Date of Award

December 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Committee Member

Robert B Powell

Committee Member

Robert Baldwin

Committee Member

Elizabeth D Baldwin


This study was conducted in the Congaree Biosphere Reserve (CBR), a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve (BR), and is geographically situated at the nexus of conservation, sustainable development and Environmental Education (EE). We conducted semi-scripted interviews with providers of EE programs and administrators of middle schools in combination with Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis in a case study approach to elicit any barriers and facilitators to participation in EE field trips that exist in this specific context. We find that curriculum constraints, time, matters of human capacity, and access to finance and transportation present as barriers and are often interlinked. We find that access to EE Field Trips is disproportionately allocated to students in private education and urban settings and that poor, minority, underperforming and Language Other Than English (LOTE) students face additional hurdles to access in some cases. We suggest a range of solutions to these problems and recommend a systematic biosphere wide approach in addition to ongoing research to fully comprehend the scope and mechanisms that reduce participation in EE Field Trips amongst minority and rural students in the CBR.



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