Amanda E Sorensen

Amanda E Sorensen
Michigan State University | MSU · Department of Community Sustainability

Phd

About

34
Publications
9,109
Reads
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327
Citations
Education
September 2012 - May 2017
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Field of study
  • Human Ecology: in Program of Ecology and Evolution
September 2008 - May 2012
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Field of study
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources & Psychology

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
Stakeholder engagement and participation is often an essential ingredient for successful environmental conservation and management. Including stakeholders in participatory environmental research has been an increasingly recognized necessity for understanding the complex nature of social–ecological systems (SES). The public is also essential to help...
Article
Full-text available
Interest in citizen science is growing among both scientists and community groups who are interested in creating natural resource management projects. Such projects have the potential to result in social learning, which can further reinforce resource stewardship. Data to study this learning process, however, remain scant. Using transcripts from fou...
Article
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In STEM learning focused on science literacy, socioscientific issues instruction is often proposed as a way to bolster students’ civic engagement, however few studies in science education have explicitly examined this connection. We define civic engagement as the work of influencing legitimately public matters using means within the existing politi...
Article
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Forests provide valuable ecosystem services to individuals that live near them and visit them. However, many forests, especially in highly developed areas, are specifically managed for resource conservation purposes. A common practice for conservation is restricting access to people to ensure minimal human-driven harm. While the restriction of huma...
Chapter
Citizen science has been broadly defined as the inclusion of non-scientific expert members of the public in the authentic practices and processes of scientific inquiry. In the coming decades, as cities and urbans areas around the world expand, they will continue to face mounting environmental pressure and degradation. For researchers to collect dat...
Article
The article Student representations and conceptions of ecological versus socialsciences in a conservation course, written by Amanda E. Sorensen, Jeffrey Brown, Ashley Alred, Joseph J. Fontaine and Jenny M. Dauer, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on 13 February 2020 with open access.
Article
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There is consensus among scientists that it is important that students understand the nature of science (NOS) and are competent in using primary literature to support understanding of complicated environmental problems. Because environmental issues involve social and ecological complexities, there is a need to create educational frameworks whereby...
Article
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Citizen science (CS) has been an increasingly utilized means by which scientists leverage members of the public to increase the amount of data collected and analyzed. However, the underrepresentation of individuals from certain socio-cultural groups can have consequences that can manifest in the scientific outcomes of those CS projects such as bias...
Article
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Environmental restoration projects are widely used as a means to reverse the degradation and damage done to an ecosystem by a range of different disturbances. Literature shows that engaging the public in restoration projects is important to long-term suc- cess; therefore, it is important to understand who participates in stewardship of these projec...
Article
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Take Back the Block is a community beautification and citizen science program established for West Baltimore, Maryland (MD) residents. Citizen science, given its focus on data gathering, provides an ideal context to integrate adaptive management while encouraging locally based stewardship through civic ecology practices. The goal of this research i...
Article
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In this short communication, we present data that suggests messages that incorporate identity frames can be an asset in engagement and support for greenspace development.
Article
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Opportunities for people to interact with nature have declined over the past century, as many now live in urban areas and spend much of their time indoors. Conservation attitudes and behaviors largely depend on experiences with nature, and this "extinction of experience" (EOE) is a threat to biodiversity conservation. In this paper, we propose that...
Chapter
In west Baltimore, Maryland, USA, disinvestment in housing and infrastructure has left an ecological legacy of mosquito infestation, along with many other social and environmental hazards. Ecological sampling techniques and resident narratives together tell a rich story about how racist housing and planning policies led to landscapes dominated by a...
Article
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In this article, we argue that engagement with authentic science is a means to mediate trust and motivation in those who are learning about climate change. To illustrate the argument, we provide a curricular example that focuses on authentic climate science data. We conclude with an example of how researchers from multiple disciplines can use model...
Article
Full-text available
2018. How do we ensure the future of our discipline is vibrant? Student reflections on careers and culture of ecology. Ecosphere 9(2): Abstract. Ecology must attract and retain diverse talented people to produce innovative research and relevant solutions to 21st-century environmental problems. Careers and culture form the foundation of scientific a...
Article
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Emergence of invasive vector species and the diseases they carry present a clear danger to the public as well as a challenge for scientists and experts to control effectively. Given the urgent need to address this phenomenon, we suggest that desired public action toward these invasive vectors can be motivated through intentional framing in science...
Article
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In this paper, we share our findings from a 2-year citizen science program called Mosquito Stoppers. This pest-oriented citizen science project is part of a larger coupled natural-human systems project seeking to understand the fundamental drivers of mosquito population density and spatial variability in potential exposure to mosquito-borne pathoge...
Article
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In response to recent educational imperatives in the United States, modeling and systems thinking have been identified as being critical for science learning. In this paper, we investigate models in the classroom from two important perspectives: (1) from the teacher perspective to understand how teachers perceive models and use models in the classr...
Article
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The cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi are an excellent model group with which to study adaptive radiation and speciation; due to the vast number of individual species, large variation in feeding adaptations and behaviours, and relatively recent divergence are found. Males of many cichlid species will obtain and defend lek-like territories, where they c...
Article
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Citizen science has generated a growing interest among scientists and community groups, and citizen science programs have been created specifically for conservation. We examined collaborative science, a highly interactive form of citizen science, which we developed within a theoretically informed framework. In this essay, we focused on 2 aspects of...
Article
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Urban green spaces have long been studied in terms of their impact on human and environmental health and well-being. We collected and analyzed preliminary survey data for central New Jersey municipalities relating to participants’ perceptions of public green spaces, quality, and usage and relating these factors to environmental knowledge and litera...
Article
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The American public’s environmental, scientific, and civic literacies are generally low. While environmental science courses often recognize the human dimensions of environmental problems and solutions, they typically treat such phenomena as matters of opinion and rarely engage with social scientific ways of knowing. Recently, there has been a push...
Article
Citizen science has generated a growing interest among scientists and community groups; creating projects specifically designed for conservation. In this essay, we discuss Collaborative Science, a highly interactive citizen science program, which was developed within a theoretically informed framework. We focus this essay on two aspects of our prog...
Article
Full-text available
Public greenspaces provide an opportunity for community members to engage with the outdoors. In many locations, however, parks are under used. In an effort to gauge the potential for outdoor interaction and ecosystem education, we conducted a survey of residents from a central New Jersey, USA, county. Our correlation analysis indicated that park us...
Article
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Effective communication of science to the general public is important for numerous reasons, including support for policy, funding, informed public decision making, among others. Prior research has found that scientists participating in public policy and public communication must frame their communication efforts in order to connect with audiences....
Article
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Carotenoids are suspected to be honest indicators of health and adaptation for some cichlid species. In this study, male and female Metriaclima zebra cichlid fishes were fed a specialized diet of carotenoids, and their phenotypic expression and behavioral changes were measured. The effect of carotenoids on female-male mate choice behavioral interac...
Article
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Citizen science programs are useful tools for collecting important environmental science data. To ensure data quality, however, it must be shown that data collected by volunteers can produce reliable results. We engaged 143 volunteers over four years to map and estimate abundance of invasive plants in New York and New Jersey parklands. We found tha...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Project
Environmental and ecological restoration projects are used widely as a means in which to reverse the degradation and damage done to an ecosystem by human activity (Jackson et al. 1995). While the effects on the ecosystem have been widely evaluated (Benayas et al. 2009), there has been little work done to investigate the social impact on the communities these projects take place in, particularly in urban communities. This project investigates the role of the communities in restoration, building upon a current ecological restoration maritime planting experiment in the Jamaica Bay region of New York City. Particularly, we were interested in the role of individual identity, perceptions of restored areas, and environmental identity on community motivations to contribute to restoration projects and valuation of the environment