USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Parks, rhetoric and environmental education: challenges and opportunities for enhancing ecoliteracy

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Rebecca Johns

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Adult environment literacy in the USA remains disturbingly low, despite the urgency of environmental problems. In the face of federal attack on many of the gains made in the last half a century to protect and sustain natural resources and human health, increasing understanding of complex ecological processes and the human role in environmental change is crucial. Non-formal environmental education in the USA for adults is less regulated and less studied that environmental education for children. Preserves are the most common place in which adults encounter nature and may be exposed to new ideas about the environment. This study conducts a rhetorical analysis of education programs at local preserves in southwest Florida to determine approaches utilized in promoting environmental literacy. Using rhetorical criticism, we identify the dominant levels of environmental literacy targeted by the sample parks through an analysis of audiences and messages. We also identify opportunities and barriers to an increased role for preserves in providing education to the public that advances environmental literacy.


Springer Nature