PCC/GCeCS Information Session

Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS)

2019 Capstone and Outreach Opportunities

December 2019

Each fall graduate students interested in learning more about the Program on Climate Change (PCC) and the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS) gather to introduce themselves and learn about capstone opportunities. On 7 Nov 2019 twenty-five students heard directly from three mentors, from fellow students working on capstones, from the PCC Director Becky Alexander, and from GCeCS adviser Miriam Bertram.

Thank you to Rich Childers (DFW), Kirsten Feifel (DNR), and Harry Stern (APL, PSC and Robinson Center) who introduced themselves, meeting potential student partners on future projects.  Thank you also to Emma Kahle (ESS grad and Earth Games capstone) and Charlotte Dohrn (SMEA grad student and Ocean Change capstone) who shared their current capstone projects and progress with attendees.

Below is an overview of opportunities past and present organized by topic or event type, and includes projects mentioned at the info session and more; many are opportunities for outreach independent of the capstone program.  Contact Miriam for more information (uwpcc@uw.edu).

Ocean Change

Ocean acidification and global warming are two direct results of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, and it is not surprising that this theme is present in many capstone projects. Past and current projects range from the OA data-focused lab for the high school classroom (completed in 2014) to identifying information needed by natural resource managers to prepare and respond to changing ocean conditions (completed in 2019) to facilitating knowledge transfer between states regarding OA and mitigation efforts (current project).  New opportunities include collaborations with these same partners in Washington Department of Natural Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife, to continue and expand upon some of these efforts.

Educator Workshops

Last year the PCC facilitated two workshops for teachers; one designed to give high school teachers a strong foundation for teaching climate models, the other a capstone project developed around a request for a 1-day workshop on climate for environmental educators.

Demos, Curriculum and Classroom Teaching

The PCC has a long history of creating content for the classroom, and this year opportunities exist to develop hands on investigations of the impacts of climate change for the Pacific Science Center’s “Climate Change” Weekend 28 Feb – 1 March 2020; to work with a high school teacher/past PCC grad fellow to create educational materials around CO2 uptake into concrete for the chemistry classroom, a unit on climate heroes and carbon offsets and more; my own suggestion is to create a unit on marine heat waves.  Read about a recent Geoengineering unit  for the high school classroom that has been taught each of the last two years, and visit our developing open educational resource for perspective.

The Robinson Center offers the opportunity to create a Saturday Enrichment course for advanced middle school students (8 1 hour classes).  There is some financial support.

Climate Communications

These projects emphasize focus on creating the communication product, whether it is a new visualization of sea level rise developed using Tableau, a pamphlet for landowners about mitigating drought in the Scott Valley (both current projects), or educational materials for immigrant and refugee communities (completed 2019).  The bulk of the capstone effort goes towards the visualization or presentation.

There are currently opportunities to reach into communities through collaborations with King County, or to create a pub-talk through the Climate Science on Tap-Schooner Series.

Earth Games

Dargan Frierson (UW Atmos) enthusiastically leads the effort to combine students with computer programming knowledge with those with climate science understanding to work together.  There is a current interest in interactive simulations/games about the future of emissions & climate impact.  Ongoing, flexible timeline.