Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with David Wicks, June 27, 1989

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:05 - Childhood interest in the outdoors

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Partial Transcript: This is an unrehearsed interview with David Wicks of the Black, Blackacre Nature Preserve--

Segment Synopsis: Wicks talks at length about growing up in New Jersey as a scout and adventurer.

Keywords: Adventure; Boy Scouts; Canoes; Explorer Scouts (The Scout Association); Explorers; Land; Outdoors; Parents; Sailing; Sea Scouts; State parks; Trips

Subjects: Childhood; New Jersey; Recreation

00:04:03 - Educational Alliance summer camps

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Partial Transcript: Went to Rutgers State University.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks talks about studying at Rutgers University for one year. He talks about how he became involved with a summer camp run by the Educational Alliance. He talks about their focus on voluntary activities which shaped his view of education.

Keywords: Art; Biology; Children; Cook College; Daniel Lockwood; Educational Alliance; Nature; Opt-in; Participation; Rutgers University; Summer camps; Survival; Voluntary; Wilderness

Subjects: Adventure education.; Leadership

00:11:43 - Travel / Open education

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Partial Transcript: I, I--towards the end of camp I had a, uh, uh, dilemma that I was not going back to school, uh, and what I was going to do for the next nine months.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks talks about traveling around the United States working odd jobs and returning to the Educational Alliance summer camps each year. He talks about attending the University of North Dakota Center for Teaching and Learning and how he enjoyed their open education methods.

Keywords: Anaheim (Calif.); Bishop Museum; California; Directors; Educational Alliance; Fargo (N.D.); Flower farms; Grand Forks (N.D.); Hawaii; Jobs; Latin America; Mapping; Participation; Schools; State parks; Summer camps; Teaching; Tents; Transient laborers; University of North Dakota Center for Teaching and Learning; Voluntary

Subjects: Education, Higher; Employment; Occupations; Travel.

00:17:21 - Travel and teaching in Latin America

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Partial Transcript: Uh, uh, uh, and then so I decided well, I had enough travel experience...

Segment Synopsis: Wicks talks about traveling to Columbia and meeting a man who offered him a job teaching English at the Instituto Audio Visual. He was then offered another job teaching English to children.

Keywords: Bicycles; Bogotá (Columbia); Children; Columbia; Cultures; English; English as a second language (ESL); Jobs; Language courses; Language schools; Languages; Latin America; Learning; Mountains; Schools; Spanish

Subjects: Education; Employment; Occupations; Teachers; Teaching; Travel.

00:24:07 - International Environmental Studies Program / Teaching

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Partial Transcript: Uh, uh, uh, uh, and to, to--finished off all of that and went back to my camp.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks talks about returning to Rutgers University to major in the International Environmental Studies Program. He talks about joining Teacher Corps in New York City and teaching a science class to seventh graders. He talks about how failing the New York teachers test led him to Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Keywords: Association for Experiential Education; Cook College; Gardens; International Environmental Studies Project; Jobs; New York; New York City (N.Y.); Rutgers University; Schools; Science; Summer camps; Teacher Corps; Teachers tests; Travel

Subjects: Education; Education, Higher; Teachers; Teachers--Certification; Teaching

00:28:45 - Outward Bound in Jefferson County, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Started looking through job announcements and the Jefferson County Public Schools had an advertisement...

Segment Synopsis: Wicks talks about how he came to work for the Outward Bound program which was being run on a grant in Jefferson County. He talks about the benefits of the camp for the delinquent youth they served as well as the local school staff. He talks about his experience working with prisoners.

Keywords: Alternatives; Apartments; Children; Colorado Outward Bound; Courses; Criminal justice; Daniel Lockwood; Delinquent youth; Directors; Funding; Grants; Incarceration; Instructors; John Beall; Juvenile justice system; Kentucky; Kentucky Crime Commission; Kids; Outdoors; Outward Bound; Prisoners; Project ID (Innovative Diversion); Relationships; School staff; Staff; Stuart Sampson; Summer camps; Teenagers; Therapeutic; Therapy

Subjects: Adventure education.; Criminal procedure--Kentucky; Jefferson County (Ky.); Jefferson County Public Schools; Louisville (Ky.); Outward bound schools; School camps.

00:40:35 - Project ID, Outward Bound, and environmental education

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Partial Transcript: Now I think that's the first time you called it Project ID.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks gives a detailed explanation of the development of Project ID and environmental education based on his experience with Outward Bound. He talks more about the benefits of the program.

Keywords: Adventure; Children; Crime; Criminal acts; Environmental education; Federal; Grants; Group acceptance; Incarceration; John Beall; John Gainor; Justice; Juvenile delinquents; Leadership; Levels; Parole; Probation; Project ID (Innovative Diversion); Risks; Stuart Sampson; Success; Support

Subjects: Adventure education.; Criminal procedure--Kentucky; Environmental education.; Jefferson County (Ky.); Louisville (Ky.); Outdoor learning laboratories.

00:50:32 - Project ID moves to Blackacre Nature Park

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Partial Transcript: At that same time, uh, a man named Judge McCauley Smith donated Blackacre Nature Preserve.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks provides an overview of how nature education programs were established at Blackacre Nature Preserve, and the role of Outward Bound program graduates. Wicks discusses the goal of orienting teachers to environmental education through four components: natural science, cultural history, creative art, and human relations.

Keywords: Blackacre Conservancy; Blackacre State Nature Preserve; Desegregation; Ernest Matthis; Ernie Grayson; Joe Spagnola; John Gaynor; Leadership; Mid Appalachian Race Desegregation Assistance (MARDA); Nancy Theiss; Otter Creek; Outward Bound; Race issues; Sinkholes; State Association for Environmental Education; University of Tennessee

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; Environmental education.; Environmental protection; Environmentalism; Jefferson County (Ky.); Teachers

GPS: Black Acre Nature Preserve, near Louisville, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.196544, -85.535215
01:13:46 - Kentucky writing as environmental education

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Partial Transcript: Uh, uh, and, and, and so if it is, uh, uh, earth science, if it is creative writing...

Segment Synopsis: Wicks briefly gives his opinion on the importance of Kentucky writers and the natural environment.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary; Reading; Wendell Berry; Writing

Subjects: Authors, American--Kentucky; Berry, Wendell, 1934-; Environmental education.; Environmentalism; Natural areas; Southern writers

01:14:47 - Residential Environmental Education Program of Project ID

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Partial Transcript: I've sort of gone on for a long time.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks explains teacher in-service and workshops for Jefferson County teachers.

Keywords: Camp; Field trips; In-service; Otter Creek; Relevant; Residential Environmental Education Program

Subjects: Environmental education.; Jefferson County (Ky.); Teachers

GPS: Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 37.941357, -86.037189
01:20:59 - Project ID--Summer and Youth Development Reading Camp

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Partial Transcript: I do have, and did think of, three individual projects that, uh, uh, I think deserve note.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks discusses the relationship between literacy, drug use, and environmental education.

Keywords: Drug use; Fourth grade; Funding; Holistic; M&M Summer Camp; Maupin & McFarren (M&M); Standardized tests; Summer and Youth Development Reading Camp

Subjects: Environmental education.; Jefferson County (Ky.)

01:29:39 - Project ID--Teacher professional development at Blackacre State Nature Preserve

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Partial Transcript: And, um, there's something else you said th--some other things that you're involved in.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks describes the purpose and intent of the curriculum at the Blackacre State Nature Preserve and the intention of creating student success.

Keywords: Audience; Blackacre Conservancy; Blackacre State Nature Preserve; Busy season; Curriculum; Field trips; Funding; Involvement; Motivation; Naturalists; Nature; Nature centers; Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area; Otter Creek Park; Practicum; Professional development; Public school system; Purpose; Service; Staff; Substitute teachers; Supporters; Training; Users; Voluntary; Weather

Subjects: Curriculum planning; Environmental education.; Environmental protection; Environmentalism; Natural areas; Teachers

01:37:19 - Project ID--Environmental literacy

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Partial Transcript: Um, and I can go on and describe the third one and that way we can have a totally other question if you want.

Segment Synopsis: Wicks talks about organizations who are working toward the goal of greater public environmental literacy, or awareness of environmental issues. He talks about how government support increases environmental literacy. The interview concludes for the day but is continued in 2017oh836_env045.

Keywords: Citizens; Earth Day; Environmental Quality Commission; Environmental literacy; Goals; Governor Wallace Wilkinson; Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE); Nonprofit organizations; Public hearings; Reports; State government; State-wide issues; Support; Vision

Subjects: Environmental education.; Environmental law.; Environmental protection; Environmentalism