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Building Environmental Literacy through Participation in GIS and Multimedia Assisted Field Research

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Journal of Geography Volume 101, Number 1, ISSN 0022-1341


A Learning Support System (LSS) that emphasizes experiential research in natural environments using the cutting-edge technologies of GIS and multimedia has been developed for teaching environmental literacy to undergraduate students at the University of Georgia. Computers are used as cognitive tools to create a context in which students become interns in an ecological research center. Students are instructed to conduct research in the form of two field laboratories (the stream and forest laboratories). They accomplish their tasks by collecting data in the field (the State Botanical Garden of Georgia near the campus). They enter the data in the Learning Support System (LSS), and are guided to formulate hypotheses relating to stream water quality and human impact on forest succession for testing. Students also interact with the Environmental Research Support Site (ERSS) within the LSS for explanations to their findings. A specially customized Arc View GIS program within the LSS provides a tool to students for spatial analysis in the case of the forest laboratory. Students and faculty evaluations as well as final examination results confirmed the receptiveness of students to the LSS approach and its effectiveness in the learning of environmental literacy.


Lo, C.P., Affolter, J.M. & Reeves, T.C. (2002). Building Environmental Literacy through Participation in GIS and Multimedia Assisted Field Research. Journal of Geography, 101(1), 10-19. Retrieved August 17, 2022 from .

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Cited By

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  • Interactive Multimedia Environment (IME): Introductory programming education

    Christos Basdekidis, General Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Greece; Zacharias Manousaridis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Technology, Greece; Dimitrios Chatzopoulos, General Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Greece

    EdMedia + Innovate Learning 2007 (Jun 25, 2007) pp. 1436–1443

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