Evaluating the Effectiveness of Conservation Evaluation

Conservation education is an area of increasing emphasis and priority in state wildlife agencies throughout the United States. Where programs involve elementary and secondary school students and teachers, there are a set of responsibilities and expectations coming from that education community which in turn affect the state wildlife agencies. In addition, under any ground rules, state wildlife agencies have their own goals, and want to be able to assess their effectiveness in accomplishing those goals. This paper addresses a few of the major ways in which the effectiveness of school-oriented conservation education programs offered by state wildlife agencies can be measured. These suggestions are not comprehensive; they are simply examples of respected, credible, and useful approaches which can be used. For sake of example, methods for evaluation employed with Project WILD will be used as illustrations.

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