INSPIRING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: THE ROLE OF LOCAL CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH AND SERVICE LEARNING
The courses are specifically designed to improve middle to high school (grades 6-12) teachers’ content knowledge of climate processes and climate change science in the context of their own community. Both courses provide data-rich, investigative science experiences in a distributed digital environment and support teachers in the creation of lessons and units that promote both inquiry science and service learning in the community. Course participants connect the dots from their newly acquired theoretical science knowledge to concrete examples of change taking place locally, and see the value of promoting awareness as well as behavioral changes that contribute to adaptation and mitigation of local climate change impacts.
We describe the assessments used and the research outcomes associated with NRES 832, Human Dimensions of Climate Change, where participants conduct archival research to create a climate change chronicle for their community, and NRES 830 Climate Research Applications, where teachers lead and evaluate the impacts of student-designed service learning activities as a capstone project for a unit on climate change.