Rebecca C Jordan

Rebecca C Jordan
Michigan State University | MSU · Community Sustainability

PhD

About

225
Publications
52,987
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
4,986
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2004 - present
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2001 - June 2003
Princeton University
Position
  • Science and Technology Council Post-doctoral Associate

Publications

Publications (225)
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
In environmental participatory modeling (PM), both computer and non-computer-based modeling techniques are used to aid participatory problem description, solution, and decision-making actions in environmental contexts. Although many PM case studies have been published, few efforts have sought to systematically describe and understand dominant PM pr...
Article
Recently, theoreticians have hypothesized that diverse groups, as opposed to groups that are homogeneous, may have relative merits [S. E. Page, The Diversity Bonus (2019)]-all of which lead to more success in solving complex problems. As such, understanding complex, intertwined environmental and social issues may benefit from the integration of div...
Article
This study examines how middle school students develop an increasingly coherent understanding of aquatic ecosystems. As part of a broader design research study that used Structure‐Behavior‐Function (SBF) theory as an organizing conceptual representation, we created two instructional units that focused on pond and aquarium environments. We coded and...
Article
Full-text available
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
Incorporating relevant stakeholder input into conservation decision making is fundamentally challenging yet critical for understanding both the status of, and human pressures on, natural resources. Collective intelligence (CI ), defined as the ability of a group to accomplish difficult tasks more effectively than individuals, is a growing area of i...
Article
Environmental educators in both formal and informal settings work to develop students’ environmental literacy, with the goal of developing adult citizens who care about the environment and are knowledgeable and prepared to engage in behaviours to address environmental issues. Yet little attention has been paid to educator environmental literacy. He...
Presentation
Full-text available
Eutrophication is an important socio-scientific issue, and an example of a complex phenomenon that many future biologists will encounter. Multiple university courses teach eutrophication in a variety of disciplines (e.g., biology, geology). However, students struggle with emergent phenomena, so educators are challenged to help students reason about...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the measurement and outcomes of a novel teacher environmental literacy assessment. The Teacher Environmental Literacy Assessment (TELA) uses a contextual view of environmental literacy, and includes measures of Knowledge, Self-efficacy, Environmental Identity, Behavior, Issue Identification, and Strategy Selection. A sample of...
Article
Full-text available
Systems thinking (ST) skills are often the foundation of sustainability science curricula. Though ST skill sets are used as a basic approach to reasoning about complex environmental problems, there are gaps in our understanding regarding the best ways to promote and assess ST learning in classrooms. Since ST learning provides Science, Technology, E...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Participatory Modeling (PM) is becoming increasingly common in environmental planning and conservation, due in part to advances in cyberinfrastructure as well as to greater recognition of the importance of engaging a diverse array of stakeholders in decision making. We provide lessons learned, based on over 200 years of the authors’ cumulative and...
Article
Full-text available
Responses from Central New Jersey residents (n = 290) to nine survey items about pro-environmental behaviors were analyzed for their connection to survey respondents’ local built and natural landscape characteristics. These nine survey items were of interest due to their clustering in three groups in earlier dimension reduction analysis. Nine logis...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Preprint
Females of a widespread species of the rock‐dwelling haplochromine cichlids of Lake Malawi, Maylandia zebra, show preference for males that successfully evict intruding males from their territory. This behaviour, experimentally induced by the investigators in a laboratory setting, was also preferred over males that were not permitted to interact wi...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Spending time outside is beneficial to individuals in many ways. Since landscapes may be manipulated through policy mechanisms, planners and other land stewards may desire to know how they can manipulate landscapes to encourage greater park use. Our study used a questionnaire to measure multiple dimensions of park usage by suburban and urban reside...
Article
Full-text available
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
Various tools and methods are used in participatory modelling, at different stages of the process and for different purposes. The diversity of tools and methods can create challenges for stakeholders and modelers when selecting the ones most appropriate for their projects. We offer a systematic overview, assessment, and categorization of methods to...
Article
Full-text available
Participatory modeling engages the implicit and explicit knowledge of stakeholders to create formalized and shared representations of reality and has evolved into a field of study as well as a practice. Participatory modeling researchers and practitioners who focus specifically on environmental resources met at the National Socio-Environmental Synt...
Article
Full-text available
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
In this study, we examine the nature of scientific discourse among participants enrolled in two citizen science projects as they engage in collaborative modeling and problem solving. Specifically, we explore the nature of their conversation as they use, the Mental Modeler, an online collaborative modeling tool to facilitate science engagement, syst...
Article
Full-text available
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
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
Including stakeholders in environmental model building and analysis is an increasingly popular approach to understanding ecological change. This is because stakeholders often hold valuable knowledge about socio-environmental dynamics and collaborative forms of modeling produce important boundary objects used to collectively reason about environment...
Article
Full-text available
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
The climate literacy movement aspires to help members of the general public understand the global climate system, locate and assess scientifically credible climatic information, communicate about climate change in an educated and objective manner, and make informed and responsible decisions in response to climate-change impacts. When these goals ar...
Article
Full-text available
Social, ecological, and climatic factors interact creating a heterogeneous matrix that determines the spatiotemporal distribution of mosquitoes and human risks of exposure to the diseases they transmit. We explore linkages between the social and institutional processes behind residential abandonment, urban ecology, and the interactions of socio-eco...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Preprint
Student attrition from colleges in the United States is a widespread phenomenon, posing real stresses to students, their families, and to universities. We examined the causes of poor academic performance in students' first semester through interviews and questionnaires and administered a small intervention course to freshmen on academic probation t...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we share results from a classroom intervention that used a conceptual representation to support reasoning about ecosystems. Engaging students in modeling allows them to make their ideas visible while being malleable and available for discussion, which enables students to make meaning out of systems. Further, the Components-Mechanisms...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
This study examines to what extent students transferred their knowledge from a familiar aquatic ecosystem to an unfamiliar rainforest ecosystem after participating in a technology-rich inquiry curriculum. We coded students’ drawings for components of important ecosystems concepts at pre and post test. Our analysis examined the extent to which each...
Book
This volume brings together, in a central text, chapters written by leading scholars working at the intersection of modeling, the natural and social sciences, and public participation. This book presents the current state of knowledge regarding the theory and practice of engaging stakeholders in environmental modeling for decision-making, and inclu...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
While scientific and environmental literacy is said to be low amongst Americans, there are little data regarding the public's ability to think critically about environmental data. Many grade school science teachers aim to increase their students' capacity to use scientific and environmental information outside of the classroom, but fulfilling these...
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
Full-text available
There is a growing interest in the use of fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) as a participatory method for understanding social-ecological systems (SESs). In recent years, FCM has been used in a diverse set of contexts ranging from fisheries management to agricultural development, in an effort to generate transparent graphical models of complex systems...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Student attrition from colleges in the United States is a widespread phenomenon, posing real stresses to students, their families, and to universities. We examined the causes of poor academic performance in students' first semester through interviews and questionnaires and administered a small intervention course to freshmen on academic probation t...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Citizen science has generated enthusiasm among environmental and conservation biologists. Although citizen science–generated data have enabled a number of research questions to be addressed, there is a growing interest in studying the process and outcomes of citizen science. The unifying focus of research on citizen science is the discovery of the...
Article
Full-text available
Orchestrating inquiry‐based science learning in the classroom is a complex undertaking. It requires fitting the culture of the classroom with the teacher's teaching and inquiry practices. To understand the interactions between these variables in relation to student learning, we conducted an investigation in two different classroom settings to under...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding ecosystems is challenging, but important for becoming environmentally-literate citizens of today's society. People have difficulty considering how different components, mechanisms, and phenomena, both visible and invisible, are interconnected within ecosystems. This research presents both the design and initial testing of an innovativ...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although model-based reasoning is often at the center of environmental science and management, the process of constructing, refining and empirically validating scientific models is not often made explicit to participants in many citizen science programs. The lack of attention that modeling receives in citizen science programs is likely attributable...
Article
A primary goal of instruction is to prepare learners to transfer their knowledge and skills to new contexts, but how far this transfer goes is an open question. In the research reported here, we seek to explain a case of transfer through examining the processes by which a conceptual representation used to reason about complex systems was transferre...