.

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Ocean Health: No strategies observed

Species Status: Information about a specific species status is placed in the viewing area of that animal species. Information includes some of the human actions that are having a negative impact on species status. This gives visitors the opportunity to experience appreciation for the species and to understand the relationship of human activity to the speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability to survive.

Community: Total score of 6 Water: Information accompanying the rain barrel in the demonstration garden lets zoo visitors know that they can purchase discounted rain barrels through the Seattle Conservation Corp. Signage near the Zoomazium provides information about how the Zoomaziumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s green roof helps to slow stormwater run off and discusses sustainable building practices as community effort. Information is also provided on ways that individuals can help to slow stormwater run off and conserve water in their own homes. All of these discussions convey the idea that water quality and conservation are part of a community effort that everyone can be a part of.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Native Plants: The native plant demonstration garden has signage with contact information for King County’s ‘Go Native’ program. Information is also provide about community groups involved with creating native plant gardens such as Seattle Tilth and Stewardship partners. These resources support the idea that native plant gardens are part of a community effort to improve wildlife habitat and water quality. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: Relationships with local farmers are emphasized in the discussion about local food. Suggestions to support farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture (CSAs) promote community involvement in the local food culture.

Energy: Information about energy efficiency is provided as part of the Zoomazium’s educational program and is discussed in the context of being part of a sustainable community. Information is also available near the solar powered carousel about how to support renewable energy through Seattle City Light’s green energy program.

100


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Habitat Loss: The role of supporting and participating in organizations that are working together to prevent habitat loss is emphasized. The power of collective action to mitigate habitat loss through responsible and informed consumer choices is also emphasized

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: No strategies observed.

Species Status: The role of supporting and participating in organizations that work to protect and improve the species status of threatened and endangered animals is emphasized.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Water: The rain barrel and rain garden in the demonstration garden, the green roof on the Zoomazium building, and signage about the water efficient fixtures in the restroom make the options for supporting water conservation and improving water quality in the built environment visible.

Native Plants: The demonstration garden and Pacific North West habitat trail identify native plants with signage. Visitors can also witness how native plants are utilized by local wildlife including birds, insects, and squirrels. This demonstrates how humans positively impact their local environment with native plant gardens.

Visible: Total Score of 6

Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed

102

Local Food: Vendors in the concession area sell locally sourced food. Information about vendor food sources is available in the concession area as well. Images and information about farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s markets and food miles traveled is also placed in the demonstration garden and hobby farm exhibit.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Energy: Solar panels are visible at the hobby farm exhibit and the solar powered carousel. Solar power meters show how much energy is being supplied by the solar panels at the hobby farm exhibit.

Climate Change: No strategies observed. Habitat Loss: Illustrated signage maps areas of habitat loss around the world and discusses how human actions have impacted habitat. Illustrated signage is also used to highlight how informed consumer choices for products like shade grown coffee and sustainably forested wood products can help to mitigate future habitat loss.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrated signage uses bar charts to show the decline in specific speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; populations over time. Maps are also used to show the decrease in habitat area that specific species now occupy.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Precaution: Total Score of 3 Water: Visitors are encouraged to practice water conservation at home and to be conscious of the pollutants that may be carried by stormwater run off from their properties into the waterways.

Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed. Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: Vistors are encouraged to practice energy conversation at home, to be aware of the source of their energy, and to choose renewable energy source whenever possible. 104

Climate Change: No strategies observed.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Habitat Loss: Vistors are encouraged to consider the source of certain items such as coffee, chocolate, and forest products and to make sure they are grown and harvested sustainably. If the source is unknown, then visitors should exercise precautionary behavior to avoid unintentionally contributing to habitat loss.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: No strategies observed. Systems Thinking: Total Score of 4 Water: Illustrative signage in the demonstration garden and near the Zoomazium building describes the movement of stormwater in the urban environment and encourages visitors to employ strategies to capture, slow, and filter stormwater at home before it leaves their property. Information is also provided about the relationship of water quality to regional habitat health.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Native Plants: Illustrative signage in the demonstration garden provides information about the role of native plants in creating habitat for wildlife. There is also information about the role of plants in filtering pollutants from water before it filters through to the groundwater. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: No strategies observed.

106

Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage encourages visitors to consider the relationship of urban development and consumer behavior to habitat loss both locally and globally. This is connected to information about threatened and endangered species status. Ocean Health: No strategies observed.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Species Status: Illustrative signage describes the connection between threatened and endangered species status, habitat loss, and human actions.

Woodland Park Zoo Evaluation Summary At Woodland Park Zoo, the environmental issues that scored the highest in terms of applying strategies that address the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy are the local issue water and the global issue habitat loss. For both of these issues, strategies were observed that address all five practices. The local issues native plants and the global issue species status also scored highly with strategies observed that address four of the five practices. In both cases, the practice that was not addressed was Precaution (Figure 31). For the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy, the highest scoring practices ,in terms of number of environmental issues with observed strategies that address the practice, were Community and Visible. These each had a score of six, meaning that six environmental issues were addressed with these practices. Empathy had a score of five, followed by Systems with a score of 4, and Precaution with a score of 3 (Figure 32).

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Woodland Park Zoo Number of Instances The Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Are Observed

Empathy Community Visible Precaution Systems

1

2

3

4

5

Figure 32 Woodland Park Zoo: Instances of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices

108

6

7

8

9

10


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Point Defiance Zoo Evaluation Point Defiance Zoo Evaluation Evaluation Type

Global Issues

Local Issues water

native plants

waste & recycling materials

local food

energy

climate change

habitat loss

ocean health

species status

On Site

AG

AL

AG empathy

5 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy

community practice visible precaution systems thinking

AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection AG global stewardship action suggested by zoo practice

connection between local & global issues

education

education & practice

0

0

0

no connection

1 2

1 2

1 2

descriptive connection

3

3

3

descriptive connection specific local action suggested practice

descriptive connection specific local action suggested

Figure 33 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy applied to Environmental Issues at Point Defiance Zoo

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Empathy: Total Score of 3 Water: No strategies observed. Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: A small display modeling the impact of climate change on polar bear habitat is located in the polar bear viewing area. This gives visitors the opportunity to experience appreciation for polar bears and to make the connection between the human actions, global warming, and the survival of polar bears. 110


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage in animal exhibit viewing areas discusses the impact of human action on the habitat of specific species. Illustrative signage and displays discussing habitat loss are also located along paths leading to specific exhibits. Images of animals who are dependent on the specific habitat type are included. This gives visitors the opportunity to consider the impact of human action on critical wildlife habitat before, during, and after viewing the animal species specific the habitat area.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrative signage is located in animal exhibit viewing areas that discusses species status in relation to human action and habitat loss. This gives viewers the opportunity to gain an understanding of the impact of human action on the animal species they are viewing.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Community: Total Score of 2 Water: No strategies observed. . Native Plants: No strategies observed. . Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed. .

Local Food: No strategies observed. .

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: No strategies observed. .

112

Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage discusses how individuals can act collectively to improve regional habitat, and provides information on organizations that are working together to protect and improve the habitat of specific species. The role of communities preserving habitat in remote locations is also highlighted.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: The role of community in preserving and enhancing habitat to improve the species status of specific animal species such as the red wolf is emphasized. The cooperative effort of wildlife and conservation organizations in successfully reintroducing specific species into the wild is also highlighted. Visible: Total Score of 4 Water: No strategies observed. Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: Illustrative signage in the concession area provides information about the locally sourced food sold by the vendors. Reduced food miles traveled, freshness, and benefits to the local economy are described. 113


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: A small display shows the impact of climate change on polar bear habitat and discusses individual actions that can be taken to mitigate the future impacts of global warming.

Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage maps the decrease in habitat for specific species as a result of human actions. The impacts of human development on wetland habitat is also illustrated and highlights ways individuals can reduce the amount of human generated pollutants that enter wetland areas.

114

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrated signage uses the analogous image of an empty fuel gauge to show the decline in the red wolf population. Maps are also used to show the decrease in habitat area that specific species are now reduced to.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Precaution: Total Score of 2

Water: No strategies observed.

Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: A small display about climate change in the arctic exhibit area asks visitors to consider how human actions related to fossil fuel consumption, such as transportation or energy use in the home, can perpetuate global warming. Recommended stewardship actions are made that encourage the zoo visitor to practice precautionary thinking and minimize their carbon footprint to avoid unintended or unknown consequences related to climate change. 115


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Habitat Loss: Illustrated signage relates habitat loss to climate change and asks visitors to practice precautionary thinking about how their behavior contributes to climate change. Recommendations are made to visitors to reduce their carbon footprint to avoid unintended consequences to habitat.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: No strategies observed.

Systems Thinking: Total Score of 3

Water: No strategies observed.

Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: Illustrated signage and small displays highlight the relationship between human actions, climate change, habitat loss, and species status.

Habitat Loss: Illustrated signage and small displays highlight the relationship between human actions, climate change, habitat loss, and species status. The relationship between development, residential pollutants, and wetland health is also highlighted.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrated signage and small displays highlight the relationship between human actions, climate change, habitat loss, and species status.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Point Defiance Zoo Evaluation Summary At Point Defiance Zoo, the environmental issue that scored the highest in terms of applying strategies that address the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy is the global issue habitat loss. For this issue, strategies were observed that address all five practices. The global issues climate change and species status also scored highly with strategies observed that address four of the five practices. All of the local issues have a score of zero except local food which has a score of one. This means that none of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy were applied to the other local environmental issues. For local food, strategies were observed that apply the ecoliteracy practice Visible (Figure 33). For the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy, the highest scoring practice ,in terms of number of environmental issues with observed strategies that address the practice, is Visible which has a score of four. Empathy and Systems have a score of three, followed by Community and Precaution with a score of two (Figure 34).

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Point Defiance Zoo Number of Environmental Issues The Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Are Applied To

Empathy Community Visible Precaution Systems

1

2

3

4

5

6

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8

9

10

Figure 34 Point Defiance Zoo: Instances of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices

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Oregon Zoo Evaluation Oregon Zoo Evaluation Evaluation Type

Global Issues

Local Issues water

native plants

waste & recycling materials

local food

energy

climate change

habitat loss

ocean health

species status

On Site

AL

AG empathy

5 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy

community practice visible precaution systems thinking

AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection AG global stewardship action suggested by zoo practice

connection between local & global issues

education

education & practice

0

0

0

no connection

1 2

1 2

1 2

descriptive connection

3

3

3

descriptive connection specific local action suggested practice

descriptive connection specific local action suggested

Figure 35 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy applied to Environmental Issues at Oregon Zoo

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Empathy: Total Score of 5 Water: Illustrative signage along the path in the Pacific Northwest habitat exhibit area tells the story of the water cycle and explains how animals and fish are dependent on plentiful clean water. The path moves through an immersion landscape that represents Pacific Northwest forest and weaves through the exhibit area along a stream that connects the exhibits of regional animal species. Information along the way explains how water quality and the regional watershed are impacted by human generated pollutants and urban growth. Visitors are given the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate not only the animals species of the Pacific Northwest, but also the beauty of the forest habitat.

Native Plants: Illustrative signage in the native plant demonstration garden has images of butterflies and flowering native plant species. The signage informs visitors how they can provide habitat for birds and insects by selecting native plant species for their gardens at home. The demonstration garden gives visitors the opportunity to experience native plantings and observe birds, squirrels, and insects interacting with the garden.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: A small display about the impact of global warming on polar bear habitat is located in the polar bear exhibit viewing area. Illustrative flip panels that show visitors what they can do to minimize their contribution to climate change are also located in the polar bear exhibit viewing area. This gives visitors the opportunity to consider how their actions contribute to climate change and negatively effect the habitat of polar bears like the one they have just been viewing.

122

Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage that discusses habitat loss of specific animal species is placed near the exhibit viewing area for those species. Information is provided that highlights the relationship between human actions and loss of habitat.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Ocean Health: No strategies for developing empathy were observed in conjunction with ocean health.

Species Status: Illustrative signage about species status is provided in the viewing area of that species. This is combined with information on human actions that negatively impact the habitat of the species. Community: Total Score of 3

Water: Illustrative signage highlight the role of the community in working to protect the watershed. Visitors are informed of ways that net impact of urban growth can negatively effect a watershed and are encouraged to think of ways that their community can help protect their watershed.

Native Plants: Illustrative signage in the demonstration garden provides information about community resources for natural gardening. This conveys the idea that native plant gardens are part of a community effort to create habitat for wildlife, reduce irrigation needs, and minimize the use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: No strategies observed. Habitat Loss: No strategies observed.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrative signage discusses the role of wildlife and conservation organizations working together to help populations of threatened and endangers species. Contact information is provided for those wanting to get involved. Information about local wildlife and conservation groups is also provided, and zoo visitors are encouraged to get involved to help protect the natural resources of the Pacific Northwest. 124


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Visible: Total Score of 5

Water: Illustrative signage along the path in the Pacific Northwest exhibit area highlights the impact of urban growth on watershed health. This reveals the relationship between impervious surfaces created by humans, increased stormwater runoff, human generated pollutants carried by runoff, and watershed health.

Native Plants: Illustrative signage and native plants in the demonstration garden allow people to see common native plant species and to understand the benefits of a native plant garden. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Climate Change: Displays and illustrative signage reveal the impacts of climate change on polar ice caps and arctic habitat. Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage maps habitat loss for specific species and discusses the range of human actions that have caused this loss.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrative signage provides information about the species status of specific animals near their exhibit area.

Precaution: Total Score of 3

Water: Illustrative signage cautions visitors to be careful about what types of residential pollutants they may be contributing to the waterways in their watershed and to consider that they may be negatively impacting wildlife, habitat, and water quality.

126

Native Plants: No strategies observed.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed.

Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: Displays and illustrative signage remind visitors of ways that they can change their actions to reduce their contribution to issues associated with climate change. Habitat Loss: Displays and illustrative signage encouraged visitors to consider the impact of climate change on wildlife habitat and to practice stewardship behavior that reduces their carbon footprint.

Ocean Health:No strategies observed.

Species Status: No strategies observed.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Systems Thinking: Total Score of 5

Water: Illustrative signage and the interpretive trail in the Pacific Northwest habitat exhibit area encourages visitors to consider the relationship between water quality, watershed health, habitat health, wildlife populations, and human behavior in the urban environment. Specific concepts include impacts of urban growth, pollutants carried by urban stormwater runoff, and water conservation.

Native Plants: Illustrative signage and a demonstration garden encourages visitors to consider how the types of plants they grow in their gardens can create wildlife habitat.

Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Climate Change: Illustrative signage encourages visitors to consider the relationship their actions have to climate change and how this impacts habitat, survival of other species, and the quality of the future environment. Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage encourages visitors to consider the relationship their actions have on habitat loss as a result of climate change.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrative signage encourages visitors to consider the relationship between their actions, habitat loss, and the threat to survival of other species.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Oregon Zoo Evaluation Summary At Oregon Zoo, the environmental issue that scored the highest in terms of applying strategies that address the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy is the local issue water. For this issue, strategies were observed that address all five practices. The global issues climate change, habitat loss,and species status also scored highly with strategies observed that address four of the five practices. The Oregon also has strategies in place that address four of the five practices for the local issue native plants. The local environmental issues of waste & recycling, materials, local food, and energy all scored zero, as did the global issue ocean health. (Figure 35). Overall, the global environmental issues at Oregon zoo scored consistently higher than the local environmental issues For the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy, the highest scoring practices ,in terms of number of environmental issues with observed strategies that address these practices, are Empathy, Visible, and Systems: all of these have a score of five. These are followed by Community and Precaution which both have a score of three (Figure 36).

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Oregon Zoo Number of Environmental Issues The Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Are Applied To

Empathy Community Visible Precaution Systems

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Figure 36 Oregon Zoo: Instances of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices

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San Diego Zoo Evaluation San Diego Zoo Evaluation Evaluation Type

Global Issues

Local Issues water

native plants

waste & recycling materials

local food

energy

climate change

habitat loss

ocean health

species status

On Site

AL 5 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy

AL local stewardship action suggested by zoo, no descriptive connection AG global stewardship action suggested by zoo practice

connection between local & global issues

education

education & practice

0

0

0

no connection

1 2

1 2

1 2

descriptive connection

3

3

3

descriptive connection specific local action suggested practice

descriptive connection specific local action suggested

Figure 37 Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy applied to Environmental Issues at San Diego Zoo

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Empathy: Total Score of 3 Water: No strategies observed. Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: Large interactive displays and signage are placed on route to and in the viewing area of the polar bear exhibit. The discussion about climate change focuses on the impacts to the arctic habitat of the polar bears. Children are encouraged to leap from one artificial ice flow to another to experience the challenge polar bears face with increased distances between flows in the arctic. These strategies 133


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

all attempt to develop empathy in the zoo visitor about issues related to climate change. Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage in animal exhibit viewing areas maps threatened habitat and provides information about types of human activity that have caused the habitat loss. This gives visitors the opportunity to develop an understanding of the ways in which human behavior is threatening the habitat of the species they are viewing.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

134

Species Status: Illustrative signage in animal exhibit viewing areas charts species status in conjunction with the mapping of threatened habitat. This is accompanied by information about types of human activities that are threatening the existence of the species the visitor is viewing. Community: Total Score of 0 Water: No strategies observed. Native Plants: No strategies observed.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

Climate Change: No strategies observed.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

Habitat Loss: No strategies observed.

Species Status: No strategies observed.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Visible: Total Score of 3 Water: No strategies observed. Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

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Climate Change: Illustrative signage, flip panels, and interactive displays show the relationship of human activities, climate change, and impacts on arctic habitat. A large scale line graph shows the changes in CO2 levels in earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s atmosphere from the year 1150 to present and shows projections to the year 2030. This is in conjunction with images of human activity such as industry and automobile use.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage maps threatened habitat areas and describes some of the human activities that have caused the habitat to be threatened.

Ocean Health:No strategies observed.

Species Status: Illustrative signage charts species status in conjunction with mapping habitat areas, and describing types of human activity that are threatening species survival.

Precaution: Total Score of 3

Water: No strategies observed.

Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Local Food: No strategies observed.

Energy: No strategies observed.

138

Climate Change: Large scale illustrated signage discusses the unintended consequences of massive fossil fuel consumption and encourages visitors to practice stewardship behavior to minimize future climate change issues. Habitat Loss: Illustrated signage discusses unintended threats to wildlife habitat from human activity and encourages visitors to consider the repercussions of their choices and behavior on habitat Ocean Health: No strategies observed. Species Status: Illustrated signage encourages visitors to consider how human activities can inadvertently threaten species survival by reducing, fragmenting, or changing wildlife habitats.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Systems Thinking: Total Score of 5

Water: An art installation and illustrated signage encourages visitors to think about water conservation in the context of the needs of wildlife and plants.

Native Plants: No strategies observed. Waste & Recycling: No strategies observed. Materials: No strategies observed.

Local Food: No strategies observed. Energy: Illustrated signage encourages visitors to think about their fossil fuel consumption in the context of climate change, impacts on arctic habitat, and projected CO2 levels if individuals donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change their consumption levels.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Climate Change: Illustrative signage and interactive displays encourage visitors to think about climate change in terms of individual fossil fuel consumption and the impacts to arctic habitat. Zoo visitors are also encouraged to consider how their individual fossil fuel consumption contributes to atmospheric CO2 levels now and in the future. Habitat Loss: Illustrative signage relates human activities to habitat loss and the survival of specific animal species.

Ocean Health: No strategies observed.

140

Species Status: Illustrative signage relates threatened and endangered species status to human activities that negatively impact wildlife habitat.


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

San Diego Zoo Evaluation Summary At San Diego Zoo, the environmental issues that scored the highest in terms of applying strategies that address the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy are the global issues climate change, habitat loss, and species status. For these issues, strategies were observed that address four of the five practices. The practice not observed for these issues is Community. The local environmental issues scored poorly with only the issues of water and energy having an observable practice in place. Both of these local issues have a score of one with the only observable practice being Systems (Figure 37). Overall, the global environmental issues at San Diego zoo scored consistently higher than the local environmental issues For the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy, the highest scoring practice ,in terms of number of environmental issues with observed strategies that address these practices, is Systems with a score of five. This is followed by the practices Empathy, Visible, and Precaution with a score of three and Community with a score of zero (Figure 38).

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

San Diego Zoo Number of Environmental Issues The Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Are Applied To

Empathy Community Visible Precaution Systems

1

2

3

4

5

Figure 38 San Diego Zoo: Instances of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices

142

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8

9

10


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Summary of the Assessment of Audit Results Against the Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy The application of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy to the ten environmental issues and actions included in the audit for each of the four zoos visited is summarized here to reveal strengths and weaknesses in the application of the practices to specific environmental issues and actions across zoos (Figure 39). The global issues of Habitat Loss and Species Status are the only issues included in the audit which all four zoos apply some of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy to. The practices of Empathy, Visible, and Systems are applied to both of these issues at all four zoos. In addition, the practice of Precaution is applied to the issue of Habitat Loss by all four zoos. The issue of Climate Change also has some consistency with three of the four zoos applying the practices of Empathy, Visible, Precaution, and Systems to this issue. None of the zoos apply any of the practices of teaching ecoliteracy to the issues of Waste & Recycling, Materials, and Ocean Health. Results across the remaining issues are scattered with no definite strengths or weaknesses emerging. In general, the application of the five practices to the global issues of Climate Change, Habitat Loss, and Species Status is more successful than of the other issues included in the audit. This may be due to the longer history of zoos providing education about conservation related issues such as Habitat Loss and Species Status. Climate Change has more recently gained attention as a major environmental issue and three of the four zoos visited identify this issue as the biggest threat to wildlife habitat, which may explain why this issue also receives more attention than the others.

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Number of the Four Zoos Visited that Apply the Five Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy to the Ten Environmental Issues and Actions Water

2

2

2

2

3

Native Plants

2

2

2

0

2

Waste & Recycling

0

0

0

0

0

Materials

0

0

0

0

0

Energy

1 0

1 1

2 2

0 1

0 1

Climate Change

3

2

3

3

3

Habitat Loss

4

2

4

4

4

Ocean Health

0

0

0

0

0

Species Status

4

3

4

1

4

Empathy

Community

Visible

Precaution

Systems

Local Food

Figure 39 Summary of the Application of the Five Practices to the Ten Environmental Issues Across Zoos

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Findings in Ecoliteracy Practice Across Zoos The results of the evaluation for the application of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy to the ten environmental issues included in the zoo evaluation audit for each of the individual zoos are compared across zoos by practice to identify common weaknesses and strengths in the rate of application of the five practices. A rank order of the practices according to the total number of applications to the ten environmental issues per practice across zoos is used to identify which practices, in order, are most and least commonly used. To determine the rank order, a score is assigned to each practice based on the total number of applications to the ten environmental issues across zoos. The total possible score for each practice is forty; a score of forty would indicate that a particular practice was applied to all ten environmental issues at each of the four zoos. The rank order assesses the relative application of the practices against each other. A percentage is also assigned to each practice based on the total score achieved out of the total possible score for that practice. The percentage is used to evaluate the individual success rate of application for each practice. Recommendations for areas of improvement are based on this practice by practice comparison across the four zoos evaluated. The assessment of each practice and the recommendations for areas of improvement are discussed according the rank order of the five practices across the four zoos

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Rank Order of The Five Practices Across Zoos:

Visible: total score = 18; 45% success rate of application

Systems: total score = 17; 42.5% success rate of application

Empathy: total score = 16; 40% success rate of application Community: total score = 11; 27.5% success rate of application Precaution: total score =11; 27.5% success rate of application

146


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

Individual Assessments of the Application of the Five Practices Across Zoos Visible: Make the invisible visible: This makes the range of effects of human behavior on other people and the environment apparent. Visible Score Across Zoos Total Score = 18 Woodland Park Point Defiance Oregon San Diego

1 Figure 40 Visible Score Across Zoos

2

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5

6

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10 147


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

The Practice of making the invisible visible is the most implemented of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy at the four zoos visited. The most common method of achieving this is the use of illustrated signage with maps, graphs, diagrams, and images of animals and habitats. Other methods include demonstration installations and making practices visible, such as the use of solar panels or the installation of green roofs and rain gardens. While making the invisible visible is the most implemented practice at the zoos visited, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall success rate of implementation is only 45%. This means there are still many opportunities to make the concepts associated with the environmental issues included in the zoo evaluation audit more visible to zoo visitors. For the global environmental issues included in the zoo evaluation audit, the four zoos visited have a success rate of implementation of 50% -75% for the practice of making the invisible visible. Woodland Park Zoo has a success rate of 50%, and the remaining three zoos have a success rate of 75%. All of the zoos visited make the effects of human activity on habitat loss and species status visible to the zoo visitor, and these issues are typically presented together. With the exception of Woodland Park Zoo, all of the zoos present the concepts associated with climate change in conjunction with habitat loss and species status in at least one of their exhibit areas. The arctic exhibit areas are the most common exhibit type used to present issues of climate change. None of the zoos visited have strategies in place to make concepts associated with ocean health visible to the zoo visitor. The makes ocean health the global issues with the most unrealized opportunities to apply the practice of making the invisible visible. 148


Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

For the local environmental issues included in the audit, the four zoos visited typically have a lower success rate of implementation for making the invisible visible than they do for the global issues. The San Diego Zoo has the lowest success rate at 0%, and Woodland Park Zoo has the highest at 66.6%. Point Defiance Zoo and Oregon Zoo are both in the lower end of the spectrum with a success rate of 16.6% for Point Defiance Zoo and 33.3% for Oregon Zoo. While there are many opportunities to improve the application of making the invisible visible for all of the local environmental issues, the issues of waste & recycling and materials both have a success rate of 0% across all four zoos. The local issues water, native plants, and local food fared much better overall, but the application of the practice of making the invisible visible is still spotty across the four zoos. The practice of making the invisible visible is an important part of establishing the relationship between the local and global issues included in the zoo evaluation audit. The concepts associated with the local issues need to be made visible before a connection can be made between these issues and the global issues. Making the connection between the local and global issues is a critical first step in giving zoo visitors the opportunity to see the relationship between individual localized stewardship behavior and the global environmental issues that impact the conservation efforts of zoos and other wildlife organizations.

149


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

Systems: Apply systems thinking to understand how nature sustains life: This highlights the relationship of present actions to the quality of life for non-human life and for future generations. Systems Score Across Zoos Total Score = 17 Woodland Park Point Defiance Oregon San Diego

1 Figure 41 Systems Score Across Zoos

150

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Evaluating Strategies for Teaching Ecoliteracy in Zoos

The practice of applying systems thinking to understanding how nature sustains life is the second most implemented of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy at the four zoos visited. The most common method of implementing this practice is the use of illustrated signage that explains the relationship between human activity and impacts on wildlife or wildlife habitat. In some cases, timeline projections are used to show visitors what the future may hold if certain human activities remain unchanged. This strategy is commonly applied to the discussion of climate change. The overall success rate of implementation for applying systems thinking to understanding how nature sustains life is 42.5%. Similarly to the practice of making the invisible visible, there are many missed opportunities to apply this practice to the environmental issues included in the zoo audit. The application of the practice of applying systems thinking the global environmental issues is identical to the application of making the invisible visible. Woodland Park Zoo has a success rate of implementation of 50% and only applies this practice to the issues of habitat loss and species status. The other three zoos have a success rate of 75 % and apply this practice to the issues of habitat loss, species status, and climate change. The issues of habitat loss and species status are typically addressed in conjunction with one another as this is part of applying systems thinking to these issues. Zoo visitors are given the opportunity to understand species status in relationship to habitat loss and human activity. None of the four zoos apply the practice of systems thinking to the issue of ocean health. This makes ocean health the global issue with the most unrealized opportunities to apply the practice of systems thinking. An excellent opportunity to apply systems thinking to the issues of ocean health would be to include the issue of ocean acidification in the 151


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discussion of climate change, global warming, and high levels of atmospheric CO2 caused by the mass consumption of fossil fuels. For the local environmental issues included in the audit, the success rate of implementation for applying systems thinking is significantly lower than it is for the global issues. Point Defiance Zoo has the lowest rate of implementation at 0%. Woodland Park Zoo, Oregon Zoo, and San Diego Zoo all have a success rate of 33.3%. These three zoos all apply strategies for implementing systems thinking for the local issue water, and both Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon Zoo apply strategies for this practice to the issue native plants. None of the four zoos have strategies in place for applying the practice of systems thinking to the issues waste & recycling or materials. The practice of applying systems thinking to understanding how nature sustains life is essential to understanding the implications of human actions that negatively impact nature. This practice could easily be applied in conjunction with the practice of making the invisible visible to all of the local environmental issues included in the zoo evaluation audit. Zoo visitors need to understand the web of relationships between human activity, environmental health, and the quality of life for other species in order to grasp ways in which individual localized stewardship behavior can improve the future health of future generations and other species in both urban and natural environments.

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Empathy: Develop empathy for all forms of life: This emphasizes a view that acknowledges humans as being part of the web of life as opposed to separate from it. Empathy Score Across Zoos Total Score = 16 Woodland Park Point Defiance Oregon San Diego

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Figure 42 Empathy Score Across Zoos

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The practice of developing empathy for all forms of life is the third most implemented of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy at the four zoos visited. The most common method of implementing this practice is by placing illustrated signage in animal exhibit viewing areas that explains the negative impacts human activity has on the habitat and species status of a particular animal. Another method is to place illustrated signage in demonstration installation areas, such as native plant gardens, geared toward eliciting behavior change in zoo visitors. Images of species that are positively impacted by the changed behavior are included on the signage. This method is typically applied to concepts associated with native plants and water conservation. Interactive play exhibits are also used to help children empathize with the life habits of particular species and to understand the relationship between healthy habitats and species survival. The overall success rate of implementation for the practice of developing empathy for all forms life is 40%. Zoos have the potential to provide many opportunities for zoo visitors of all ages to develop empathy for all forms of life, and the application of this practice to the environmental issues included in the audit has much room for improvement across all four zoos visited. For the global environmental issues in included in the audit, the success rate of implementation is the same as it is for the practices of making the invisible visible and for applying systems thinking. Woodland Park Zoo has a success rate of 50% and only applies the practice of developing empathy to the global issues habitat loss and species status. San Diego Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, and Oregon Zoo all have a success rate of 75% and apply the practice of developing empathy to habitat loss, species status, and climate change. None of the four zoos visited apply the practice of developing 154


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empathy to ocean health. For the zoos that provide signage or displays about climate change in their arctic exhibit areas the discussion of ocean health could easily be included as part of the discussion about impacts of climate change on habitat health. Another opportunity to apply the practice of developing empathy to the issue of ocean health would be to place information about ocean health in the exhibits that house coastal species. For the local environmental issues, the success rate of implementation for the practice of developing empathy is lower than it is for the global issues. Both San Diego Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo have a success rate of 0% for application of this practice to local issues. Woodland Park Zoo has a relatively high rate of success at 50%, and Oregon Zoo has a success rate of 33.3%. For these two zoos, the practice of developing empathy is consistently applied to the local issues water and native plants. The practice of developing empathy for all living things is critical to motivating zoo visitors to engage in stewardship behavior. Awareness by itself of the negative impacts of human activity on habitat health, species viability, and future generations is not enough to motivate individuals to engage in stewardship behavior. Development of empathy for all living things creates motivation out of an appreciation and concern for the well-being of other species and other people. The experience of viewing other species in exhibits designed to reflect the speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; native habitat can evoke delight and awe in zoo visitors and help to forge an emotional connection with that species. 155


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Community: Embrace sustainability as a community practice: This makes apparent how thinking and acting cooperatively within a community can strengthen the health of the whole system. Community Score Across Zoos Total Score = 11 Woodland Park Point Defiance Oregon San Diego

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Figure 43 Community Score Across Zoos

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The practice of embracing sustainability as a community practice comes in fourth, along with the practice of precaution, and at 27.5% has a significantly lower success rate of implementation than the practices of empathy, systems, and visible. The most common method of implementing this practice is to provide signage with information for zoo visitors about organizations, community groups, and programs that they can become involved with to engage in stewardship behavior as a community practice. Another method is for the zoo to lead by example and demonstrate that they are part of community that supports the health of the environment. This is accomplished by practicing the stewardship behaviors that they suggest to zoo visitors. Woodland Park Zoo provides the best example of this by installing visible solar panels throughout the zoo, assuring that their vendors sell only locally sourced food, supporting green building practices with new facilities, and engaging in water conservation practices. Woodland Park Zoo is an exception compared to the other zoos visited in terms of implementing this practice. The overall success rate of 27.5% across the four zoos shows that there are many missed opportunities to apply this practice to the environmental issues included in the zoo audit. For the global environmental issues, the success rate of implementation is varied across zoos and ranges from 0% to 50%. San Diego Zoo has the lowest success rate at 0% followed by Oregon Zoo at 25%. Both Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo have a success rate of 50%. With the exception of San Diego Zoo, all of the zoos have strategies in place which highlight the role of community practice for the global issues species status. Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo also implement this practice for the global issues habitat health. None of the four zoos have 157


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strategies in place which highlight the role of community for the global issues climate change or ocean health. For the local environmental issues included in the audit, the rate of success of implementation for the practice of sustainability as a community practice is mixed, with some of the zoos doing better on the local issues and some doing worse. San Diego Zoo still has a success rate of 0%. Point Defiance also has a success rate of 0% for this practice as applied to local issues. Oregon Zoo has a success rate of 33.3% and Woodland Park Zoo is the highest with a rate of 66.6%. While the success rates of implementation of this practice for local issues are scattered, Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon zoo both have strategies in place that highlight the role of community for the local issues water and native plants. Overall, there is a lot of room for improvement for applying this practice to all of the local issues. The practice of sustainability as a community practice engages the social aspects of working together and learning from others, it also emphasizes that the actions of the individual are magnified through the collective power of the community. Engaging sustainability as a community practice can increase access to resources that reduce barriers to individual stewardship behavior. In this way, it helps to facilitate an individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to engage in stewardship behavior. Providing information and examples to zoo visitors of sustainability as a community practice is an important aspect of teaching ecoliteracy that should not be overlooked in the zoo landscape. 158


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Precaution: Exercise precaution and anticipate unintended consequences: This emphasizes the importance of predicting the potential implications of human behavior, and the acceptance that it is not possible to foresee all implications. Precaution Score Across Zoos Total Score = 11 Woodland Park Point Defiance Oregon San Diego

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Figure 44 Precaution Score Across Zoos

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The practice of exercising precaution and anticipating unintended consequences achieves the same score as the practice of embracing sustainability as a community practice, but the distribution of the score across the zoos is different. Illustrated signage and displays are the primary methods used to encourage zoo visitors to practice precautionary thinking and to consider ways that their behavior may have unintended consequences on wildlife habitat both remote and near. The practice of precautionary thinking is typically presented in the context of consumer choices and the use of common residential chemicals that may enter the waterways through stormwater runoff or ground filtration. The overall success rate of application for this practice is 27.5%. This indicates that there are many missed opportunities to apply this practice across both local and global issues at all four zoos visited. For the global issues included in the zoo audit, the success rate of application for the practice of exercising precaution ranges from 25% to 75% across zoos. Woodland Park Zoo has the lowest success rate at 25%. Point Defiance Zoo and Oregon Zoo both have success rates of 50%, and San Diego has a success rate of 75%. All four zoos apply this practice to the global issue habitat loss, and all of the zoos except Woodland Park apply this practice to the global issue climate change. For the three zoos that apply this practice to both of these global issues, the practice of exercising precautionary thinking related to climate change is typically in conjunction with habitat loss. However, the application of this practice to habitat loss is not always in conjunction with climate change. San Diego Zoo in the only zoo visited that applies this practice to the global issue species status, and this is typically in conjunction with habitat loss. None of the zoos visited apply this practice to the global 160


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issue ocean health. For this practice, like the others, the application of the practice to the issue ocean health could be part of the discussion about climate change. The practice of precautionary thinking about ocean health could also be addressed through the discussion of the unintended consequences of uninformed consumer choices related to seafood purchases. For the local environmental issues, the success rate of application for this practice is fairly low and ranges from 0% to 33.3%. Both San Diego Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo have a success rate of 0%. Oregon Zoo has a success rate of 16.6%, and Woodland Park Zoo has the highest success rate at 33.3%. For the two zoos with strategies in place that apply the practice of precautionary thinking to local environmental issues, both apply the practice to the local issue water. Woodland Park Zoo also applies the practice to the local issue energy. Local environmental issues not addressed by this practice at all of the zoos include waste & recycling, native plants, materials, and local food. This shows that there are many opportunities at all four zoos to apply the practice of precautionary thinking to the local environmental issues included in the zoo audit. The practice of precautionary thinking and anticipating unintended consequences is closely related to systems thinking. The simple acknowledgement that even the basic choices made in everyday life may have unintended and far-reaching consequences that impact other living beings now and in the future is a recognition of the intricate web of relationships within living systems. Precautionary thinking and decision making is a way of practicing the concept of systems thinking. The practice of systems thinking is the second most implemented of the five practices of teaching 161


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ecoliteracy at the four zoos visited. The closely related nature of precautionary thinking and systems thinking creates an opportunity for all four zoos to increase the success rate of implementation for the practice of precautionary thinking by incorporating this practice into the strategies they already have in place for the practice of systems thinking. Conclusions Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks investigates the zoological park setting as a pedagogical landscape for communicating the relationship between individual stewardship behavior and environmental issues across local and global scales to zoo visitors. The process of this investigation generates a transferable framework for evaluating ways that landscape design can facilitate environmental education and foster stewardship behavior through the incorporation of the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy into the design process. The landscape is defined by both ecological and social systems, and design practices that are intended to support sustainable living need to address both of these systems. The five practices of teaching ecoliteracy provide a framework for evaluating ways that design can address social systems by supporting and influencing stewardship behavior. Different practices of teaching ecoliteracy may be more applicable in some landscape systems than others. For example, the practices of fostering empathy, making the invisible visible, and practicing systems thinking have a higher success rate of application in the zoological park setting 162


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then the practices of sustainability as a community practice, and exercising precautionary thinking. The zoological park setting has specific opportunities that are not found in other designed landscape settings such as the wide range of exhibit areas that provided places to learn about animal species and habitats from around the world. This creates unique opportunities to develop empathy for all living things and to highlight the impact of human behavior on remote habitats, thus making the invisible visible and practicing systems thinking. Other designed landscape settings such as school gardens or community gardens may have more opportunities to apply the practice of teaching sustainability as a community practice. Streetscapes and urban plazas create unique opportunities for revealing the processes of the urban stormwater system, and naturalized recreation areas have unique opportunities for education about regional ecosystems and the impacts of urban development. Both of these scenarios have potential for the application of the practices of precautionary thinking, systems thinking, and making the invisible visible. All landscapes undoubtedly have unique opportunities for applying the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy, and some will have better opportunities for applying specific practices than others. The most important concept that emerges from this study is that by using an evaluative framework that assesses opportunities for communicating the relationship of individual stewardship action to environmental issues across local and global scales as part of the landscape design process, landscape designers can better address the social systems that define the landscape as well as the ecological systems in support of sustainable living practices. 163


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Recommendations for Future Study This study establishes what methods are currently being used to address the ten environmental issues included in the zoo evaluation audit at four west coast zoos for the purpose of teaching ecoliteracy and fostering stewardship behavior in zoo visitors. The evaluation of these methods against the five practices of teaching ecoliteracy determines which of the five practices could be better applied to each of the ten environmental issues. This study does not address the effectiveness of the methods used to apply the five practices to these environmental issues. The five practices of teaching ecoliteracy and the ten environmental issues included in this study establish a set of design criteria for teaching ecoliteracy and fostering stewardship behavior in the landscape. These criteria do not prescribe a specific design solution, but they do provide a framework for landscape designers to respond to. The primary method for applying the five practices to the ten environmental issues at each of the zoos is illustrative signage. Other methods include demonstration installations, interpretive paths, and interactive play-based exhibits. The effectiveness of these different methods in teaching ecoliteracy and fostering stewardship behavior remains unknown. Observations made during the on-site evaluation of the four west coast zoos indicate that zoo visitors have a tendency to ignore the illustrative signage placed throughout the zoo. Information dense signage in animal exhibit viewing areas and along circulation paths takes time to read through. Observations of adult visitors who are at the zoo with children indicate that they are more likely to be engaged with the children 164


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in viewing the animals than in reading through the signage placed in these areas. Interactive playbased exhibits are popular for the children and may provide better opportunities for teaching ecoliteracy and fostering stewardship behavior than signage placed in exhibit areas. Further study is needed on the effectiveness of these different methods. One way to obtain more information on the effectiveness of these different methods is for zoos to provide entry and exit surveys to zoo visitors that assesses their knowledge on specific environmental issues and actions when they enter the zoo and again when they leave. The results of the survey would then need to be compared against an inventory of which methods are used to educate on which environmental issues and actions within the zoo. This would begin to reveal which methods are more effective relative to each other. In addition, further study is needed on the spatial arrangement of the different methods for applying the five practices to the ten environmental issues within the zoo and relative to the exhibit areas. Observations made during the on-site evaluations of the four zoos indicate that informational signage and displays are often placed at the back of the viewing area. Visitors observing the animals typically have their backs toward the illustrative signage and displays. In addition, signage and displays were frequently in poorly lit areas and were not legible from a distance. The quality and location of the methods used to teach ecoliteracy and foster stewardship is an important part of the design solution. The quality and location of the methods should be included in the inventory of which methods are used to educate on which environmental issues. 165


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Works Cited

Works Cited Chapter 1 Churchman, D. The educational role of zoos: A synthesis of the literature (1928-1987) with Annotated bibliography. (ERIC ED#289742). 1987. Dierking, Lynn, Kim Burtnyk, Kirsten Buchner, and John Falk. Visitor Learning in Zoos and Aquariums. Annapolis: Institute for Learning Innovation. 2002. Fraser, J. and J. Sickler. “Measuring the Cultural Impact of Zoos and Aquariums.” International Zoo Yearbook. 43 (2009): 103-112. Fraser, John and Dan Wharton. “The Future of Zoos: A New Model for Cultural Institutions.” Curator. 50 no 1 (2007): 41-54. Sommer, Robert. “What do we learn at the zoo?” Natural Hisory.81 (1972):26-29. The Ocean Project. “America, the Ocean, and Climate Change: New Research Insights for Conservation, Awareness, and Action.” The Ocean Project. 2009. 167


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Zimmerman, Alexandra, ed. Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation?. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Chapter 2 Croke, Vicki. The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos: past, present, and Future. New York: Scribner, 1997. Hancocks, David. A Different Nature: The Paradoxical World of Zoos and Their Uncertain Future. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. Hanson, Elizabeth. Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. Hyson, Jeffrey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jungles of Eden: The Design of American Zoos.â&#x20AC;? Environmentalism in Landscape Architecture. Ed. Michel Conan. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 2000. Kisling, Vernon Jr. , ed. Zoo and Aquarium History: Ancient Animal Collections to Zoological Gardens. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2001.

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Schaul, Jordan. “A Critical Look at the Future of Zoos—An Interview with David Hancock.” National Geographic. <http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com>, 2012. Chapter 3 Bennet, Lisa & Zenobia Barlow. Ecoliterate: How Educators are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2012. Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books Inc. 1983. Goleman, Daniel. Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy.

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Figures 1. Bronx Opening Flyer, 1899. <http://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/zoos/bronx-zoo > 2. Comp. Plan Cover, 1979. <www.historylink.org > 3. Sustainability Program, 2013, Denver Zoo. < www.denverzoo.org > 4. Polar Bar Exhibit National Zoo, Washington D.C. 1920’s. < http://blogs.weta.org/ boundarystones/tags/national-zoo > 5. “Bear Pits” Philadelphia Zoological Garden, steel engraving, 1876. < http://commons.wikimedia. org/wiki/File:Bear_Pits_Philadelphia_Zoo.jpg > 6. Bronx Zoo Bison Enclosure, 1902.< http://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/zoos/bronx-zoo > 7. Tierpark Postcard Image, 1929. < http://static1.akpool.de/images/cards/61/613547.jpg > 8. Article about the Denver Bear and Monkey Exhibit, 1912 < http://www.denverzoo.org/about/ history.html > 9. Lowland Gorilla Exhibit Woodland Park Zoo, 1979. < http://designingzoos.com/2008/07/10/a- quick-lesson-in-zoo-design-history/ > 10. Lowland Gorilla Exhibit Woodland Park Zoo, 2009. < www.zoo.org > 11. Ocean Project Report, 2009. <www.theoceanproject.org> 12. Nature Play, 2013. <http://watchauser.com> 13. Solar Walkway at the Toledo Zoo, 2012. < : http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/media/ images/toledo-zoo > 14. Sample Zoological Park Evaluation Sheet 170


Figures

15. Sample of Revised Zoological Park Evaluation Sheet 16. On-site Evaluation Summary 17. On-site & Website Evaluation Summary 18. Local Environmental Issue Water 19. Local Environmental Issue Native Plants 20. Local Environmental Issue Waste & Recycling 21. Local Environmental Issue Materials 22. Local Environmental Issue Local Food 23. Local Environmental Issue Energy 24. Global Environmental Issue Climate Change 25. Global Environmental Issue Habitat Loss 26. Global Environmental Issue Ocean Health 27. Global Environmental Issue Species Status 28. Comparison of Website & On-site Evaluation Results at Woodland Park Zoo 29. Comparison of Website & On-site Evaluation Results at Oregon Zoo 30. Questions from Zoo/Design Firm Questionnaire 31. Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Applied to Environmental Issues at Woodland Park Zoo 32. Woodland Park Zoo: Instances of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices 33. Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Applied to Environmental Issues at Point Defiance Zoo 34. Point Defiance Zoo: Instances of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices 171


Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks

35. Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Applied to Environmental Issues at Oregon Zoo 36. Oregon Zoo: Instances of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices 37. Practices of Teaching Ecoliteracy Applied to Environmental Issues at San Diego Zoo 38. San Diego Zoo: Instance of Observed Ecoliteracy Practices 39. Summary of the Application of the Five Practices to the Ten Environmental Issues Across Zoos 40. Visible Score Across Zoos 41. Systems Score Across Zoos 42. Empathy Score Across Zoos 43. Community Score Across Zoos 44. Precaution Score Across Zoos

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Designing for Ecoliteracy in 21st Century Zoological Parks