Collaborative Research: Embedding Public Engagement with Science at Long-Term Ecological Research Sites

August 1st, 2017 - July 31st, 2020 | PROJECT

As part of its overall strategy to enhance learning in informal environments, the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants. This project will embed public engagement with science (PES) into the cultures and practices of two Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites: the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire and the Harvard Forest in Massachusetts. The goals are 1) to build knowledge about the mutual learning between scientists and adult stakeholders in face-to-face engagement setting and 2) to develop evidence-based practices in the content of place-based ecosystem research. This is a collaborative project of 3 universities (Michigan State University, Harvard, and CUNY) and the two LTERs. Two primary research questions guide this work. First, how willing are participating scientists to take part in PES? What are their attitudes and beliefs about whether engagement can be effective and whether they have the necessary skills? Second, how willing are participating scientists to build relationships with stakeholders using normed tactics? Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to collect evidence including semi-structured interviews and surveys. A general set of hypothesis include that there will be positive changes in LTER scientists willingness to participate in PES, attitudes, and efficacy beliefs.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products
Poster - Embedding Public Engagement into Long Term Ecological Research: Insights from Hubbard Brook and Harvard Forest
Research–Practice Partnerships for Public Engagement with Science
Embedding Public Engagement with Science at Long-term Ecological Research Sites Year 3 Final Evaluation Report
Developing Evidence-Informed Science Engagement Programs with the ECO Framework
2021 Poster - Embedding Public Engagement with Science at Long Term Ecological Research Sites
Boundary spanners and thinking partners: adapting and expanding the research-practice partnership literature for public engagement with science (PES)

Team Members

John Besley, Principal Investigator, Michigan State University
Sarah Garlick, Principal Investigator, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation
Peter Groffman, Principal Investigator, CUNY - Advanced Science Research Center
Pamela Templer, Principal Investigator, Boston University
Kathleen Lambert, Principal Investigator, Harvard University


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1713197
Funding Amount: $169,830.00

Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1713204
Funding Amount: $591,637.00

Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1713219
Funding Amount: $49,450.00

Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1713222
Funding Amount: $68,993.00

Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1713307
Funding Amount: $344,407.00


Audience: Adults | Evaluators | Learning Researchers | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions | Projects
Environment Type: Park | Outdoor | Garden Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Public Programs | Resource Centers and Networks

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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