Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Major Professor

Frank W. Woods

Committee Members

Kerry F. Schell, Thomas H. Ripley


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the feasibility of using the Cowan Creek drainage in Scott County, Tennessee, as the site for an environmental education center, and to propose specific facilities and program outlines to be implemented should the site prove acceptable. The site analysis was used in the development of center purposes, in the format of the teaching program, and in the design of the facilities. An examination of the Cowan Creek location was conducted using United States Geologic Survey Maps, by constructing and analyzing three-dimensional contour maps, and by exploring the area on foot. Using National Audubon Society criteria as a guide, it was determined that the site was suitable for the purpose of environmental education. Subse-quent trips were made to the area to compile species lists, to define instructional areas, to analyze construction locations, and to obtain the history of the drainage area via personal interviews. Following site analysis, sample program outlines were devised and designed specifically for a Cowan Creek environmental center. Each major subject was organized according to student age divisions. Example lesson plans were developed for grades 1-3, 4-6, and junior-senior high school students. Facilities for center living were designed, including dormitories, a teaching and administration building, and a maintenance building. Also considered were special educational features, roads, and utilities. Estimated costs for construction and outfitting, operational expenses, and costs for an individual site user were compiled.

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