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Gallagher, Ann [1].

Plant Basics; Missing the Fundamentals.

Working with non-science students while living among business and law professionals it becomes readily apparent the basic elements of science are missing from daily life. Issues range from those of general concern to specific choices on a small scale. The most basic misunderstandings lead to personal decisions replace shrubs and trees with grasses in areas that should be forested, and trying to grow trees in grasslands. When consequences of ignorance can be global and actions on a small scale can make an impact, how do scientists reach this audience? The Union of Concerned Scientist suggests mastering a few techniques, such as sound bites,permitting journalists to carry the message. Waiting until media representatives take an interest may prove limiting in time and scope. Likewise, strengthening science education would require waiting for children to grow up before benefits are realized. Taking messages directly to our communities could remind community members of the fundamentals.
Armed with years of experience teaching earth science and biology to non-science, non-traditional college students I am generating materials to cross the divide between botanists and citizens. With a library of tested presentation materials scientists can readily address local issues with readily understandable presentations. Submitting one set of such materials, in the form of a powerpoint Trees; the How and the Why of Their Work, I propose discussion of the results from a community presentation occurring on March 1, 2013. The presentation will invite hundreds of residents from several neighborhood associations to understand why some people are concerned by removal of canopy trees. Specific topics within the presentation include: structure and function (oxygen generation and water uptake), growth (carbon fixing, drip line, root zone), and indirect benefits (wind buffer, soil structure, stormwater runoff). Addressing the points that succeeded and those that were not able to reach the audience, discussion participants will be asked to consider methods to improve materials and topics to increase respect and consideration for plant contributions to environmental stability.

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1 - Catholic University of America, Metropolitan School of Professional Studies, 620 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC, 20064, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Discussion Session
Session: D1
Location: Cambridge/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: D1001
Abstract ID:21
Candidate for Awards:None

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