UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture

UNH Department of Resource Economics and Development

UNH Department of Natural Resources


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.

2000 Workshop Participants

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

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