Reaching Underserved Populations through a Fisheries Education Program

Kalysha Clark, Danielle Pender, M. Nils Peterson, Kathryn Stevenson, Danielle Lawson, Rachel Szczytko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Environmentally literate citizens capable of making informed decisions are essential to successfully managed fisheries. Fisheries-focused environmental education programs may help build environmental literacy, but experimental evaluations are needed to determine the effectiveness of fisheries education programs. We begin addressing this need with a study of “Shad in the Classroom.” The program engages students in American Shad Alosa sapidissima restoration through rearing and releasing fry. We used a pre/post, treatment (n = 777)/control (n = 57) evaluation during the 2016–2017 academic year. Participation in the program created large improvements in American Shad knowledge between tests (P < 0.001). All students gained knowledge, but African Americans (P < 0.001) and students identifying as “other” races and ethnicities (P = 0.003) fell behind their peers. Shad in the Classroom is an effective tool for teaching children about fisheries management but, may help ethnic minorities the least, suggesting a need to tailor content for diverse students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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