GCeCS for Mentors and Advisers

Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS)

created and hosted by the UW Program on Climate Change (PCC)

Graduate students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science complete a capstone project that demonstrates an understanding of climate science and skill in science communication.  The project should be firmly grounded in climate science and the bulk of the material communicated should consist of some aspect of the physical climate system, climate impacts, and/or adaptation.  An evaluation of the effectiveness of the communication is a key element of the capstone project, and a strategy and tool for evaluation is part of the project design.

How a project meets the above expectations must be established in early conversations between the GCeCS advisor (Miriam) and the external partner and/or the graduate student.

Projects that are collaborations with entities outside of UW are extremely important as they enhance the educational experience of our graduate students.   Mentorship by external collaborators can take many forms and ask little or much of the external partner, depending on the project.  In many cases a faculty member is at the nexus of a place-based research project where a communication component can be added, and the external partners provide context for understanding their community.  Any extra time invested by the external partner is minimal.  For projects where the external partner is working directly with a student, the external partner plays a larger role in guiding the student, although a faculty member with expertise pertinent to the project is generally engaged.

A project team may include all the following:

  • Graduate student(s): joint projects that engage 2 or more students are encouraged, especially if the students are from different departments.
  • Faculty member-science content
  • Community partner-social context
  • Where possible, an advisor with expertise on project communication format and evaluation.

Project proposal, final report and blog post are all initially reviewed and approved by both the faculty and community partners and the GCeCS advisor (Miriam).  After revisions by the student the document is then submitted for final approval to the PCC Director, Becky Alexander.

It is the responsibility of the advising team to ensure that the content presented is accurate and that the communication strategy and evaluation is informed by best practices.

Full details on all aspects of the GCeCS can be found here, including how to get started, the curriculum, a full list of completed capstone projects, and details on the requirements for the capstone project.

Questions?  email Miriam, uwpcc@uw.edu

Added May 27, 2020

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