Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Messemer, Jonathan

Subject Headings

Adult education -- United States, Civics -- Study and teaching -- United States, Citizenship -- Study and teaching -- United States, Non-formal education -- United States -- Case studies, Outdoor education -- United States -- Case studies, Civic science literacy, Nonformal education, Outdoor education, Adult education, Experiential learning, Citizen science, Nonformal outdoor adult education


America's adult populace has failed to keep pace with the rapid inundation of science-centric advancements affecting nearly every facet of personal and public life. With deficiencies in areas of science knowledge, America's adult populace is characterized as civic science illiterate. This research constructed and employed the renewed citizen science paradigm, incorporating nonformal outdoor adult education and enhanced experiential learning while maintaining the basic tenet of citizen science, towards elevating the civic science literacy of adults who volunteered to conduct scientific research towards answering important research questions posed by a science research agency. With 67 volunteers, 23 adults were purposively selected on the basis of their complete participation throughout the program. Data was collected through a concurrent mixed methods design, and both quantitatively, self-report surveys (n=23), and qualitatively, mixed method interviews (n=10), analyzed. The results demonstrate that the renewed citizen science paradigm statistically significantly elevated the science vocabulary knowledge (p<0.001) and science process understanding (p<0.001) of participating adults while collecting over 30,000 pieces of scientific data in conducting research for an outside agency. Additionally, the research communicates how marked elevations in civic science literacy catalyzed volunteers to participate and assert their new civic science literacy in personal, social, and political forums, having taken ownership of

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