GSA Resource Roundup

Alternate Post Title: Saving the Planet – One Website at a Time

I recently added Canada to the list of countries I’ve visited. (I know, of all the places I’ve been in this world, I had never been across the border just to the north.) Vancouver gave me a chance to experience truly cloudy skies, rain, lush green vegetation, and a rush of thousands of geoscience enthusiasts on their way to catch the next talk at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.


While there really wasn’t time to explore the city, I had plenty of opportunity to do the things I went to do: catch up on the latest happenings in the paleoclimate and geoscience education communities, log more than enough miles to make my feet hurt walking through poster sessions in the convention hall, try some Pacific Northwest salmon and nibble on the Canadian version of French macarons.

Before this conference becomes a distant memory, I want to log some of the cool resources I discovered (or re-discovered) through poster sessions, talks, and chats with other conference-goers. Given the results of the election last week, I have renewed motivation to push climate science education everywhere I can. If you teach climate change (or just want to learn more), some of the links below might inspire you.

  1. The CLEAN (Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness) Network: This is the equivalent of your one-stop shopping network for lessons and activities about climate change and energy. No need to say more. If you teach, simply go explore.
  2. Earthlabs – rigorous, online Earth Science labs (with a focus on climate), to aid educators in developing Earth Science as a high school capstone course. Most of the materials are also appropriate for intro college level.
  3. Using Videos in Teaching: Given the recent trend toward ‘flipped classrooms,’ using short videos on specific topics to introduce students to new material, or reinforce old material, is becoming quite popular. A year ago I taught Introductory Meteorology fully online for the first time. I made some really poorly thought-out (or, so I thought) PPT presentations with audio that I posted online to help students understand some of the more difficult concepts. I got so much positive feedback from those. I really wanted to learn how to do that well. This might be something to try when I’m in Ecuador next semester. I’d like to find ways to share my experiences beyond this blog – and use them in my teaching.For a good example of a project that gets students to develop videos about climate change, check this out: Climate Education in the Age of Media
  4. Bella Roca: I love endeavors that combine science and artistic expression (part of the reason I love teaching so much). So I was excited to see this new site working toward building an online community at the intersection of art and science. There’s not a whole lot on the site at the moment, but I think this is a great way to draw interest and awareness in the sciences.
  5. Along the lines of art and science, if you haven’t seen it already, check out the latest IPCC report in a watercolor-illustrated haiku format. Brilliant!

Other climate change teaching resources I’ve come across lately (after realizing how easy it is to be out of the loop when you don’t take enough time to search out cool science online):

  1. NASA’s Global Climate Change website has has a face-lift! I would send students here for some background reading.
  2. NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System is a brand new interactive online tool that allows you to explore the solar system. If I had discovered this site when I was a kid, it would have turned my world upside down. (Come to think about it, if the internet had existed in its present form when I was a kid, my world would have been upside down).
  3.  Yale Project on Climate Change Communication – Interested in where you stand on your knowledge and beliefs about global warming? This site covers perceptions of climate change from all angles. Lots of interesting stuff that has helped me get a better idea of how to talk to people about climate change. Once you know where you stand, you can check out the latest climate news at Yale Climate Connections .
  4. NOAA’s  has lots of good stuff for teaching essential climate literacy principles as well as latest news, maps and data. Along with that, NOAA’s National Climate Data Center is the place to look for data from a specific location. I’ve used this one A LOT over the years. Also, recently got a facelift!
  5. Interested in starting a discussion about climate change in your community? The Climate Voices Science Speakers Network will put you in touch with someone who can help with that.
  6. The Union of Concerned Scientists Global Warming page gets a bit more political. But it helps me look at that intersection of science and politics – more often than I have been.



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