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31 posts in Education

Lucas Vargas Zeppetello on staying one step ahead of climate skeptics

"If I could go back and rewrite the abstract of my group’s paper, I would include a sentence that points out why a feedback between surface temperatures and downwelling longwave radiation does not preclude the existence of the greenhouse effect." Lucas Vargas Zeppetello, graduate student in Atmospheric Sciences at the UW writes about his responses, both emotional and practical, to the misrepresentation of his discussion of radiation balance as published in his first research paper. "Don’t @ Me: What Happened When Climate Skeptics Misused My Work"

Read Lucas' EOS Opinion piece

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. 

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Does a Few Degrees C of Global Warming Matter? or Understanding and Using Simple Climate Models, the 2019 Current Climate Change Workshop for High School Teachers, University of Washington, 18 May 2019.

By Miriam Bertram, Workshop Facilitator As global warming continues, and the resultant impacts on the biosphere become increasingly apparent, our young people are taking to the streets to demand political action.  As these young people traverse the educational system, they need coursework and context for understanding and changing the future, for understanding what they are marching to achieve.  To serve our youth, high school science teachers need resources for expanding their knowledge and keeping up with climate as it changes. 

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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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