Event Title

Gathering Stakeholders: Education about the Salish Sea Ecosystem for Vancouver's Adult Residents

Presentation Abstract

"Education of the Salish Sea is a big pool of information waiting to be tapped into" (Vancouver environmental adult educator).

Residents of Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada live alongside one of the largest and most biologically diverse inland seas in the world, the Salish Sea. Although a rich variety of marine environmental adult education opportunities are offered in Vancouver, educators have found that attendance is low and programs generally attract repeat participants described as the “already converted”. Overall, there appears to be a disconnect between the capacity for this education in Vancouver and the number of people who currently attend existing programs.

Education about marine ecosystems is critical for residents of coastal urban centres due to the impact that human activities have on the sea and estuarine areas; however, scholarly research in this area is scarce. This qualitative case study explored marine environmental adult education in the densely populated city of Vancouver, BC from the perspective of local stakeholders. An interview was conducted with one contact person from each of the following stakeholder groups: marine adult education planners, marine advocates, local First Nations' peoples, and the City of Vancouver. As well, a small sample of Vancouver residents who represented the curious and beginning adult learner participated in a focus group. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) residents are connected to the Salish Sea but know little about it, (b) greater awareness has benefits for the ecosystem and residents, and (c) programs specifically designed for Vancouver's adult residents could engage citizens in marine environmental education.

This presentation will identify directions for the development of marine environmental programs in Vancouver; suggest participant engagement strategies for both new and existing programs; mention discussion points and areas for further study; and provide an update on plans for a pilot program.

Session Title

Salish Sea Studies: An integrating context for teaching, research, and community engagement

Conference Track

Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Gathering Stakeholders: Education about the Salish Sea Ecosystem for Vancouver's Adult Residents

2016SSEC

"Education of the Salish Sea is a big pool of information waiting to be tapped into" (Vancouver environmental adult educator).

Residents of Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada live alongside one of the largest and most biologically diverse inland seas in the world, the Salish Sea. Although a rich variety of marine environmental adult education opportunities are offered in Vancouver, educators have found that attendance is low and programs generally attract repeat participants described as the “already converted”. Overall, there appears to be a disconnect between the capacity for this education in Vancouver and the number of people who currently attend existing programs.

Education about marine ecosystems is critical for residents of coastal urban centres due to the impact that human activities have on the sea and estuarine areas; however, scholarly research in this area is scarce. This qualitative case study explored marine environmental adult education in the densely populated city of Vancouver, BC from the perspective of local stakeholders. An interview was conducted with one contact person from each of the following stakeholder groups: marine adult education planners, marine advocates, local First Nations' peoples, and the City of Vancouver. As well, a small sample of Vancouver residents who represented the curious and beginning adult learner participated in a focus group. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) residents are connected to the Salish Sea but know little about it, (b) greater awareness has benefits for the ecosystem and residents, and (c) programs specifically designed for Vancouver's adult residents could engage citizens in marine environmental education.

This presentation will identify directions for the development of marine environmental programs in Vancouver; suggest participant engagement strategies for both new and existing programs; mention discussion points and areas for further study; and provide an update on plans for a pilot program.