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Natural history of the Quarry Trail

Genevieve Espinoza, Megan Michael, and Shayla Williamson

Class project for Conservation Biology, BIO 345, spring 2006

Genevieve Espinoza at the beginning of the Quarry
Trail. Each of the points along the Quarry Trail were
numbered and temporarily marked with orange pylons.

We tested the effectiveness of an interpretive trail guide in promoting environmental education at the nature park. Our sample consisted of 98 introductory biology students at DePauw University. Our study investigated the impact of environmental education with the interpretive trail guides as a tool for changing student attitudes toward nature. Conservation biology and human impacts were highlighted in the trail guides and selection of the points of interest along the quarry guide. We designated 11 points along the quarry trail. Our trail guide incorporated aspects of the quarry trail that were relevant to conservation biology and significant historically. Pre and post-surveys, containing 10 identical knowledge assessment questions that can be answered by the use of the trail guide were distributed among the students participating in our study. We divided the groups by half, where half of the students in each class were given trail guides and the other half were asked to visit the nature park without the trail guide. After a week, we administered post-surveys to the students. The students with the trail guides scored higher on the post-survey than the students without the trail guides. The students with the trail guides also felt that they learned more about the quarry trail.

Click here to download:
Genevieve Espinoza's report (microsoft word; 0.1 MB)
Genevieve Espinoza's presentation (powerpoint; 17.2 MB
Interpretive guide for the Quarry Trail (microsoft word, 0.8 MB)

Shayla Williamson, one of the team members, at
station #11 along the Quarry Trail. This station describes
the invasion of Phragmites, a nonnative grass, in the quarry bottom.