"Everything is Okay. Humanity, Working Together, Solved Climate Change."
That's what the newspaper should have read this April when Dr. James Hansen announced his retirement. It would be written about our greatest success story as a civilization, and the last paragraph would be a quiet "thank you" to Dr. Hansen for making it all possible. Yes, if James Hansen had HIS way, that's exactly it: his life's work fulfilled.
Keynotes Announced for Summer Institue for Energy Education!
Our founder and acclaimed polar explorer, Will Steger will be delivering an intimate keynote forum at Summer Institute for Energy Education accompanied by J. Drake Hamilton of Fresh Energy. The keynote event will follow a light social hour with food and drinks. Register today for the Institute.
"If you're not [alarmed about climate change] talk with my good friend and world-premier polar explorer, Will Steger, who is here tonight, about the drastic climate changes he has witnessed …" - Gov. Mark Dayton during 2013 State of the State Address, 2/7/2013 (transcript)
In his speech, Governor Dayton has stepped out as a leading voice among Governors on clean energy and climate change solutions. (If you are looking for other energy champions, check out the Energy All Stars YouTube playlist by the EPA.)
You and your students can join the action. One easy way is through phenology observations. Scientists are using Henry David Thoreau's and Aldo Leopold's phenology observations to investigate climate change. Climate change strikes close to home again as Minnesota's warming winters have been attributed to changing the ecosystems and conditions conducive to life of our native Moose, whose population is declining.
If you're already doing phenology and using Minnesota's Changing Climate Curriculum, then here is a list of opportunities for you to support education and climate change solutions:
- Connect your classroomwith the MN climate and energy solutions conversation - Register now for one or both of our Summer Institutes!
- Turn on your teaching with the Summer Institute for Energy Education, June 16-18
- Dive into the classroom and outdoor components of our Minnesota's Changing Climate curriculum, August 6-7.
- Bring a group of students to the YEA!MN Lobby Day, Feb. 24th & 25th. Your middle and high school students don't want to miss this: Will Steger Foundation's Youth Environmental Activists Minnesota program (YEA! MN), along with Minnesota Youth Environmental Network (MNYEN), MN350, and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) have planned a pair of events coming up February 24th and 25th for youth to learn about and advocate for sustainability on a local level. Learn more on our website.
- Present at the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) conference. It is October 9-12, 2013, in Baltimore, MD. Deadline for submitting a presentation proposal is March 31, 2013. Consider submitting a proposal about how you are integrating climate change into your classroom in the Teaching About Environmental Issues Strand.
- Join our next virtual book club meeting with special guest, Dr. Karen Oberhauser, Monarch Butterfly researcher and source for Barbara Kingsolver's recent book Flight Behavior. We will meet online on February 28, 4:30 PM CST. For more information and to get on the Climate and Energy book club list hosted by ICEE. Please contact Susan Buhr if interested. Read Kristen's recent review of the book on our blog.
- Check out the Life Discovery - Doing Science conference, "Exploring Biology for a Changing World" on March 15-16, 2013 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. From the website: "A major goal of the conference is to foster communities of practice and encourage the sharing of best practices in biology education across grades."
- Stop by and visit WSF Education Program Staff exhibiting and presenting at the CERTS conference February 20-21, or the Minnesota Conference on Science Education February 22 and 23. Two great opportunities we are lucky to have in our state.
*whew!* what a list. You've got great opportunities ahead of you. To send you off energized, here's a spirited quote from Gov. Dayton's speech:
"I challenge this legislature to work again with our state's visionary clean energy advocates, large energy providers, large energy users, other stakeholders, and my administration to use your past achievements as springboards for Minnesota's next big leap toward a sustainable energy future."
Kristen Poppleton & John Smith
Will Steger Foundation Education Program
Registration is open!
For our 2013 Summer Institutes, check out more info below:
Minnesota's Changing Climate Turn on your teaching with the 2013 Summer Institute for Energy Education. Made possible by generous support from MN Center for Energy and the Environment, this teacher-training includes: Dive into the classroom and outdoor components of the Will Steger Foundation's Minnesota's Changing Climate (MCC) curriculum and online classroom. Program includes:
Minnesota's Changing Climate
Turn on your teaching with the 2013 Summer Institute for Energy Education. Made possible by generous support from MN Center for Energy and the Environment, this teacher-training includes:
Dive into the classroom and outdoor components of the Will Steger Foundation's Minnesota's Changing Climate (MCC) curriculum and online classroom. Program includes:
"Cold enough for ya?" Weather in 2012 was wild by any measure, giving Minnesotan's plenty easy conversation starters in the break room at work. Though the Mississippi River did not shut down from the midwest drought as feared, it is confirmed: 2012 was the warmest year on record for the United States.
And weather and climate news begin to creep into 2013, which is off to a concerning start. The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is postponed from February until March due to "snow drought". It has been cancelled only twice in it's 32 year history: 2011 and 2007.
Now, before you share your thoughts on climate change, it may be worth it to watch this interview with Anthony Leiserowitz about "Making People Care About Climate Change". Leiserowitz is the Director for the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.
A new tool for educators: The US Dept of Energy launched a new interactive webtool for educators and researchers to explore future energy scenarios. It's called BITES (Buildings, Industry, Transportation and Electricity Scenarios). It is still in beta-testing, and seems more utilitarian and wordy rather than something Steve Jobs would have built. But, hey, we can't all be Steve Jobs.
Want to prepare your students for this world? Registration has now begun for the 2013 Summer Institutes, Energy Education and Minnesota's Changing Climate. Each of these two professional educator-training opportunities aim to give you the confidence and content to teach about the realities of climate change in your classroom. Included in the deal: CEUs, options for grad credit, complete copies of the curriculum and much more. Check out past Summer Institutes in this video!
Many scholarships are available if cost is a barrier to you, so don't hesitate to contact us about this.
Lastly, we look forward to seeing some of you at conferences in the next few months. WSF Education will be at the MN Science Teacher's Association's MN conference on Science Education (MNCOSE) in Duluth and the CERT's conference in St. Cloud. Stop by the booth and say hello!
John Smith & Kristen Poppleton
Will Steger Foundation Education Programs
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