Climate Commitments Take Shape

Letter from the Executive Director

General MillsKudos to Minnesota-based General Mills for stepping up its commitments on climate change! In late July it announced bold standards to cut emissions. The commitments announced make General Mills the first major food and beverage company to promise to implement long-term science-based targets to cut emissions from across all of its operations and supply chains that are responsive to the goal of keeping global temperature rise below 2°C.  General Mills Community Action is a supporter of our effective professional development offerings, including our annual Summer Institute. We thank General Mills for their leadership and support!

In the New York Times article, Shattering Myths to Help the Climate, Robert Frank outlines the common myths that are preventing forceful action to deal with the impacts of climate change. Just a few of the six myths:

Myth 1: The enormous uncertainty of climate science argues for a wait-and-see strategy.
Myth 2: Slowing the pace of climate change would be prohibitively difficult.
Myth 3: A carbon tax would destroy jobs.

He concludes: “There’s still time to eliminate this catastrophic risk at surprisingly modest cost. If we fail to act, future historians may wonder…why we allowed the more effective responses we could have pursued to be blocked by an easily debunked collection of myths.”

While each new climate change report is more dire than the last, effective countermeasures can ward off many of the threats at low or modest cost – and we know that working with people, from educators to youth, by empowering and engaging them in solutions is absolutely critical.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


SI educatorsSummer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education
Our ninth Summer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education was held August 4-6 at the Audubon Center of the Northwoods.  60 educators, representing Grades 3-12 informal and formal settings from a variety of subject areas across 6 states joined us to increase their competence and confidence in integrating climate change and energy education.  Check out the Institute recap to experience the Institute virtually.



NCATeachingResourcesNational Climate Assessment Teaching Resources
A brand new climate change education resource is now available – just in time for the school year!  This excellent web resource helps bring the National Climate Assessment to life through guiding questions, important graphs and figures and supporting lesson plans and activities. The Will Steger Foundation was proud to work with NOAA, the NCAnet Education Affinity Group, and members of the CLEAN Network in development of the Midwest, Great Plains and Next Generation Science Standards portions. 

Farewell and Many Thanks to John Smith!John Smith We bid farewell to John Smith, our Education Program Assistant, this month as he heads out to Montana with his wife Jolene for graduate school.  We will miss John’s continuous positive attitude and dedication to WSF.  We thank him for his hard work on developing the Experience Energy curricula resource and coordinating the last three Institutes and our webinar series.  Stay tuned next month as we introduce our new Education Coordinator!

Register for our co-sponsored workshop, the Wild Face of Climate ChangeNovember 22 at the Minnesota Zoo!  The Minnesota Zoo and the Will Steger Foundation are joining forces to explore the effects of climate change on wildlife around the world.  Teachers will leave this workshop with ideas and activities that can be used in the classroom to teach about climate change and gain a preliminary understanding of how specific animals and habitats are being affected.

Emerging Leaders

YEA! MN RetreatYEA! MN Student Organizer Training – August 23
YEA! MN high school student leaders will kick off the new school year with hands on training to prepare them to launch youth-led action projects on their campuses related to waste reduction and energy conservation. Trainings include recruitment and leadership development, campaign planning 101, and climate change basics. YEA! MN Steering Committee Meeting to follow. Saturday, August 23, 2:00 – 7:00 PM at the Greenway Building, Minneapolis. Contact Natalie Cook, YEA! MN Coordinator, for more info:


In The News

Audubon Center of the North Woods to Host Will Steger Foundation’s “Summer Institute for Energy Education” was featured in the Digital Journal in Sandstone, MN.


People's Climate March

People’s Climate March
WSF is proud to send a delegation of high school youth from our YEA! MN program to the People’s Climate March in New York City, September 21. World leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. 
Please support a youth leader to attend the People’s Climate March. Your contribution (any amount will go towards our youth scholarship fund) will ensure that young leaders who would not otherwise have this opportunity are able to join this historic march. Please note “Peoples Climate March scholarship” in the event registration box when you make your donation. 
Several organizations  are collaborating on the People’s Climate March, including local New York-area community groups, international NGO’s, grassroots networks, churches and faith organizations, and many more.  Read more about the March here:

Photo of the Month

Solar Panels
Our 9th Summer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education was held August 4-6 at the Audubon Center of the Northwoods for 60 educators from 6 states! Check out the Institute recap!


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