In 2002, a British study discovered that the average eight-year-old was better able to identify characters from the Japanese card trading game Pokémon than native species in the community where they lived: Pikachu, Metapod, and Wigglytuff were names more familiar to them than otter, beetle, and oak tree. (Balmfold, Clegg, Coulson and Taylor, 2002).
How likely do you think someone is to protect what they don’t know? Probably not very likely and so one of the major goals of environmental education is environmental literacy, which can be defined as knowledge of the components and interactions of the natural world and consequent behavior of affinity, responsibility, and care for this world.
To see how environmentally literate you are, test yourself on the following questions. Ways to look up the answers to check yourself are in parentheses after each question. Rogue Valley citizens, if you want the answers, click here (password is envlit).
- When you turn on your faucet, where does the water come from? (http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/habitats/riverslakes/placesweprotect/where-does-your-water-come-from.xml)
- What soil series are you standing on? (http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/drupal/node/902)
- What are the major geological events that shaped your bioregion? (google your state and “geologic history”)
- From where you are sitting, point north. (you can look at a map, use a compass, or GPS)
- Name five (each) resident birds, trees, mammals, and reptiles/amphibians. (google your state Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Foresty, etc)
- Name an endangered species in your bioregion. (http://www.fws.gov/endangered/)