Earth Expeditions is a global education and conservation program offering graduate courses worldwide. The program was created by Project Dragonfly at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Earth Expeditions courses also count toward a master's degree in global leadership, education, and environmental stewardship through the Global Field Program (GFP).
Brief history and courses
The "Earth Expeditions" program began in 2003 as a global education and conservation initiative from Miami University. Earth Expeditions graduate courses can be used toward a Master of Arts in Teaching in the Biological Sciences or a Master of Arts in Biology from Miami. Example Earth Expeditions graduate courses:
- Amazon: Avian & Tropical Ecology
- Australia: Great Barrier Reef
- Baja: Field Methods
- Belize: Approaches to Environmental Stewardship
- Borneo: Primate Conservation
- Galápagos: Islands of Change
- Guyana: Local Wisdom & Conservation
- Hawai'i: Saving Species
- India: Species, Deities & Communities
- Kenya: Wildlife & People in Integrated Landscapes
- Mongolia: Steppe Ecology & Civic Media
- Namibia: Great Cat Conservation
- Paraguay: Eco-Leadership
- Thailand: Conservation and Buddhism
The mission of Earth Expeditions is to build an alliance of people with direct knowledge of inquiry-driven, community-based learning for the benefit of ecological communities, student achievement, and global understanding. The image of people who merely transmit and receive knowledge from books is of limited usefulness in an era of rapid social, environmental and technological change. This program envisions each person as an ambassador who creates and transmits knowledge and who promotes authentic dialogue at all levels of society, inspiring others to do the same. With the adoption of participatory models of education, schools become centers of investigation, students engage more deeply in their studies, and communities achieve higher levels of self-determination.
Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, Project Dragonfly has reached millions of children, parents and educators through science learning media, exhibits, and graduate programs. The project began in 1994 with the creation of the award-winning Dragonfly magazine, the first national magazine to feature the investigations and discoveries of children. Created in 1994 at Miami University, Dragonfly magazine was funded by NSF and published by the National Science Teachers Association. Through mid-2000, the magazine published young investigators alongside such adult researchers as Dr. Jane Goodall.
Project Dragonfly pioneered the "Real Kids, Real Science" approach to learning and continues to work for inquiry-driven reform to increase public involvement in science and global understanding. In addition to Earth Expeditions, Project Dragonfly worked with TPT Public Television to launch the Emmy-Award winning PBS children's television series DragonflyTV, which led to the 2010 launch of the spinoff series SciGirls, both produced by TPT Public Television. Project Dragonfly also oversees two national exhibit projects: Wild Research and iSaveSpecies, which are creating public research stations at zoos and aquariums nationwide to engage families in science inquiry and conservation action. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has called Dragonfly "A true innovation and a model of what active learning should be."
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden opened in 1875 and is the second oldest zoo in the nation. This national historical landmark hosts more than 500 animal species and 3,000 plant species. More than 1.2 million people visit the Cincinnati Zoo annually. A non-profit entity, the zoo is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of plants and animals in danger and engages in research and conservation projects around the world.
- Myers et al.
Myers, C., Myers, L.B., & Hudson, R. (2009) Science is not a spectator sport: Three principles from 15 years of Project Dragonfly. In R. Yager (Ed.), Inquiry: The key to exemplary science (pp. 29–40. Arlington, Virginia: NSTA Press.