The Evaluation Group at TERC, in Cambridge, MA, served as the external evaluator for the Climate Literacy Partnership in the SouthEast (CLiPSE) during its Phase I funding through the National Science Foundation’s Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) program. CLiPSE brought together experts in climate and learning science, with formal and informal educators to develop a plan to address climate literacy education that would be responsive to the perspectives and values (economic, religious, political, etc.) of the population in the southeastern US. While the project sought to review and make available climate change education resources that would be useful in formal education settings, it also sought to expand to informal contexts by developing “dialog sessions” with community groups, especially faith-based/ evangelical groups, agricultural groups, and leisure groups such as hunters and garden clubs. To reach this wide audience required development of a broad network of partners. Part of our evaluation was to document the growth and development of this network, in collaboration with CLiPSE researchers, and our methods and findings are the topic of this talk. Both methodological and substantive issues will be discussed.
Data about network expansion included survey data about participants’ opportunities to network, extent of connections, and hopes for the level of integration in the network; qualitative data from conversations about relationships and connections; analysis of network expansion activities (new partners and their characteristics); and comparative social network analyses. Findings show expansion of the size, geographic extent, and quality of the network in a variety of ways.