News & Blog

How do you solve a problem like (teaching) climate change? Through problem-based learning!

What if we could offset the harms of global warming by spraying particles in the stratosphere or artificially increasing Arctic sea ice? Even if ideas like these were feasible, what might the unintended consequences be? And if there are “winners” and “losers” for a given proposal, who gets to decide what is to be done? Sammamish High School students were asked to tackle difficult questions like these this autumn as part of my Program on Climate Change (GCeCS) capstone project. 

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Mapping climate science needs and networks in the Pacific Northwest through evaluation of a climate science newsletter

“If scientists can’t communicate with the public, with policy makers, with one another, the future is going to be held back. We’re not going to have the future that we could have.” — Alan Alda Knowing and deeply understanding your audience is one of the key elements of effective science communication. It is the primary way to ensure that your science is useful to others. 

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Teaching Outdoor Educators About Climate Change

With the Fourth National Climate Assessment and IPCC’s Special Report both released last year, there is increasing interest from educators and teachers to incorporate climate change into their science curriculum. However, they often lack the training and resources to do so. To address this, the 2018 Washington State Legislature allocated $4 million of the general fund to create ClimeTime, which is essentially a state-level science teacher training program focused on climate science education. 

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Engaging Girls in Climate Science

This is a story of addressing two problems − climate change and the lack of diversity in the sciences − with one “stone.” Climate change is a polarizing topic in our country. People from all walks of life have opposing opinions about whether it is occurring or not, if it is caused by humans, and what, if anything, we should collectively do about it. 

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Co-creating Climate Change Education Materials with Immigrant and Refugee Communities in King County, WA

Imagine a place that experiences warmer temperatures and poorer air quality than other surrounding cities. Within this place, there are neighborhoods that are threatened by coastal flooding from storm surges and higher than average tides that seem to extend to new places than years before. In addition, this place also has residential homes, communities, and businesses that are located within, or close to, a floodplain and are expected to face more frequent river flooding and changes in stream flows as extreme weather events occur more often. 

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Exploring Climate Change through Video Games and Science Fiction: The Cascadia Project

One thing that makes discussing climate change with people difficult is the perception that the worst effects of climate change will happen sometime in the future, possibly after their lifetime. This makes it challenging to promote a sense of urgency to act on climate issues. It can be hard to accept some level of discomfort in our own lives in order to protect the interests of future generations. 

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Ready, Set, Curb! A challenge for young students to act on climate

“Learning about climate change can sometimes be scary—terrifying, actually.” The thought crossed my mind while out on a run during my first quarter of graduate school. Overall, I thought to myself, I’m really enjoying my program, but sometimes… sometimes the weight of studying climate science can become heavy. It gets even heavier when you really start to examine the impacts on people and ecosystems, as I found myself researching that quarter. 

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UW Researchers detect carbon dioxide outgassing in the Southern Ocean

Alison Gray (UW Oceanography) and her team recently published a paper in AGU about significant carbon dioxide outgassing in the Southern Ocean during the winter. The Southern Ocean was previously thought to be a carbon sink, based off of measurements that were sparse and tended to be from the summer. This paper used data from SOCCOM (Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling) floats that take measurements year-round. Steve Riser (UW Oceanography) leads the UW team that is a part of SOCCOM. They build and test the floats before they are deployed, and have a key role in SOCCOM's observational group.

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Congratulations to Surabhi Biyani, UW's only 2019 Hollings Undergraduate Scholar

This highly coveted award went to 125 undergraduates across the country--with UW represented by Surabhi Biyani, PCC's current undergraduate assistant, a College of the Environment ambassador and double major in Earth and Space Science and Atmospheric Science.  The award is targeted at students who are committed "to help us better understand our changing world" and allows them research opportunities as well as tuition support.

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The Third Annual Spring Symposium was held on April 27, 2019

The Program on Climate Change (PCC) held its third annual Spring Symposium on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Over the span of lively morning and early afternoon sessions, 17 students and postdoctoral researchers shared their climate-related research, education, and outreach work through a full program of talks and posters. These presentations represented a variety of perspectives on climate, drawing from observation and modeling of physical and ecological processes on scales ranging from the hyperlocal to global, as well as insights from policy, industry, and philosophy. 

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