Monday, January 26, 2015
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Climate Lessons

Climate Lessons (142)

Climate Lessons provides tools, resources and reflections on climate change education for educators and communicators of climate change. This blog is posted to weekly with an educator audience in mind.

When the first Earth Day happened, April 22nd, 1970, it was the beginning of something important and new in our society. We honored Mother Earth outright by celebrating clean, green living and highlighting sustainable acts. This year, Earth Day (or Earth Week, or even Earth Life as one person declared to me personally, “Happy Earth Life!”) showed no sign of tapering off after over 40 years of tradition.

Spring is one of the most popular times for phenology observation. Many remarkable, brief and beautiful changes will be seen over the next 2 months. Don't miss them! Have your students hunting for: Thawing lakes, Maple sap dripping (tap a tree!), sprouting flowers, grasses and buds, early-season insects, and migrating birds.

But we have to act with more urgency — because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods … the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”  - President Barack Obama during the 2014 State of the Union

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 17:00

Climate Conversations

Written by Natalie Cook, YEA! MN Program Coordinator

When the YEA!MN students asked to have a training about how to talk to a climate denier, we started thinking big. Drawing from John’s educational background and Natalie’s background organizing with Minnesotans United, we knew that we could do more than help equip young people with facts and figures, because, really, when does that ever change someone’s mind and drive them to action anyway?

The University of Minnesota's GO Minnesota unit, the Institute on the Environment, and the Will Steger Foundation are delighted to announce a new and unique summer program for international students interested in sustainability.

The Will Steger Foundation joined school districts, charter schools, businesses, local government, higher education and nonprofits at the 3M Innovation Center last week in order to "convene, connect, and foster uncommon collaboratives” through the GreenSchoolsConnect initiative. Launched in 2012, GreenSchoolsConnect (GSC) is a national collaborative initiative powered by Earth Force to accelerate a systemic approach to sustainability in school districts. GSC builds off Earth Force’s proven leadership in networking community partners, training local schools, and providing curricular resources to run service-learning and action civics programs in their community.

Since first getting involved in the environmental movement in high school, I’ve focused a lot more on politics and organizing around environmental issues than on environmental science and research. As an Oberlin College first-year, I plan on studying environmental studies with a focus on policy. So when I had the opportunity to choose a Winter Term project (Oberlin’s version of the J-Term) for this January, I knew I wanted to mix things up and experience some of the environmental science I’d been missing out on.

Welcome to 2014! … we hope you didn’t forget your long-underwear back in 2013. Did you know that the unique conditions that brought Minnesota temperatures below -50 degrees Fahrenheit this January and a few days of cancelled school (and now work, for some!) are linked to climate change?

Nelson Mandela passed away this month – I’m sure you’ve heard the news. We join people the world over who mourn the loss of such a leader. But what you maybe did not know is that, among his many projects, Mandela was active in the movement to solve climate change. It’s true. His legacy included founding a global justice group called The Elders that included “Climate Justice” among their priorities.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 15:23

Catch the Sun!

Written by Kristen Poppleton, Director of Education

We haven't taken the time to feature a book for awhile and I thought it would be worthwhile to feature Catch the Sun, by Anne Johnson, as an initiative of Mortenson Construction's Renewable Energy GroupsCatch the Sun explains solar energy through the eyes of a young boy named Nils whose father is in construction of clean energy sites. Nils does research on clean energy before going on a tour of some sites with his father.

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