, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 869–883 | Cite as

Exploring dynamism of cultural ecosystems services through a review of environmental education research

  • Rachelle K. Gould
  • Kimberly Coleman
  • Sonya Buglion Gluck


The field of cultural ecosystem services (CES) explores the non-material benefits that ecosystems provide to people. Human perceptions and valuations change, for many reasons and in many ways; research on CES, however, rarely accounts for this dynamism. In an almost entirely separate academic world, research on environmental education (EE) explores how EE programming affects peoples’ attitudes and values toward the natural world. In this review of 119 EE research publications, we explore whether CES (and the adjacent concept of relational values) can be dynamic. We approach this via two lines of inquiry that explore whether EE may instigate this change. First, we investigate whether the EE community measures (and tries to affect) CES-related outcomes. Second, we ask: Has EE research detected changes in CES-related outcomes? We find the EE programs measure many CES outcomes (e.g., aesthetic appreciation, social connectedness), and that in most cases studies observe increases in these outcomes after EE experiences.


Change Measurement Relational values Social-ecological systems 



We are grateful to research assistance from Michaela Ingerman. A portion of staff time for this work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, McIntire-Stennis project 1003495, and by a University of Vermont EXPRESS research grant.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Vermont Aiken CenterBurlingtonUSA

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