Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Burger, Leslie M.

Committee Member

Hunt, Kevin M.

Committee Member

Peterson, Donna J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Environmental education (EE) is important for environmental awareness and stewardship. Involving youth and adults in EE ensures current and future generations will conserve natural resources. This thesis explores impacts of delivery methods on participants’ environmental attitudes and behaviors toward nature through middle school classroom- and camp-based EE instruction, focus group interviews with rural minority youth, and adult responses to aquatic conservation outreach messaging. I observed no difference in environmental attitudes between online versus in-person delivery of EE lessons for middle-schoolers. Outdoor-based learning may be more impactful for EE than experiential, classroom-based learning. Focus group outcomes suggested youth EE programs should capitalize on exploratory learning that allows for independence and safety from wildlife and community violence. Arkansas anglers who reside near aquatic invasive species (AIS) are more aware of Clean, Drain, Dry (CDD) messaging despite all anglers’ likeliness to perform pro-environmental behaviors. Consistent, targeted CDD messaging could help minimize AIS spread.