Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Birds serve as an excellent group of organisms from which to introduce the study of ecology, being of inherent aesthetic interest to many otherwise uninterested in science, and are also ubiquitous in the immediate environment of many students. By extension, images of birds might serve as a valuable resource for the ecology educator, and bird artists – as a subset of ecologists - might provide useful models for expertise in ecology. This study examines the potential contributions of bird artists and bird art to education in ecology at the high school and college level. Eight contemporary bird artists were interviewed in depth to provide a multiple case study for the development of expertise in field ornithology as a subspecialty of ecology. Forty narrative bird paintings and forty sets of plates from popular field guides to birds were analyzed for their potential classroom use. Twenty-five ecological concepts were identified within the sample of bird art examined, all of which are recommended for inclusion in the ecology curriculum. Additionally, images of birds were found to have considerable potential for illustrating and teaching the history and nature of science.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

James Wandersee



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Education Commons