COMMUNICATING THE SCIENCE OF GLOBAL CHANGE: A NEW WEB RESOURCE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA MUSEUM OF PALEONTOLOGY
The project’s initial steps took place in 2012 with meetings of our scientific and educational advisory boards. To further hone the project’s objectives, the UGC project team and BSCS administered a needs assessment to more than 1500 educators. This survey revealed (1) a desire for professional development on global change topics, (2) a strong interest in the human impact of global change and its social implications, and (3) a high level of perceived relevance of global change to students’ everyday lives.
From both scientific and sociological perspectives, global change is a complex subject but an appropriate one for our times. This cross-disciplinary field bears on Earth’s past and rapidly-changing present state, which are essential topics for an informed citizenry to grasp. Furthermore, from an educational perspective, scientific principles relevant to global change and the interactions and feedbacks within a dynamic system are critical subjects for scientific literacy and are identified as both core ideas and cross-cutting concepts within the Next Generation of Science Standards. The UGC website will launch in 2015.