Climate Lessons Update – June 2015

Letter to Climate Change Educators

The Summer Institute for Climate Change Education is just around the corner, but don’t worry; there’s still time left to register! We’d love for you to join our cohort of educators that have attended past Institutes. In addition to sessions where you will learn about our Climate Generation Resources, we have breakouts led by professionals of various fields.

  • Climate Change and Minnesota Forests, Lee E. Frelich, Director, University of Minnesota Center for Forest EcologyThis session will show how a warming climate is likely to cause shifts among Minnesota’s three biomes.
  • “G-WOW” Changing Climate, Changing Culture – Integrating Culture and Science for Culture Literacy, Cathy Techtmann, Environmental Outreach State Specialist, University of Wisconsin – ExtensionLearn how to use the G-WOW model to create as a culturally inclusive means of increasing climate change literacy and service learning response.
  • COP21 Paris 2015 & Participatory Learning Craig Johnson, Educator, School of Environmental Studies and Kristen Poppleton, Director of Education, Climate Generation: A Will Steger LegacyClimate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy is excited to announce an opportunity for educators to participate in the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, France November 30-December 11, 2015! Educators that attend this information session will learn how to apply for this opportunity and will have top priority during the selection process.

Check out the breakout session agenda for updated descriptions as we get closer to the start of the Summer Institute on June 15th.

We also invite you to attend a public forum at the Science Museum of Minnesota, 7pm-9pm on June 16th – the second night of the Summer Institute. The keynote speaker will be climate researcher, Ben Santer, who served as the lead author of the IPCC report. The forum is free and open to the public, and will include discussions with various climate solution panelists.

Kristen Poppleton & Jenna Totz
Education Program
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation Happenings

logocop21-ppalWe are taking educators to Paris for the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties- the international climate change negotiations conference!  Priority will go to educators with classrooms and the ability to spend November 30-December 6 in Paris, France.  Applicants must have a current passport.  Read more about this once in a lifetime opportunity here.

ClimateMN_logo_square_1400x1400We have been busy traveling around the state of Minnesota hosting our Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions convenings.  The convenings connect communities through local science, stories, and solutions that encompass the broad range of impacts that Minnesotans are seeing now. View the recaps from Bemidji, Crookston and Burnsville and see if we’re coming to your community!


  1. There are 5 new activities that were created for the recent MOOC on the Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region. Most are regionally focused, but could still be used around the US. This software is free to download from the UW-Madison. Click here for all 5 of the activities (4 interactives & 1 webapp): Each interactive activity focuses on a different season and explore The “Personal and Planetary Health” interactive is the 1 activity that is applicable anywhere.
  2. Welcome to the Climate Challenge! Is there climate wisdom in the crowd? To find out, invite your friends and come play the Climate Challenge — a new online competition in the tradition of “games with a purpose” that pits your predictive powers against experts opinions, and compares them with real-world observations. climate challengeHave fun, win prizes, and learn about climate. The game combines practical steps to reduce your carbon footprint with questions about future climate-related conditions that we cannot answer today, but will be able to answer in the future. Can you outguess the experts? Play to find out.
  3. YCClogoYale Climate Connections has a new home. Or, more precisely, a great new website. A new day, and a new site. But the same critically important climate change challenges, opportunities, and solutions. Yale Climate Connections provides daily broadcast radio programming, articles, webinars, and more to help individuals, corporations, and government learn about constructive solutions to climate change.

What We’re Reading

As summer approaches and the weather in our part of the world becomes a bit more accommodating for outdoor adventures I like to revisit Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.  Louv’s book argues for the necessity of connecting our children and ourselves with natural places for our physical and mental health.  Get yourself and your kids outside!

Stories from the Field

Read Climate Generation’s high school intern Kumar’s blog about the work our YEA! MN youth have been doing to support renewable energy in Minnesota!

Moment of Inspiration

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the United States and the world. Over the coming century, it is expected to affect agriculture, energy, health, infrastructure, natural resources, national security and water availability. This assessment, which represents the most up to date and comprehensive overview of climate change impacts on the U.S., provides critical input to planning and policy at the state and national level to reduce the human influence on climate and adapt to future change.

Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., is director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech, part of the South-Central Climate Science Center. Her research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment.

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