Watch last year’s Summer Institute video for a preview of what our Summer Institutes are all about!

Summer Institute 2016
June 21-24, 2016
Macalester College, St. Paul, MN

Next Generation Climate

The 2016 Summer Institute will focus on our newest curriculum resource: Next Generation Climate.

Registration $150 (Includes breakfast and lunch each day!)
26 Clock Hours
Onsite Lodging optional- $28/night
2 Graduate Credits optional (fee) Hamline University
Course Requirements and Registration Form

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Hear from experts in climate science, climate change education, and Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Engage with hands on activities that help bring climate concepts into the classroom and informal education settings.
  • Learn about how Climate Generation curriculum supports language arts, social studies, and science standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards.

Summer Institute 2016 Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ben Santer
Climate Science in Focus

BenSanterDr. Ben Santer, climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, specializing in the statistical analysis of climate data sets and the identification of human factors in climate variables, and convening lead author of the 1995 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robert Jacobel
The Changing Cryosphere  

Bob JacobelDr. Jacobel is a Professor of Physics at St. Olaf College and a geophysicist who has been working in the US Antarctic Program since 1987.  His talk will give an overview of ice on planet earth, where we find it, what is happening today, and projections for the future.

Devarati Bhattacharya: K-12 STEM Education Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with Cory Forbes
Modeling in the Classroom

DevaratiAs an ecologist, I have been involved in projects that have investigated the regional and global effects of Global Climate Change. I believe that there exists a “disconnect” in our society between the “global” and “local” understanding of this phenomenon, which is the underlying cause of mass misconception and confusion. Empowering teachers with the tools to create and develop conceptual understanding of such critical environmental issues is the first step in creating a social construct that influences global policy change. Thus, my current research is oriented towards designing professional development workshops that increases the expertise and confidence of teachers in teaching Global Climate Change issues from both local and regional perspectives.

Dr. Mark A. Chandler: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Scientist, Columbia University
Modeling in the Classroom

chandler_markDr. Mark Chandler is a climate scientist at Columbia University in New York City and has worked in NASA’s global climate modeling research group at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA/GISS) since 1987. The main focus of his research is in the use of computer climate models to study Earth’s past climates. He is particularly interested in simulating extreme climates in Earth history and using the findings to help better understand the potential impacts of future climate change and the potential habitability of planets in other solar systems. Dr. Chandler is also the director of the Educational Global Climate Modeling project (EdGCM), an education and outreach program that produces software and materials to make NASA’s global climate models more accessible to educators, students and other researchers.

Doug Paulson: STEM Specialist, MN Dept. of Education
NGSS Practices in the Classroom

Doug PaulsonDoug serves as the STEM integration specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education, focusing on support for schools integrating standards and other STEM initiatives. Paulson also is the state coordinator for the federal Mathematics and Science Partnerships grant, overseeing the statewide development of modules that focus on science, engineering, and mathematics. Paulson has presented at several national conferences, including the International Technology and Engineering Education Association and the National Science Teachers Association annual conferences, as well as many state and regional conferences. He was recognized by ASCD in its 2011 class of Emerging Leaders and currently serves on the boards of the Works Museum, AirSpaceMinnesota, and SciMathMN.

Allison Liuzzi: Wilder Foundation Researcher
Disparities in STEM Education

Allison LuzziAllison is a Research Scientist on the Minnesota Compass project at Wilder Research. She works with national and state data sources to describe notable trends in the state and to measure progress on topics related to our shared quality of life in Minnesota.

Allison joined Wilder Research in the spring of 2012. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Luther College, her master’s degree from Michigan State University, and completed her doctoral coursework in Sociology at the University of New Hampshire.

Kristen Poppleton: Director of Education, Climate Generation
Discussion on Overcoming Denial

IMG_0586Kristen has spent the last five years developing and directing Climate Generation’s climate change education program. Her work includes collaborating locally and nationally on climate and STEM education initiatives, creating original materials and training, strategic planning with the organization’s board and staff to develop a clear educational philosophy, and seeking funding through partners and writing grants.  In addition to her work with Climate Generation, Kristen is currently working as a Next Generation Science Standards curator assisting the National Science Teacher’s Association identification of educational resources that support the new standards. Kristen holds a MEd in environmental education and a MS in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota.

Barry Greenwald: Science Teacher, Saint Paul Public Schools
But I Just Don’t Have Time to Teach About Climate Change

Barry GreenwaldBarry has been working at Harding High School in St. Paul since 1998. During that time, he has taught classes in Biology, Environmental Science, Earth Science, IB Biology, and even some 9th grade Physical Science early in his career. Prior to choosing a career in education, he did agricultural research at the University of Minnesota and sales/administration with a couple of private companies.

Emily Mohl: Assistant Professor in Biology and Education, St. Olaf College
Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning in the Classroom

Emily MohlEmily Mohl taught English in China, biology at a private school in St. Louis, and integrated science at a charter school in Chicago.  For her Ph.D. research, she studied how milkweed plants affect evolution and ecology of the insects that live on them.  In addition to science education, her interests include evolutionary ecology, plant-insect interactions, and ecological risk assessment.

Field Trip to University of MN:
Examining Urban Heat Islands

umnMost cities in the US are warming at twice the rate of outlying areas. With 3.5 billion people calling urban areas home, the built environment can exacerbate heat waves, pollution can impact human health, and excess energy consumption can cost billions of dollars. To further our understanding, we are examining characteristics of the top 100 urban heat islands around the world, developing an urban canyon model, and collecting air temperature every 15 minutes from a network of 200 sensors placed in residential backyards around the Twin Cities Metro Area. For more information on this project, please visit

Field Trip to Eco District, Downtown St. Paul
Observing Sustainability Practices

StPaulEcoDistrict-logoThe EcoDistrict is a one-of-a-kind place to see sustainable technology in action. Energy is produced and also conserved. Special programs help this area produce less waste, making a smaller environmental footprint for the thousands of visitors each year. There is no place else in the country where you can go to see all of these technologies and sustainability programs working together. Join us for a walk around the St. Paul EcoDistrict, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. We will use the recently developed Field Trip agenda as we explore the unique space.


Solutions Workshop: Freshwater Society
Stormwater Management as a Climate Solution

freshwaterLearn about best practices to keep water where it falls, activities you can use in your classroom to demonstrate stormwater management, and case studies about implementing rain gardens and native plantings at your school as a climate solution.

Solutions Workshop: Climate Generation
Energy Efficiency In Schools

GC_logo_badge_rgbEnergy education is an important component of comprehensive climate change education and essential to achieving climate literacy. Learn about energy basics, emphasizing the connection between our energy use and consumption, and the resulting impact on our climate. Hear about projects done by high school students and an action template for planning your own solutions based action.