For Immediate Release

Contact:Deborah Gilleran

Georgian Court Receives EPA Environmental Education Grant

Lakewood, N.J., Mar. 5, 2007Georgian Court University faculty members Louise Wootton, associate professor of biology, and Claire Gallagher, associate professor of education, have received a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Education Grant in the amount of $10,600. Their application, entitled “Teaching about the Real Space Invaders: A Standards-based Integrated Curriculum Unit that Raises Awareness of Exotic Invasive Species in America’s Ecosystems,” was initially submitted in early 2005.

The grant will allow Georgian Court faculty and students to build an integrated curriculum unit to help middle school teachers relate to their students the importance of protecting the environment from invasive species through creation of an integrated curriculum that includes written materials as well as links to additional material available free of charge through Georgian Court’s Web site. The program will also include “learning trunks” that will be available for loan to middle school teachers, and which will contain all of the materials necessary to complete the curriculum unit’s suggested activities. Dr. Wootton says that numerous studies have demonstrated that teaching using integrated curricula results in greater intellectual curiosity, improved attitude toward schooling and enhanced problem-solving skills.

“Invasive species were recently listed as one of the most important hazards to New Jersey’s natural habitats,” says Dr. Wootton. “Yet, while most people have some appreciation for the role of pollutants and overdevelopment on the natural environments around them, many have little or no appreciation for the damaging effects of invasive species.”

Dr. Wootton expects that this will be the first of many such integrated learning units that the university will create. This, she says, will relieve the burden on area teachers to create such units themselves, and allow them more access to standards-based, integrated curricula, providing more opportunities for hands-on learning experiences.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge and at Coastal Communiversity in Wall and Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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