Spending Time with a Champion

Kristen and Craig
Director of Education, Kristen Poppleton and Champion of Change, Craig Johnson on their way to the White House

This week I was lucky to be invited to attend an afternoon at the White House with longtime education partner and White House Champion of Change in climate change education Craig Johnson.  The timing couldn’t have felt more fitting as we prepare to celebrate our 10th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education at the School of Environmental Studies, where Craig teaches and where our partnership began in 2006. The White House event recognized eight outstanding climate change educators and brought together many of the partners and friends in climate change education we have developed over the last ten years.  It was a wonderful opportunity to reunite and reflect back on all the great work we have done and re-energize with the support of the White House behind us.

A key message that was threaded throughout the panel discussion by the champions and later roundtable discussions was the importance of partnerships for us to accomplish the work we do.  The growth of our education program is no exception to this and we are fortunate to have worked with some great partners over the years, many of which were in the room at the White House on Monday.  There are many that have been champions of change for us. A few include :

  • The CLEAN Network, which has acted as a sounding board for our current programming, has been a source of inspiration for new programming and connected us with many opportunities, was well represented by a number of key leaders.
  • NOAA, is an excellent resource and through them we were able to develop a recent web resource.  Frank Niepold, the NOAA Climate Education Coordinator will also be a keynote at our Summer Institute.
  • USFS, connected us with climate change live which was a great opportunity for us to work with climate change education partners around the country.
  • CIRES, a yearlong online climate fiction bookclub between educators and staff were a great opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary aspect of climate change education.
  • NASA’s ESTEEM program has given us the opportunity to share our NCA resource, as well as WSF through their webinar series.

Watch the archive of Craig on the White House panel here.
Read about the other Champions of Change here.


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