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28 posts in Education

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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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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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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Teaching Climate Science Using a Local Phenomenon: Harmful Algal Blooms

Climate science is inherently interdisciplinary and complex. Physical processes at a molecular level cascade upward to drive global-scale events. Decisions at a local level impact the health of the global population. How can we effectively teach a topic as complicated as climate science to middle-school students? We did by focusing on a local phenomenon that they themselves can experience, see, touch, and feel. 

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Understanding and Advancing Natural Resource Management in the Context of Changing Ocean Conditions

By Nyssa Baechler and Katie Keil The ocean is easy to take for granted一every day the tides roll in and out like clockwork, salmon return each season to their natal streams, and the ocean provides essential resources to sustain life around the globe. However, changes are happening at an unprecedented rate and the magnitude of the consequences of these changes is largely unknown. 

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Mindfulness Practices as a Tool for Climate Change Communication

I’ve practiced nature-based spirituality in one form or another for more than twenty years. But spiritual or religious practices are not something that most scientists, particularly those in the “hard sciences,” talk about. This is perhaps a natural consequence of the idea that science needs to be unbiased. Personally, however, I feel a strong connection to the ocean generally and the Puget Sound region specifically. 

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Communicating Sea Level Rise to Coastal Washington Communities: Opportunities, Challenges, and Concerns

-by Diana Perry, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs Graduate and Graduate Certificate in Climate Science Recipient, Spring 2018 The beach on Cape Cod where I grew up exploring looks different—a thinner, steeper backshore and steeper nearshore leading to a larger shallower point—than it did when I first stepped foot on it. In a few decades, it may not exist, or at the very least, will look dramatically different. 

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