The Development of Ecological Literacy Among Novice Outdoor Leaders


  • Matthew W. Hartman Northern Arizona University
  • Bruce Martin Ohio University
  • Robin D. Mittelstaedt Ohio University
  • David Bower Ohio University


ecological literacy, environmental education, Leave No Trace, outdoor leadership, self-efficacy


Professional outdoor leaders play a central role in educating the publicto use outdoor recreation areas in an environmentally responsiblemanner. Yet little research exists regarding the preparation of outdoorleaders to fulfill this role. To help fill this void in the literature, thisstudy examined the development of several elements of ecological literacyamong novice outdoor leaders, specifically, knowledge of environmentalimpacts resulting from outdoor recreation activities, asense of self-efficacy in mitigating these impacts through education,and intended continued involvement in the field of outdoor leadership.The sample consisted of participants in courses offered by theWilderness Education Association (WEA) May through October 2007.Results showed statistically significant increases in knowledge ofLeave No Trace (LNT) principles and self-efficacy in teaching environmentalethics. However, results showed a decrease in intention topursue further development in outdoor leadership.



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