Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Environmental Education and Conservation


Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education


College of Education


Patterson, F. Gary


Environmental education; Wetland ecology


Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this project was to develop an environmental education course to be offered to students in grades 4-6 at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. The course was designed to teach coastal wetlands ecology through the visual arts to supplement and enrich the current environmental education program offered by the Institute. Although the course is designed specifically for use at the Institute, the activities can be adapted to a similar wetland site and used in part by a resourceful teacher to suit the needs of students of any age or level.

The course format consists of a series of six hands-on, interdisciplinary activities focusing on the coastal wetlands and what makes this ecosystem so important. The activities should prove useful to teachers seeking to integrate the visual arts into an environmental education curriculum and are designed to be used individually or as an entire unit. Each activity focuses on a different ecological concept and art method.

For activity development the author did extensive research on recent environmental education programs utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to teach wetland ecology. For background data in the development of the visual art components of the project, the author consulted with art educators and referred to several books on art techniques and art education.

it is expected that the understanding gained through the implementation of this course will foster a sense of caring and responsibility towards this valuable ecosystem. This will enable the student to be a more informed, responsible, and active citizen in defense of the environment.