Abstract Detail


Lovell, Scott [1], Tate, Erin [2], Miller-Struttmann, Nicole [3].

Does participation in backyard conservation programs change environmental identity and pro environmental behavior?

Collaborations with community scientists are well-suited to deepening our understanding of the best conservation practices while simultaneously empowering landowners to implement those practices. Despite the demonstrated benefits to ecological research, the effects of participating in community science programs on conservation-related beliefs and behaviors are less well understood. The Shutterbee program is a Citizen Science Project aiming to conserve bee populations in urban environments with the help of many participants in the Saint Louis region. Participants documented diversity of bees and floral plants in their own urban environments through biweekly surveys. To quantify each person's engagement in pro-environmental behaviors before and after participation, participants’ Environmental Identity was retrospectively quantified through a series of questions written by Susan Clayton and separated into four major categories by Pablo Olivos and Juan-Ignacio Aragonés (Environmental Identity, Enjoying Nature, Appreciation of Nature, and Environmentalism). In addition, participants were surveyed on their conservation behaviors, including mowing frequency, and tested whether EID scores predicted that behavior. In 2020, there were 81 Shutterbee participants that completed the survey. Environmental Identity of the participants increased following participation in the Shutterbee Program, despite high initial EID scores. Mowing frequency was predicted by EID score (particularly by the Environmental Identity subcategory), and that relationship was stronger after participation in the program. Neither ‘Enjoying Nature’ nor ‘Appreciation of Nature’ categories presented any significance in predicting mowing. However, stronger significance does reaffirm environmental identity and behavior within those participants that chose to be a part of projects like Shutterbee. Citizen science programs may attract individuals with higher-than-average EID scores, creating a low ceiling effect with little room for growth. In the future, connecting with a more diverse subset of individuals from different areas in the Saint Louis region could lead to more discoveries and results.

Related Links:
Shutterbee Website

1 - Webster University, Biology, 470 Lockwood Ave, Saint Louis, MO, 63119, USE
2 - Saint Louis Zoo, 1 Government Dr, Saint Louis, MO, 63110, USA
3 - Webster University, 470 Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63119, United States

Environmental Identity
Pro Environmental Behavior.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEC035
Abstract ID:213
Candidate for Awards:None

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