Site Guide: Climate Change and Global Warming
Find resources and teaching materials such as activities, course descriptions, visualizations, and effective teaching methods from SERC projects and collaborators for teaching about climate, climate change, and sustainability across the curriculum. Explore tips, advice, and ideas for teaching this potentially controversial and misunderstood topic, addressing misconceptions, capitalize on the interdisciplinary possibilities for teaching about climate, and making this topic relevant to students' lives, even if they are not science majors.
Click the images above to browse teaching activities and course descriptions related to climate change topics. Collections are contributed by faculty and may include service learning projects, writing assignments, field trips, course descriptions and syllabi.
General Collections of Climate Change Resources
Teaching Climate Change (from On the Cutting Edge) - This site allows educators to locate and use the best resources for teaching about Earth's climate system and the changing climate over the past one million years. Here you will find teaching activities, courses, workshop outcomes, teaching ideas and links to useful teaching resources.
Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) - The CLEAN project, a part of the National Science Digital Library, provides a reviewed collection of resources coupled with the tools to enable an online community to share and discuss teaching about climate and energy science.
The Hurricane - Climate Change Collection (from On the Cutting Edge) - Large hurricanes have captured the attention of many citizens in recent years and prompts the inevitable question about the relationship between climate change and hurricanes. This website focuses on recent hurricanes and the latest climate change research to engage students and help them understand the central issues of climate change and hurricane activity.
Climate Proxies (from the Microbial Life Educational Resources collection) - This website provides information about what climate proxies are and how they are used to infer past climate.
Communicating Global Climate Change: Using Debate to Engage Integrative Learning - This series of video clips from MERLOT/ELIXR demonstrates the use of debate as a strategy for engaging student with the issues surrounding climate change. Project materials, timelines and PowerPoint slides are also included.
InTeGrate: Interdisciplinary Teaching of Geoscience for a Sustainable Future - This is a community effort to improve geoscience literacy and build a workforce that is prepared to tackle societal issues. This 5 year project is a NSF STEP center grant and runs from 2012 through 2016, with many pathways for faculty involvement and collaboration.
Teaching about Energy in Geoscience Courses (from On the Cutting Edge)- Energy plays a big role in current climate science, as well as in policy and economics as it relates to climate change. This website contains course descriptions, an activity collection, visualizations, recommended books and websites, workshop outcomes and more.
Curriculum for the Bioregion - This is a network of educators in Washington State who are integrating sustainability and place-based content in a broad array of undergraduate courses. The site hosts collections of teaching activities, courses, and essays with approaches to curriculum integration and engaging pedagogies for both classroom- and community-based learning.
Climate Change in the Age of Media - CAM engages students in the educational process by involving them in the creation of short films, animations, and video journalism related to climate change, integrating science with media literacy in ways that are readily adopted in a range of instructional environments.
The Climate Change Collection - Unsure of how to navigate the web for reliable scientific information about climate science? This suite of web-based resources has been reviewed by a team of science teachers, climate scientists and learning experts who reviewed hundreds of resources for accuracy and effectiveness. See the related climate literacy catalog for more resources.
Recommended Web Sites for Teaching Climate Change (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - This page contains quick links to handy sites for climate change information. Includes research summaries, data sets, imagery and carbon footprint calculators.
Atmospheric science and climatology data sets (from Using Data in the Classroom) - These sites provide on-line or downloadable tools for visualizing or manipulating data or datasets that can be used in the classroom.
Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network Reviewed Resources - This hand-picked collection of scientifically and pedagogically reviewed teaching activities, visualizations, and lab activities involving climate science, climate change, and energy awareness includes materials for middle and high school students as well as undergraduate classrooms.
Climate Change Teaching Activities (from On the Cutting Edge) - This collection provides classroom and laboratory teaching exercises and activities involving climate change from the Cutting Edge Climate Change module.
Earth Exploration Toolbook - Chapters Related to Climate Change - Aimed at the high school and undergraduate level, these chapters from the Earth Exploration Toolbook include background information and data-rich activities and visualizations regarding climate change and its consequences.
Activities Created at CLEAN Workshops - Geared toward the undergraduate level, these climate and energy activities and activity supplements were created by faculty as part of the CLEAN professional development workshop series and involve topics such as teaching climate complexities, busting climate myths, and energy use awareness.
Ideas for Teaching with Ice Core Data (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - During the 2008 Cutting Edge workshop on teaching climate change using ice core data, participants were asked to work in small groups to brainstorm for ideas to bring ice core data into the undergraduate classroom. These ideas are not fully-formed teaching activities (such as are found in the classroom activities collection), but rather they are outlines that could be developed into fully formed activities.
Ideas for Teaching about Paleoclimate (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - During the 2010 Cutting Edge workshop on teaching climate change from the geologic record, participants were asked to work in small groups to brainstorm for ideas to bring paleoclimate data into the undergraduate classroom. These ideas are not fully-formed teaching activities (such as are found in the classroom activities collection), but rather they are outlines that could be developed into fully formed activities.
Ideas for Teaching about Large Lakes and Climate (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - During the workshop, Teaching Climate Change: Insight from Large Lakes, held in 2012, participants learned about lake sediment cores, geomorphology of former lake shores, and impacts of a warming climate on the Great Lakes. Participants worked in small groups to brainstorm for ideas to bring this science into the undergraduate classroom. These ideas are not fully formed teaching activities (such as are found in the activities collection), but rather they are outlines that could be developed into fully formed activities.
Carbon Footprint Collection (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - This web collection contains a variety of classroom activities that can be used to help students measure or reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. This type of activity can be used with introductory level students via ready-made footprint calculators, or left as open-ended calculations in upper level courses.
The Hurricane - Climate Change Connection (from On the Cutting Edge) - This site provides material from a 2008 workshop on teaching about climate change and hurricanes. Materials include a summary of current research, classroom activities, recommended websites, presentations and discussions from the workshop, course information, visualizations and data, and other resources involving climate change and hurricanes.
Experienced-Based Environmental Projects (from Starting Point) - This creative approach offers a way for students to apply classroom topics like energy use, global warming, water quality and land use to their own lives, and to realize that although these issues may be global or regional, they ultimately have roots at the individual level. The module features The Lifestyle Project, a three-week project that challenges students to learn about environmental alternatives by modifying their own lifestyles.
Climate Change Visualizations (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - These pages were developed as a part of the Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations workshop and website. Each page presents quality visualizations on a particular topic in the geosciences, this one focuses on climate change visualizations. You can browse through the whole collection of visualization pages on the Teaching with Visualizations website.
Visualizations about Hurricanes and Climate Change (from On the Cutting Edge The Hurricane-Climate Change Connection) - These pages were developed as a part of the Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations workshop and website. The quality visualizations provided on this site involve climate change and hurricanes.
Paleoclimate: Climate Change Through Time (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - These pages provide access to a spectrum of visualizations and supporting material that can be used effectively to teach students about paleoclimate through geologic time. Visualizations include simple animations, GIS-based animated maps, paleogeographic maps, as well as numerous illustrations and photos.
Energy Visualizations (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Energy) - These visualizations include videos, illustrations, maps, etc. that can support teaching about energy in the classroom. They involve fossil fuel formation and how fuels are converted to energy, resources about nuclear energy, and alternative energy.
Courses about Climatology and Climate Change (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Climate Change) - Review syllabi, course goals and course design strategies for over 20 different climate-related undergraduate courses.
Teaching About Energy in Geoscience Courses (from On the Cutting Edge Teaching about Energy) - Learn about how other faculty teach about energy at the college level by reviewing course descriptions and syllabi that tackle topics related to energy and the environment, including courses related to climate change and alternative energy sources.
CLEAN Workshops and Webinars - Part of their professional development series, the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness (CLEAN) project has held multiple online workshops aimed at undergraduate faculty and a webinar series aimed at middle and high school teachers. The workshops and webinars provided in-depth information on a variety of topics involving climate, energy, and sustainability and were designed to help faculty incorporated these issues into the classroom. The workshops produced materials that contribute to and expand upon resources in the CLEAN reviewed collection and webinar recordings are available.
On the Cutting Edge Climate Change Workshops and Webinars - On the Cutting Edge has hosted a variety of workshops and webinars as part of their professional development series, some of which were co-sponsored by the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA) and the U.S. National Committee for the International Union for Quaternary Research. Workshop products include peer-reviewed activities and course descriptions, lists of useful climate modeling software and climate references contributed by the community, and activity ideas that provide a building block for instructors to modify for their classroom.
On the Cutting Edge Climate and Energy Webinar and Book Club Series - This monthly series delved into emerging topics in the science of energy and climate and explored promising teaching approaches for these topics. Recordings of webinar presentations are available from the event pages.
On the Cutting Edge Energy Workshops and Events - These workshops brought together geoscience educators to share their understanding about energy in the context of teaching and learning geoscience. The workshops also showcase approaches for teaching about energy and provided a forum to develop new educational materials.