Last year, the Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Skidmore College began a voluntary research project in coordination with Global Leadership Adventures at its Costa Rica: Protecting the Pacific™ program site. The professor is currently in the process of analyzing the data collected, as a result of students completing 10 surveys that describe “the extent of their pro-environmental behavior changes during and after participation” in our local partner’s Ocean Guardian action alert campaign
Basically, the action alerts ask students to take 3 actions each month, and then at the end of the month they tell us how it went, and the extent to which their participation in GLA’s Protecting the Pacific™ influenced their desire to take pro-environmental action/behaviors.”
Here are three early, but key findings from his initial research, according to the professor:
1. Interviews with influential members of the community “showed a high degree of community support and social and environmental benefit from the GLA student engagement, and a willingness to work with GLA in the future.”
2. Nearly 1 in 5 “students surprisingly had attended 1, 2 and even 3 GLA programs. During interviews they described their newfound dedication to taking pro-environmental behavior change, increased rates of volunteerism, and environmental and social issues awareness after participation with GLA.”
3. For the majority of the students involved, “this was their 1st foray into volunteering abroad, and their 1st trip with GLA. The vast majority want to attend another GLA trip and showed an increase in their concern for the quantity of environmental issues they are now concerned about in Costa Rica, in the oceans, and for which they are willing to stay involved in when they return to their home countries (at post interview they could name at least 2x as many more issues that during pre-test).”
There will be more data and findings to come, but we consider this a great start!