Paper No. 25
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


BUCK, Paul E., Division of Earth & Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 755 E. Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, RUDD, Lawrence P., Education, Nevada State College, 1125 Nevada State Drive, Henderson, NV 89002, BONDE, Aubrey M., Geoscience, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154 and MCALISTER, Juan, Nevada State College, 1125 Nevada State Dr, Henderson, NV 89002,

We present results of a 5 yr teacher professional development project in climate change science, part of Nevada ‘s Climate Change Research Education and Outreach NSF EPSCoR award. All teachers participated in at least one (2-week long) summer institute and academic year follow up assisted by a disciplinary graduate student and was offered a free on-line 3 credit graduate credit bearing class from UNLV based on the fundamentals of climate change science. Our teachers increased their content knowledge about climate change science. This is indicated in student evaluations of the on-line course ENV 794, and in the summer institute post test of content knowledge which included about 25 questions. There was improvement for our one focus question about climate change having the greatest impact on high-latitudes. While there was no improvement on our focus question of human produced CO2 being greater than nature sequestered CO2, for this question nearly everyone got it correct pre and post, which makes it seem that our group of teachers began the institute with an understanding that humans are producing CO2 which has an impact on climate and our summer institutes nurtured that understanding. Teachers feel that they are more competent to teach climate change science effectively in the classroom. All teachers rated themselves as significantly more confident in reference to selected focus questions (11 in total, only 4 are described here). They were asked to describe their current belief about their level of skill and knowledge in teaching the following topics; Q#1 explain the greenhouse effect; Q#6 relate climate change to disturbances in natural ecosystems; Q#8 incorporate climate change labs into your science teaching; and Q#10 teach about local impacts of climate change in your science classroom. Each teacher was observed delivering a lesson plan in their classroom. We conducted no formal audit or assessment of any teachers pedagogical skill in teaching-this was beyond the scope of the project. Likewise, the program did not attempt to assess learning of the students taught by our teachers.