Climate Lessons Update – February 2020

Letter to Climate Change Educators

We are excited to introduce our new Climate Change Education Manager, Lindsey Kirkland! Most recently, Lindsey lived and worked in Australia where she collaborated with scientists, agricultural consultants, and farmers on several international research projects. For the past nine years, she has taught environmental education in informal and formal settings. Welcome, Lindsey!

This month, we’re reflecting on influential African Americans and their demand for environmental justice: it’s Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans, and a time to recognize their central role in U.S. history. We are digging deeper into incorporating social justice in our education program, recognizing the racial injustices imposed by our society and how climate change disproportionately affects low-income communities and people of color. We also want to recognize the amazing solutions that are created by these very communities.

As educators, you have a large impact on the youth of today. Your journey into environmental justice can begin by listening to your students’ stories and integrating diverse voices into your classroom to highlight the multitude of ways climate change affects humanity. You can tap into to stories from around the world with the interactive ArcGIS StoryMaps. Here are a few we have found to get you started: Climate Migrant StoryMap, Isle de Jean Charles, Endangered Reefs, Threatened People.


Lindsey Kirkland and Megan Van Loh
Education Team
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation Happenings

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education

Registration is open for our 15th annual Summer Institute! It will be held at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN on July 22-24, 2020. Educators from all backgrounds and subjects are invited to attend this professional development training on climate change education. Registration is $200. Scholarships available. 20 hours of continuing education and optional graduate credit. More info here.

#TeachClimate Network

Join educators from across the country for our #TeachClimate Network virtual meet-up! This month we will discuss Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi on Mon. Feb. 24 at 7pm CST. Everyone is welcome. Join the Zoom meeting here.


Minnesota Educators

Bring Your Class to the State Capitol

Your students are invited to the Youth Climate Justice Summit! On Wed. Feb. 26, youth will meet with their legislators, learn from youth-led workshops on environmental justice, and practice how to make their voices heard in shaping climate policy at the Minnesota State Capitol. Consider bringing your class on a field trip! More info here. Not in Minnesota? Find a Youth Climate Summit near you with The Wild Center’s YCS map.



Listen Up: Climate Justice

Climate One interviewed Dr. Robert Bullard, distinguished professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University. You can hear Dr. Bullard speak about the intersection of social and climate justice on the Climate One Podcast.

NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Resources

Check out the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Resources to find toolkits and resources for engaging your students in environmental justice and human rights issues.

Climate Fellowships

Do you have a student who just graduated? Or are you a new graduate looking for an opportunity to get involved in climate justice work? Check out these opportunities for fellowships around the country: Rising Leaders Fellowship, Our Climate Fellowship, and ACE Action Fellowships!

CLEAN Webinar Series

Want to connect to a network of climate change educators? Visit CLEAN and check out their list of upcoming webinars on climate and energy for the month of February!


What We’re Reading

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker opens in a world besieged by the impacts of climate change, and New Orleans I and New Orleans II are underwater. The main character, Nailer, works as part of a crew scavenging for copper wiring on grounded oil tankers. To get a real-world view into a ship breaker’s job, check out the photos from this article.


Stories from the Field

We are jumping into a new realm: we’ve launched a podcast! Band Together explores the power of storytelling through music and spoken word to make change in the climate movement. Our first episode is streaming now, featuring Minneapolis-based musician and producer Lazerbeak. Give it a listen and share with your friends!


Moment of Inspiration

Check out this article from Ryerson University about how post-secondary institutions can integrate traditional and western science into their environment and community as part of reconciliation for Indigenous people.


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