You may wonder how this EcoTypes site works! Here is some information, and below are recent updates:
- The site once resided on Lewis & Clark’s Digital Scholarship (DS) multisite, a WordPress-based initiative for which Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies Program played a key role. It now resides on jimproctor.us, Prof. Jim Proctor’s domain.
- Site functionality and display have been enhanced via Toolset-based custom post types, Beaver Builder-based templates, and other WordPress plugins.
- The EcoTypes survey, and survey charts displayed on this site, are done via secure, customized Google Forms and Google Sheets.
- Related references are managed via a Zotero group library, and dynamically inserted on EcoTypes axis and other pages on this site.
- There is some capitalization that deviates from standard usage. In general, each axis or theme is capitalized (e.g., Aesthetics or Place) to denote its use on the EcoTypes site.
- The front page image, and background image on the EcoTypes axis and main theme pages, are based on publicly-available Ansel Adams photographs, including “The Tetons and the Snake River” (1942), and “McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park” (1942). (And thanks to Jenn Bernstein for the idea.)
Here are the main updates you’ll see on the site for the 2018-19 academic year, many following input I received via EcoTypes sessions at the June 2018 AESS Meeting in Washington, D.C.
- The FAQ and Step by Step guide have been improved, to give your students better background and guidance. And a new Instructor Tips page gives recommendations based on how much time you can devote to EcoTypes in your class.
- We have added new axes on Diversity and Ecosystems, providing opportunities for students to reflect on and discuss these important dimensions (and bringing our total number to fifteen axes). Diversity and Ecosystem axis statements have been included as of the 2018-19 survey.
- EcoTypes themes explore patterns between the EcoTypes axes; think of them as the overarching discussions/debates at work here. Theme resources have been entirely redone, based on data results from the 2017-18 survey, and presented in multiple ways (see items under Themes > Finding Patterns) for your students to grasp how we work empirically with ideas.
- The 2018-19 EcoTypes survey brought back the grid-group cultural theory items used during 2016-17, as it has been widely deployed to understand values surrounding environmental issues, and ended up differentiating students better than the derived cultural cognition items we used during 2017-18.
- One abiding challenge of EcoTypes is that many students are concrete thinkers, and ideas are, well, abstractions. So, an important resource I’ve launched is a set of six environmental topics that apply EcoTypes axes and themes to concrete, popular environmental issues. One innovative ingredient of each is a Take Sides section that presents three positions as a basis for student debate! Here are how the topics connect with EcoTypes axes and themes.
- Some of you know that I’ve collaborated with others on a recent environmental engagement manifesto. I’ve expanded and clarified the engagement resources as another way your students can consider practical applications of EcoTypes…and will undoubtedly continue to build upon these resources in future, given how much good work continues to emerge (see e.g. the new When Ideas Differ page).