Indications of environmental literacy: using a new survey instrument to measure awareness, knowledge, and attitudes of university-aged students
The role of environmental education has received enough attention with applied environmental literacy research completed at the level of elementary and secondary schools curricula, as well as assessments on adults' environmental literacy at state, national, and even international levels. However, few studies have focused on university-level assessments as means for increasing people's environmental knowledge. The reported research examines the levels of environmental knowledge and attitudes of Iowa State University (ISU) undergraduate and graduate students registered for the 2007 spring semester. A new survey instrument was developed specifically for this study, accounting for local (Midwestern) and global environmental issues. Students were found to have a "moderate" level of environmental literacy. The results suggested correlations between environmental knowledge and attitudes and students' demographic characteristics such as age, gender, college, student status, childhood environment, and outdoor activities practiced as a child.