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Known as the 'Hundredth Monkey" project, researchers studying a population of monkeys on an island in Japan noticed that if the younger members of the troupe learned a new behavior - in this case, washing sand off a sweet potato - the behavior quickly spread to other members of the troupe.
However, when a few stalwart old-timers refused to adopt the behavior, it stopped short of being adopted by the entire population. It was later learned that as the old-timers died off, the behavior did eventually reach the whole population.
Taking a lesson from the animal kingdom, it was apparent that behaviors could change within a generation if the right individuals received and adopted the new information. And who were the "right" individuals in this case?
The implications are clear. By giving people - young as well as old - the opportunity to communicate and share their stories about nature and the environment, we can facilitate changes in attitudes and behavior that can benefit the planet.
Other things you might find interesting:
Langley Middle School - Service Learning Leader
The Jane Goodall Institute's Roots and Shoots Program
The Earthwatch Institute
Earthwatch in the Arctic, by Mimi Hassett
Learning, Fun and Adventure, by Bane Sansted, 7th Grade