GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 254-8
Presentation Time: 10:20 AM


PIERCE, Jennifer L., Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725, BEAN, Jessica R., Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, BOYD, Kathryn, Cooperative Institute in Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Education & Outreach Group, 449 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-5004 and WEPPNER, Kerrie N., Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725-1535

A recent NPR poll finds that while most teachers do not teach climate change in the classroom, four out of five parents wish they did (NPR, Morning Edition, April 22, 2019). However, this national perspective may vary substantially by region. Yale Climate Communications identifies ‘Global Warming’s Six Americas’: alarmed, concerned, cautious, disengaged, doubtful and dismissive. In Idaho, only 24 % of Republicans agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is caused mostly by human activities, the lowest percentage of any state (, 2016). For a policy solution to ultimately get on the agenda of policy makers it must have three characteristics: it must be technically feasible, have adequate resources, and be acceptable in terms of societal values (Jones et al., 2016). In order to effectively communicate and teach climate change science in schools, the curriculum, administration, parents and policy must be in place on a state-wide and regional level to support climate education. In Idaho, while the legislature approved the inclusion of climate education in the state standards in 2018, there is currently a need to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to implement climate science and global change education at the K-12 level throughout the state, and a need to frame climate education within a context that is regionally acceptable. The abundance of renewable energy in Idaho, and the high employment potential for current and future jobs in renewable energy provides an avenue for climate education in this state. Working together with the local power company, school administrators, teachers, and university faculty we seek to develop Idaho’s climate and energy literacy education program to effectively deliver both energy and climate education to students in the K-12 school system.