Author (Your Name)

Jenna Morrison, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Environmental Studies Program


F. Russell Cole

Second Advisor

Karen A. Barnhardt


An environmental awareness survey was designed to assess the influences of gender and grade level on the relationships among outdoor experience, environmental knowledge, and environmental behavior at Waterville Junior High School, Waterville, ME. Environmental awareness indicates a fundamental understanding of the natural world, which is essential for developing future sustainable development. The foundation and acquisition of environmental knowledge of Waterville Junior High School students was determined using the multiple-choice survey. A total of 125 sixth graders and 136 eighth graders were surveyed. 61% of sixth graders and 73% of eighth graders indicated that their most common source of environmental information was school, television, and outdoor activities. While only 55% of adult Americans can pass a similar environmental knowledge test, 22% of sixth graders and 46% of eighth graders answered more that half the environmental knowledge questions correctly. A positive correlation was found among outdoor experience, environmental concern and pro-environmental behavior.


Nature study, Environmental responsibility -- Study and teaching (Middle school), Environmental education, Ecology -- Study and teaching (Middle school), Middle school students -- United States -- Attitudes, Middle school students -- Maine -- Waterville -- Attitudes