Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

First Advisor

James T. Colbert


Many biological scientists agree that our planet is experiencing a loss of biological diversity, and the available data provide support for the conclusion that the Earth may be facing a sixth mass extinction event. It is essential that the people of the world understand the threats that we face as a result of the loss of biodiversity. An important place to improve understanding is in our secondary school classrooms, as tomorrow’s conservation-minded citizens are today’s students. Before we can reach out to the students with this information, it is important to understand the current state of biodiversity education in secondary school biology classrooms. To do this, an anonymous survey was created and administered to Iowa secondary school biology teachers. The survey included a number of questions designed to examine and understand teacher approaches, knowledge, and attitudes regarding biodiversity.

The responses of 92 secondary school biology teachers were analyzed using SPSS statistics software. The data revealed that Iowa teachers have similar, positive, attitudes towards teaching biological diversity, but they are not approaching the topic in a consistent way. The respondents scored a mean of 74% on the biodiversity knowledge section of the survey. There was a significant difference in knowledge of biodiversity between middle school and high school teachers. Considering the global significance of the topic of biodiversity, it is vital that we strive to continue, and improve, biodiversity education.


Copyright Owner

Krystal Rachelle Wikstrom



File Format


File Size

47 pages