GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 223-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


DAVOCK, Caroline, Smith College, 1 Chapin Way Unit 6775, Northampton, MA 01063-6302, HERZFELD, Julia, 465 W 23rd St Apt 18B, New York, NY 10011-2121, GLUMAC, Bosiljka, Department of Geosciences, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 and BERNER, Carol, Department of Education and Child Study, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063

This presentation gives an overview of the “Climate in Arts and History” ( website, which strives to promote climate literacy beyond the natural and environmental sciences by highlighting the impact of climate on society and culture throughout history. To achieve this goal, specific relationships between climate and historical events, works of art, literature and music, and other aspects of human life are described and interpreted.

To date, we have focused our efforts on generating content for the website, which involves compiling, researching, writing and posting entries on individual climate-related topics in the subject areas of art, history and social studies, languages, literature and music. Each entry consists of a brief description of the topic, an exploration of its connection to climate and links to additional resources. Examples of such topics include: Art - Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) by Emanuel Gottlieb Luetze; History - Rise and Fall of the Western Roman Empire; Languages - An Introduction to the Word Climate; Literature - The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck; and Music - Stradivarius Violins.

Although we expect this resource to be of interest in higher education and to the general public, it was originally intended for K-12 teachers. As a result, future work will include collaborating with teachers and other education professionals to align the content with educational standards and develop activities for incorporating the content into non-STEM courses. We will also continue to update the website content as we obtain new information and receive feedback via our email,

Through this resource, we seek to demonstrate the multidimensional impacts of climate on societies without assuming that all the possible causes and consequences of the events described therein are a direct result of climatic shifts. As the effects of climate change initiated and accelerated by human activities are becoming more visible, this and other similar resources are needed to help provide comprehensive climate education for the next generation and to engage the general public. Understanding the effects of climate is important for building individual and collective resilience to present and future climate changes.