Changing Public Behavior
Funding and expertise contributing to the development of the Changing Public Behavior online course
Changing Public Behavior: People and the Environment online course
For more information about course development, visit the Water Outreach Web page, About Us, and the Changing Public Behavior Web page, Home page.
For information about the course instructors, visit their course profile.
Resources and findings used throughout the Changing Public Behavior course were developed in cooperation with numerous partners and with support from the United States Department of Agriculture and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. Initial resources and partnership development came about through a multi-year effort, the Water Outreach Education - Facilitating Access to Resources and Best Practices (BEP) project. That project built on a collaborative effort between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES; now known as the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, NIFA) and other public and private clean and safe water partners to:
- Identify Best Education Practices (BEPs).
- Promote the use of BEPs for water-management education.
- Improve access to education resources and strategies.
Content for both the Water Outreach and Changing Public Behavior projects was developed by staff of the University of Wisconsin, Environmental Resources Center (ERC), under the guidance of a project advisory team of natural resource management, outreach, and education professionals from across the country.
The goal of the Water Outreach Education project is to increase public understanding and involvement in community decision-making about water issues through improved education practices and improved access to education resources. Products reflect advice provided by federal agency clean and safe water partners and a national network of water education organizations created and supported by the work of several national organizations over the last decade.
The Changing Public Behavior project tag line, "Increase Citizen Involvement Using Target Audience Information," represents its project goal; that is, to help water resource professionals apply education and social science research in new and creative ways to encourage the public to adopt environmentally-friendly habits. New resources created for the Changing Public Behavior initiative built on findings and resources developed in the Water Outreach Education project.
Changing Public Behavior self-study and online course content, sequence, and materials were pilot-tested in workshops with natural resource professionals and educators in five regions of the country. Participants focused on investigating local interests and conditions when encouraging people to take environmentally appropriate actions in their home, business, organization, or community. Resources created for the Changing Public Behavior project were especially designed to help water professionals understand the needs and habits of specific or target audiences (farmers, homeowners, landowners, etc.) so they can more effectively provide water management techniques and assist in the local environmental decision process.
The National Extension Water Outreach Education web site and resources are based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, CSREES), under Agreement No. 00-51130-9714. Project funds were provided through a competitive process coordinated by the USDA National Program Office for Water Quality.
The Changing Public Behavior Project and resources are based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, CSREES), under Agreement No. 2006-51130-03749. Project funds were provided through a competitive process coordinated by the USDA National Program Office for Water Quality.
Work to develop the USDA eXtension Drinking Water and Human Health interest area was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, CSREES) through the eXtension program, and the University of Wisconsin, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Environmental Resources Center.
Additional Acknowledgements: Web site and course content was created by Elaine Andrews and Kate Reilly, with extensive guidance and review by project partners. Step 4 of the self-guide module was prepared by Micah Morton, University of Wisconsin Department of Anthropology, 2007, with special thanks to: Lorna M. Butler, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology, Iowa State University; Barbara McDonald, Ph.D., Education Specialist, USDA Forest Service; and Theresa Trainor, M.A., Program Analyst, US EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds.