Climate Literacy Workshop: NAAEE 2011

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.

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:

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:

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.  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.
Download Powerpoint

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.  

Watch Doctor Ryan’s Introduction


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

Local/Place Based Climate Change Education Efforts

Other Websites to visit:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:


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