Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 9:35 AM


LOW, Russanne, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, MANDRYK, Carole A., 3c2e Climate Change Education, Consulting & Evaluation, 7373 Olde Stage Road, Boulder, CO 80302, HANEY, Christine, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0941 and GOSSELIN, David C., Environmental Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 150 Hardin Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0941,

Climate change engagement requires individuals to understand an abstract and complex topic and realize the profound implications of climate change for their families and local community. Two on-line, graduate-level courses offered as part of the Science for Educator’s Specialization of the Masters of Applied Science program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides opportunities for students to study climate change's local impacts, and work with K-12 learners in promoting the scientific awareness and behavioral changes that mitigate against the negative impacts of a changing climate.

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.