Associations between reading and mathematics proficiency rates, graduation rates, and vegetation and water in high school attendance areas

Authors: Cody Hodson*, , Heather Sander, The University of Iowa
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: academic performance, graduation rates, green space, nature, student environments
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Previous research has identified a myriad of benefits associated with exposure to nature in cities. Much of this research focuses on individuals, however, and the implications of those benefits for the sustainability of larger communities are underexplored, thus hindering the ability of planners and policy makers to operationalize nature as a resource to support sustainable future cities. Given this knowledge gap, this study investigated relationships between nature in urban high school attendance areas (SAA) across the USA as indicated by tree cover, NDVI, vegetated land cover, wetlands, water, and standardized reading and math assessments, as well as graduation rates. We used multilevel models adjusted for the confounding influences of socioeconomic deprivation, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and school quality with eco-region random effects. This research can provide new insight into community-level outcomes of human-environment interactions involving nature beneficial to academic performance, and thus has the potential to inform the design of urban environments.

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