Environmental Education Technique for Demonstrating Ozone Pollution Effects on Vegetation

Open Access
Chrzanowski, Sabrina Leigh
Graduate Program:
Environmental Pollution Control
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 04, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Dennis R Decoteau, Thesis Advisor
  • environmental education
  • ozone pollution
Ozone pollution is a major worldwide environmental issue, which affects economics, human health, and environmental health. The annual economic loss due to ozone pollution effects on vegetation in the United States is $1-2 billion and even greater in other countries around the world. Health problems associated with ozone pollution include coughing, congestion, chest pain, and throat irritation; and the worsening of respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Ozone induced vegetation injuries include, stipple, chlorotic mottle, tipburn, premature defoliation, and reduced crop yields. During the 2007 Pennsylvania ozone season (April-October), a series of photographs, weather and air pollution data were collected at the Air Quality Learning and Demonstration Center located at the Pennsylvania State University Arboretum. This data was then used in the development of a teaching module meant to educate individuals on the topic of ground level ozone pollution effects on vegetation. To test its effectiveness, the module was presented to a group of Penn State Agricultural and Extension Education student teachers. Prior to the presentation the participants took a pre-quiz to test their knowledge on the subject. They were then presented with the module, which includes two power point presentations, a homework assignment, an in class activity, a module overview and a quiz. This presentation was followed by a post-quiz used to retest the participants’ knowledge of the subject. A paired t-test was used for statistical analysis, which demonstrated that there was an increase between the pre and post quiz means (p=0.000, mean pre-quiz=6.63, mean post-quiz=13.06, n=16).