Paper No. 317-7
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM

CLIMATE OF CHANGE: PROMOTING CLIMATE LITERACY THROUGH DEVELOPMENT OF DATA-DRIVEN INSTRUCTIONAL MODULES FOR UNDERGRADUATES


WALKER, Becca, Department of Earth Sciences and Astronomy, Mt. San Antonio College, 1100 N. Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789, rwalker@mtsac.edu, FADEM, Cynthia M., Department of Geology, Earlham College, 801 National Rd W, Richmond, IN 47374, SHELLITO, Cindy, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, 501 20th St, Campus Box 100, Greeley, CO 80639, and STEER, David, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-4101
Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate) is an NSF-funded STEP Center program aimed at incorporating geoscience in the context of societal issues across undergraduate curricula. The inaugural year of InTeGrate materials development involved the creation of several 2-3 week introductory geoscience teaching modules that utilize authentic data to address grand challenges in geoscience and society, incorporate systems thinking, and improve student understanding of the nature and methods of geoscience. We report on the development process and content of the Climate of Change module, whose overarching goal is for students to understand that climate impacts human societies and that the climate system has interacting components, complicated by feedbacks, uncertainties, and human behavioral decisions.

The development team consisted of one faculty member from a liberal arts college, one from a comprehensive university, and one from a community college to ensure materials would be widely applicable and implementable. Using instructional strategies such as gallery walks, interactive discussions, group work, and games, students investigate the dynamics and impacts of climate variability by examining and analyzing atmosphere, ocean, and ice data from multiple regions. In addition, students consider past and present human adaptation to climate fluctuations. We piloted the module in geology, meteorology, and oceanography courses during the 2012-2013 academic year and documented content and instructional modifications made for our respective student populations. We administered formative and summative assessments linked to the module’s goal and learning outcomes and pre- and post-instruction geoscience literacy instruments. Course piloting in these three contexts yielded preliminary results showing the effectiveness of the module on cognitive and affective gains and revealed issues related to adapting the module to different class sizes, formats, and student populations; appropriately scaffolding the module in the curriculum based on student content knowledge; and disseminating the module to other instructors.