The big news in the world of climate change education this week has been the National Center for Science Education's new climate change education initiative.
"Long respected for its work in defending and supporting the teaching of evolution in the public schools...NCSE launched this new initiative to defend and support the teaching of climate change."
When asked why NCSE decided to take on climate change, Executive Director Eugenie Scott responded;
"We have been receiving more and more reports of teachers being pressured against teaching climate change, much as they are pressured against teaching evolution. Right now the evidence is anecdotal but we have heard enough to suggest that it is a problem."
Read more coverage on the initiative below and make sure you check out their new webpage for tips, tools and other information!
Evolution advocate turns to climate
Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms
Climate in Classrooms
Climate Change Causes Heated Battles For Science Teachers
National Center For Science Education Launches Fight Against Climate Change Denial In Schools
New Initiative to Promote Climate Change in the Classroom
A Second Science Front: Evolution Champions Rise to Climate Science Defense
Point of Inquiry: Eugenie Scott - Defending Climate Education
On October 12 representatives from the Climate Literacy Network came together to provide an all day workshop at the North American Association for Environmental Education Conference. The workshop, Climate Change Education: Science, Solutions, Inspiration, and Empowerment, gave participants an introduction to climate science, common climate change misconceptions, educational materials educators can use to integrate climate education into curriculum & professional development programs, and the importance of integrating climate solutions into climate change education. The following syllabus from the workshop has a description of each section, the presenter and includes powerpoints, when provided.
CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION:
SCIENCE, SOLUTIONS, INSPIRATION, AND EMPOWERMENT
NAAEE October 12, 2011
8:30 - 8:50 Introduction Linda Morris
8:50 – 9:00 NASA “Global Temperature” Quiz Louise Huffman
Quizzes can be accessed at: http://climate.nasa.gov/quizzes/index.cfm
9:00 – 9:40 US Ice Drilling Program Mary Albert, Linda Morris
“Decoding Clues from the Past; Empowering Decisions for the Future”
Linda briefly introduced the US Ice Drilling Program, its goals and resources. Mary provided an overview of ice core research and share key findings that have impacted our knowledge of climate through the past 800,000 years.
9:40 – 9:50 Group Activity: Weather vs. Climate Louise Huffman
9:50 - 10:00 Break How Does Melting Ice Affect Sea Level? Voting…
10:00 – 10:45 Misconceptions and Hurdles Emily Kellagher
This session provided an overview of how to identify misconceptions in climate change and what common misconceptions to look for in students. Strategies for handling misconceptions based in controversy or misinformation were addressed. Download Powerpoint Download Activity
10:45 - 12:00 Transferring Climate Science to the Classroom: Louise Huffman
Environmental Literacy with a Focus on Climate Change
Carbon Journey, Biodiversity and Habitat Loss, Phenology: Step Together Step
Hands-on activities from Environmental Literacy Framework (ELF) Activity Book: Carbon Journey, Biodiversity and Habitat Loss, Phenology: Step Together Step Download Powerpoint
12:00 – 12:50 LUNCH Meet Informally With Ice Core Scientist Mary Albert 302ABC
12:50 - 1:00 NASA Quiz: Sea Level Rise Louise Huffman
Quizzes can be accessed at: http://climate.nasa.gov/quizzes/index.cfm
1:00 – 1:45 Making Sense of Graphic Data Roberta Burnes, Kristen Poppleton
Activity: Hands-on Materials for Teaching about Global Climate Change through Graph Interpretation
Activity based on article 1 by Dr. Audrey Rule and article 2
1:45 – 2:15 CLEAN Pathway Project Nick Haddad, Sarah Hill
In this session we reviewed the CLEAN Pathway project, and site to help identify the resources that will be useful in the classroom, and to look at specific examples of activities in the collection. http://cleanet.org/ Download Powerpoint
2:15– 2:25 Break How Does Melting Ice Affect Sea Level? Conclusions…
2:25 – 3:10 Speed Dating: Meet Your Dream Activity Presentation Team
Stacking Up the Atmosphere The Incredible Carbon Cycle
Polar Detectives Drivers Start Your Engines
Energy Choices Young People's Projects
Biome Meet and Greet Climate Misconceptions
Participants were introduced to a variety of educational materials addressing different aspects of climate change education.
3:10 – 3:40 Climate Change Solutions and Civic Engagement Kristen Poppleton
Participants were introduced to the importance of including solutions in any climate change education program.
3:40 - 4:00 Films to Introduce Climate Science, Lynne Cherry, Ryan Vachon
Adventure Learning, and Citizen-Science
Lynne Cherry introduced films from her Young Voices on Climate Change Project and Ryan Vachon described his "Doctor Ryan" film project and classroom-ready lesson plan supplements.
4:00 - 4:30 Wrap-Up Presentation Team
Web Resources Shared
For an alternative to the iclickers used for anonymous quizzes.
Information on Climate Literacy and activities
Regionally based background on climate change science
Information on the Presenters
Mary Albert is the Executive Director of the Ice Drilling Program Office and a Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College.
More information at: http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/people/faculty/mary-albert/
Roberta M. Burnes is the Environmental Education Specialist, Kentucky Division for Air Quality.
Lynne Cherry is the author and illustrator of over thirty award-winning books for children including The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild. She is the producer of the Young Voices on Climate Change project and film series.
More information at: http://youngvoicesonclimatechange.com/
Nick Haddad is a Project Director at TERC. Led by a group of experienced, forward-thinking math and science professionals, TERC is an independent, research-based organization dedicated to engaging and inspiring all students through stimulating curricula and programs designed to develop the knowledge and skills they need to ask questions, solve problems, and expand their opportunities.
More information at: http://www.terc.edu/
Louise Huffman is ANDRILL’s Coordinator of Education and Public Outreach. ANDRILL is a multinational collaboration comprised of more than200 scientists, students, and educators from four nations (Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States) to recover stratigraphic records from the Antarctic margin using drilling technology.
More information at: http://www.andrill.org/education
Emily Kellagher is Education Outreach Faculty at CIRES at CU Boulder. CIRES researchers explore all aspects of the earth system and search for ways to better understand how natural and human-made disturbances impact our dynamic planet. Our focus on innovation and collaboration has made us a world leader in interdisciplinary research and teaching.
More information at: http://cires.colorado.edu/education/outreach/
Linda Morris is the Education Program Manager at the Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) at Dartmouth College. The IDPO was established to articulate and maintain long term and short term goals and plans in conjunction with the ice coring and drilling research community, enhance communication and information exchange within the research community and beyond to the public, and oversee the IDDO. More information at: http://www.icedrill.org/index.shtml
Kristen Poppleton is the Education Program Manager at the Will Steger Foundation, an environmental non-profit established by Polar explorer Will Steger and focused on climate change education, policy and outreach.
More information at: http://www.willstegerfoundation.org
Ryan Vachon is a professor at University of Colorado who has traveled worldwide to produce a series of educational adventure science videos documenting climate scientists.
More information at: http://vimeo.com/user6201773
Over the last month it has been hard to miss the news reports, blogs and editorial commentary on the extreme weather events that have been sweeping the country. Tornadoes, flooding, and above normal temperatures have caught the media and the nation’s attention and looking for answers, inevitably the question has risen, “is THIS climate change?”, and furthermore as climate change educators, what do we say?
I have come across a number of great discussions and responses to these questions and these, in combination with some suggestions from co-workers and colleagues in the Climate Literacy Network, I have shared and summarized below.
The bottom line? Linking a specific weather event to climate change is very difficult (although possible as described in the first source cited), and tornadoes are especially tricky because there is still little known about how they even form. That said, most sources agree that these weather events “could signal the future,” “we ain’t seen nothing yet,” and finally:
“...our local weather-demons have dropped an important teaching moment on our doorsteps--in some cases with a mighty splash. We may not have reached the new normal yet, but we can probably see it from here. Asking if climate change caused our crazy weather this year misses a more focused and potentially important question: Is this something we should plan for over the long term?”
As educators this is a “teachable moment” to delve deeper into how weather works and how models work. Inevitably it also presents the opportunity to discuss what adaptation means, if these extreme weather events become more frequent, as the IPCC and many other credible sources have predicted.
Going to extremes: Real Climate Blog
This summary of recent articles in Nature on whether we can attribute specific weather events to climate change was the best I came across.
Missouri weather whips up media discussion of climate change and extreme weather: Joseph Romm for grist
Excellent overview of responses to the big question.
The “new normal” weather
Nice article one how this scientist has decided to answer the question and why it is important.
Are You Ready for More?
Comprehensive article on the consequences of inaction on climate change at the policy level as it relates to extreme weather.
Another Day, Another Deadly Tornado Strikes the US
Nice in depth explanation of how tornadoes and other extreme weather are linked to climate change and La Nina, including some videos
Yale 360Forum: Is Extreme Weather Linked to Global Warming?
Eight climate scientists answer this very question.
Looking for causality in all the wrong places
This short commentary wonders if perhaps the media is just asking the wrong question.
Extreme Weather May Be The New Normal: NPR’s Here and Now
Great 13 minute podcast
From floods to blizzards to wildfires, droughts and tornadoes, 2011 has seen some of the most extreme weather in decades. What’s fueling Mother Nature’s fury and can climate change alone explain the reason we are seeing more devastating and destructive storms?
A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never!
Bill McKibben's most recent op-ed call to action.
As the 2011 Summer Institute for Climate Change Education draws closer our we are getting more and more excited to meet the great diversity of educators coming to us from all over the state of Minnesota! Check out the map below to see who is coming and apply online today to join us August 11 and 12 at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley, MN!
View Attendee School Locations in a larger map
This weekend and into next week we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Will Steger's North Pole Expedition. The reunion will be an opportunity to reminisce and remember their unbelievable journey and "...accomplishment; the first confirmed trek to reach the Pole without resupply, [which] was deemed by National Geographic "a landmark in polar exploration." It is also, however, a sobering reminder that due to unpredictable Arctic ice conditions attributed to climate change, it would be very difficult for the North Pole expedition to be completed successfully today.
If you plan on visiting the Minnesota History Center's Family Day (May 15 from 12-4) dedicated to the North Pole Expedition Reunion, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Arctic, how it is being impacted by climate change, and why it should be of concern. If you are looking for more resources about the Arctic and climate change you can learn more through our Arctic Community Curriculum. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report is also very comprehensive if you are looking to go more in depth. Finally the NOAA Arctic Report Card is a great succinct update of the most recent environmental changes to the Arctic.
- Topic Arctic
- Expert Kristen Poppleton, WSF Director of Education
- Resource Type Blog
You can view our full profile at the Charities Review Council.