UNH Helping Secondary School Teachers Incorporate Environmental Issues into Economics Courses
By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau
DURHAM, N.H. -- Secondary school teachers from throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts are learning to incorporate environmental and resource management issues into their economics courses, thanks to faculty members in the University of New Hampshire's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.
UNH's Department of Resource Economics and Development and the Department of Natural Resources hosted 18 middle and high school teachers at a recent campus workshop. Bruce Lindsay, UNH professor of environmental and resource economics, and Carlo Nattoli, Exeter High School economics and world history teacher, directed the program.
"Economics is a half-year high school course, which traditionally focuses on how a business operates," says Lindsay. "Students learn such concepts as marketing, purchasing and how to make a profit. While this is good, it's somewhat limiting. By educating the teachers, we hope to show students how economic concepts integrate with environmental and resource issues -- like recycling, fishing and land management."
The program focused on such issus as sustainability, land management, forestry economics and waste management. Each area covered relevant economic concepts, activities for student analysis, and references for student reading.
Workshop presenters included Lindsay; John Halstead, UNH professor of resource economics; Douglas Morris, UNH associate professor of resource economics and development; and Ted Howard, UNH associate professor of natural resources.
Patricia Gaudet, who teaches environmental science at Spaulding High School, says the workshop provided her with a unique opportunity to learn how to incorporate economic principles into her science class.
"Students have a hard time looking at the broader picture of some of these issues," says Gaudet. "When you can bring practical examples into the lesson, such as landfills, solid waste and fisheries, the students connect because these are things people in their own communities are dealing with."
Jason Zecha, another workshop participant, says he enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about global sustainability, and hopes to incorporate the material into the global geography and world cultures course he teaches at Merrimack Valley High School.
The Secondary Teachers Learning Workshop received grant support from the N.H. Department of Education, and was additionally sponsored by UNH's Department of Resource Economics and Development and Department of Natural Resources.
Deirdre Barrett, Portsmouth High School
Robert Batchelder, Exeter High School
Ned Bergman, Concord High School
John Carver, Dover High School
Dan Clary, Concord High School
John Clauson, Spaulding High School, Rochester
Terry Dostie, Somersworth High School
Patricia Gaudet, Spaulding High School, Rochester
Rob Huckins, Conant High School, Jaffrey
Kimberly Kelliher, Alton Central School
Susan Manha, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy
Tammi McBath, AmeriCorps VISTA
Norma McGarr, Exeter High School
Denis Mulvihill, Stoneham High School (Massachusetts)
Carlo Nattoli, Exeter High School
Eva Urban, Stratford Public School
Wini Young, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy
Jason A. Zecha, Merrimack Valley High School, Loudon
June 8, 2000