Extreme Summer

Letter from the Executive Director

Extreme Summer - ED

40,000 heat records have already been broken this year across the U.S. according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This year has definitely brought the U.S. the broad spectrum of extreme weather events that climate scientists have warned about for years.

“This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level. The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about,” Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona, told The Associated Press.

Here in Minnesota, we’ve been hit with floods and unusual heat waves. “Duluth is maybe in the first wave of cities to adapt to climate change,” said University of Minnesota Extension climatologist Mark Seeley after the June 20th flood. Climate scientists say increasing precipitation, particularly from intense thunderstorms, is a symptom of ongoing climate warming because warm air holds more water vapor than cooler air.

There are a few bright spots worth highlighting that show we are getting serious about addressing climate change – for instance, 80 educators are registered for our annual Summer Institute to learn how to address climate change in the classroom, and over two million Americans have submitted comments in support of the first ever carbon rule. Read about these stories and more in this month’s newsletter.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


escottPlease join us Aug. 6th with special guest, Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), for an engaging conversation about the state of climate change education in our schools. Eugenie Scott and Will Steger will be speaking to the general public at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs before addressing over 80 Minnesota educators at the School of Environmental Studies on teaching climate change in the classroom.

Last Chance to Register for the 2012 Summer Institute!
The 2012 Summer Institute (Aug. 7-8) will feature keynote speakers Dr. Eugenie Scott, Dr. John Abraham and Will Steger as well as breakout sessions on climate change basics, Minnesota’s biomes, phenology, youth engagement and much more. Participants will also receive a copy of and training on the 2nd edition of the Minnesota’s Changing Climate curriculum. Don’t miss this great opportunity! Read more and apply today.

Thanks to funding from the National Park Foundation, WSF is able to partner again in the Parks Climate Challenge with the Mississippi River Fund and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.  This summer 12 metro area educators that attend out Summer Institute for Climate Change Education will learn about the impacts of climate change on the River and return with their students on a field trip to Ft. Snelling State Park during the 2012-2013 school year. If you are interested in joining the Parks Climate Challenge, contact Kristen Poppleton.

Kristen is one of the conveners for a session at the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting.   Learn more and submit an abstract: ED011: Climate Literacy: Preparing K-12 Students to Address Next Generation Challenges.

Emerging Leaders

Research and outreach for the RE-AMP Community Mentorship Program is in full-swing with 25 people signed up for the program and some great responses coming in from our surveys. If you are interested in participating in this program or are willing to share your opinion about mentorship experiences, please follow the appropriate link:

Over ten youth environmental leaders, representing programs, organizations, and coalitions from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, were able to attend the RE-AMP annual meeting in June. As part of the RE-AMP Network’s road-mapping exercise, the conference participants took an in-depth look at strategies related to movement building and mobilizing, and how exactly youth organizations may be able to better leverage their strengths, existing partnerships, and creativity in a longer-term, holistic way to help solve some of our region’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.

YEA! MN youth gathered at Piney Hill Farm last month for their year-end retreat. Youth from the Steering Committee reflected on the year’s activities and made recommendations for the structure of the program this coming year. They also were able to get first-hand experience working on an organic farm for a day!

Will Steger - Grand Rapids


Victories for Climate ProtectionTwo Million Strong – Victories for Climate Protection
There is one bright spot that could mark a turning point in whether we are getting serious about carbon pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed clean air standards to limit industrial carbon pollution from new power plants.  Polluters are launching a fierce counterattack and spending lavishly on lobbying and campaign contributions. One thing you can do right now is to join the more than two million Americans who have written the Environmental Protection Agency to support their new carbon standards. More Americans have supported this rule than any other federal rule in history! Over 40,000 Minnesotans have joined in support of the 2.36 million comments generated to date.

Photo of the Month

Will Steger - Grand Rapids
Thanks to Dave Chittenden, John Shepard, Craig Johnson, Mick Wirtz,
Leigh Currie, Kristen Murray and Carolyn Breedlove for participating
in our Education Strategic Planning day!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Published in:
Topic tags: