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Climate Education Resources

Climate Education Resources

These resources span a variety of educational levels and were suggested by RCI affiliates.

Audience – Science Interested Public

Climate Change Course - Online
The University of California offers this free online course for the general public, examining the factors responsible for climate change, the biological and sociological consequences of such changes, and the possible engineering, economic, and legal solutions to avoid more extreme perturbations.  The course includes weekly themes, daily mini-lectures, data visualizations, quizzes, exams, weekly assignments, a textbook, and readings.

Climate Commons
Climate Commons is an interactive map which combines NOAA data with climate impact reports.  The map combines recent data on climate change indicators and emissions with geo-tagged stories on climate change.

C-ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support) Interactive tools to understand climate policy scenarios
C-ROADS is an award-winning computer simulation that helps people understand the long-term climate impacts of policy scenarios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It allows for the rapid summation of national greenhouse gas reduction pledges in order to show the long-term impact on our climate.

Interfacing water, climate and society: A resource list
A list of programs offering interdisciplinary research and education that bridges social and natural sciences.  

Koshland Science Museum - Mitigation Simulator
The Koshland Science Museum offers this interactive mitigation simulator designed to help visualize the effects of certain strategies of proposed mitigation strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Weather and Climate Activities to Explore the Atmosphere
Using Supporting data provided by NOAA and NASA, the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a variety of interactive activities designed to teach the science behind weather and climate.

NOAA's page on climate literacy
In response to public demand, the CommEd team provides climate data and information to help build a climate-smart, resilient nation. This climate literacy brochure reflects a broad and current effort to define climate literacy and the essential principles of climate science.

NASA Innovations in Climate Education (NICE)
NASA Innovations in Climate Education (NICE) is a competitive project that promotes climate and Earth system science literacy and seeks to increase the access of underrepresented minority groups to science careers and educational opportunities.

Arctic Matters Booklet
Arctic Matters: The Global Connection to Changes in the Arctic is an educational resource that introduces the threats and opportunities of the Arctic's rapidly changing environment. The booklet draws on a large collection of peer-reviewed National Research Council reports and other national and international reports to provide a brief, reader-friendly primer on the complex ways in which the changes currently affecting the Arctic and its diverse people, resources, and environment can, in turn, affect the entire globe.

Climate Change: Fitting the Pieces Together
This module discusses climate change, particularly as it is currently being affected by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. It also covers signs of climate change, how scientists study climate, the current thinking on future changes, and what can be done to minimize the effects. Updated in 2012.

Audience - Informal Educators

CAMEL (Climate Adaptation Mitigation E-Learning) Project
CAMEL is a community of climate change educators, researchers and students working to combat the impacts of climate change by providing an online forum for sharing and accessing quality curricular materials.

The Animal Agriculture and Climate Change Project
The Animal Agriculture and Climate Change project is developed to help the farming community adapt to climate change.  This online course reviews current knowledge and practice related to animal care and climate change.

Carbon Stabilization Wedge Game
The Stabilization Wedges Game is a team-based exercise that teaches players about the scale of the greenhouse gas problem, plus technologies that already exist to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions and get us off the path toward dramatic and damaging climate change. The game has been used with players from variety of groups, from university researchers to industry professionals to high school students.

Citizen Science
Scistarter is a respected citizen science clearinghouse for science interested people to get involved in climate and weather data collection: 

Reference about citizen science including evaluation of projects, models for citizen science projects, and a wealth of background information on starting a citizen science project: 

EPA Community Air Monitoring Training
EPA hosted a training workshop to share tools used to conduct citizen science projects involving Next Generation Air Monitoring (NGAM) technology and to educate interested groups and individuals on best practices for successful air monitoring projects.

FrameWorks Institute - Framing Environmental Health Toolkit
This toolkit, sponsored by the American Public Health Association with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is designed to help environmental health professionals to frame environmental health and related issues as important policy fields and matters of public concern. The toolkit models how to use the FrameWorks Institute’s evidence-based recommendations for communicating with average Americans about these issues in ways that build public understanding and support.

Frameworks Institute - Framing for Climate Interpreters
The National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation has an online e-course in how to communicate climate change to visitors to informal science learning institutions.

Audience- K-12 educators


An Ocean Of Free Teacher-approved Marine Education Resources
The Bridge's Climate & Atmosphere pages link to a myriad of topical resources, including climate change, hazards, paleoclimatology, and much more.

Collection of Climate and Education Resources
Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) is a reviewed collection of educational resources that can help build students' understanding of the core ideas in climate and energy science.

NOAA's Climate Literacy Brochure
NOAA Climate Literacy brochure is a community effort to promote climate literacy. Climate scientists, formal and informal educators, and representatives of a range of U.S. agencies participated in developing and vetting a list of the most important concepts in climate science. The document they produced — Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science — reflects a broad and current effort to define climate literacy.


Arctic Climate Connections Curriculum (high school, middle school or early college)
The Inspiring Climate Education Excellence (ICEE) project is a professional development program to help educators teach climate science within a variety of pedagogical contexts. Building upon a national needs assessment, ICEE offerings include face to face workshops, online graduate courses, webinars, videos, learning resources and informational resources.

EPA Climate Change Resources for Children and Educators
The EPA offers a variety of resources and tools for educating children on climate change.

Kids' Carbon Footprint Calculator
An interactive tool designed to educate young children on the concept of climate change and how they can mitigate their personal carbon footprint.

Middle School

Global and Regional Climate Change. University of Wisconsin.
This professional development course for middle and high school science teachers was developed collaboratively by University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and staff. This course will help bridge a climate literacy chasm by clarifying the graphs and topics presented in the summary of Physical Science Basis, a report developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

"Exploring the Challenges of Climate Science Literacy: Lessons from Students, Teachers and Lifelong Learners" (Leslie-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, published in Geography Compass)
This study presents important facets of climate literacy from the viewpoints of certain populations (e.g. children or students) or themes (e.g. climate change). It also highlights key barriers to understanding and knowledge creation such as the role of perception, beliefs, country of origin and the phrasing of survey questions. Many of these literacy frameworks were developed primarily for the formal education structure with benchmarks and principles appropriate to elementary and secondary school

Ocean Sciences Sequence 6-8 Resources
Rutgers University scientists Drs. Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, Josh Kohut and Rutgers educators partnered with the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California – Berkeley to create a middle school level curriculum on climate change.

High School - College

Project Look Sharp 
Project Look Sharp is a media literacy initiative of Ithaca College that develops and provides lesson plans, media materials, training, and support for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking into classroom curricula at all education levels, including integration with the new common core standards. They have a unit on global warming:

American Sociological Association's Climate Teach-In
Central Michigan University offers an example of a "Climate Change Teach-In" which is a university effort organized in order to make the connections between climate change and visible social impacts.

Climate Change Role Simulations
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard's Law School offers this Teaching Materials and Publications website with a variety of Climate Change role simulations.  The role play introduces participants to the challenges associated with collective efforts to address the uncertain and dynamic risks associated with climate change.  Simulations focus on flooding, development, wind farms, and more.

Alliance for Climate Education
This non profit group offers a multimedia presentation for high school students on climate change.  They are scientifically accurate and engaging and interesting for students.

On the Cutting Edge (geosciences)
The On the Cutting Edge Professional Development Program for Geoscience Faculty brings together workshops, websites, and research activities to support highest quality undergraduate geoscience education.

Mathematics of Planet Earth
Mathematics of Planet Earth has highlighted the need for researchers with a broad view of planetary issues: climate change, quantification of uncertainty, move to an economy of sustainability, preservation of biodiversity, adaptation to change. Joining forces with other disciplines and recruiting young researchers to work on these issues is a priority. The purpose of this activity group is to provide a forum for mathematicians and computational scientists to study Planet Earth, its life-supporting capacity, and the impact of human activities.

DISCCRS VIII Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Symposium (Early Career Ph.D. Climate Change Scholar Resources) 
DISCCRS (pronounced "discourse") is built on the premise that successful interdisciplinary scholarship begins with a core area of expertise and grows with the development of broader knowledge and through a network of collegial connections across disciplines. The aim of DISCCRS is to foster such interdisciplinary work by connecting new researchers who are striving to create and integrate knowledge across multiple disciplines and to develop creative solutions to problems relating to climate change.

COMET (Environmental Sciences)
The COMET® Program is a world-wide leader in support of education and training for the environmental sciences, delivering scientifically relevant and instructionally progressive products and services.

COMET's Link to METED (portal for geoscience education)
MetEd is a free collection of hundreds of training resources intended for the geoscience community. Whether you're an experienced meteorologist honing existing skills or a student looking for new geoscience topics of interest, they have something for you.

Introduction to Climatology
This module provides an overview of climatology, the study of climate. The module begins by examining the drivers that combine to create the climate regions of the world—from those at the mesoscale (local) level to those at the synoptic-scale (continental) and global-scale levels.

The Science of Global Climate Change and Human Influence
This Webcast, recorded in 2003, is an expert lecture by Dr. Kevin Trenberth of NCAR’s Climate and Global Dynamics division. The presentation includes evidence that the atmosphere is changing, discussions on global energy flows and human factors contributing to change, and concludes with predictions for the future. This version of the presentation has enhanced graphics and links to additional resources.

Audience- Coastal Managers

Beyond the Basics of Local Mitigation Planning
This website is designed to help guide visitors through the process of developing or updating a local hazard mitigation plan.  Based on FEMA's Local Mitigation Planning Handbook, the website offers practical approaches and examples of how communities can engage in effective planning to reduce long-term risk from natural disasters.

Changing Public Behavior - Online
Changing Public Behavior: People and the Environment is a self-study course designed for natural resource professionals, extension educators, and environmental educators who work with communities.  Through the seven units, participants build skills in identifying and analyzing behavior change opportunities and draft a plan for increasing people's involvement in an environmental situation.

Coastal Climate Change
This module provides an overview of the impacts coastal regions are experiencing and may continue to experience as a result of Earth’s changing climate. A video series within the module demonstrates effective strategies for communicating climate science.

Geospatial Infrastructure for Coastal Communities: Informing Adaptation to Sea Level Rise
Aimed at community planners, emergency managers, and other coastal zone decision-makers this video will explain how using geospatial information already available through NOAA, combined with strategic local investments in infrastructure can provide communities with the data needed to confidently plan for future sea-level changes.

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Climate Web Sites

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c/o Department of Environmental Sciences
Rutgers University
Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences Building
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551