Initial Publication Date: September 22, 2016

Teaching about Climate Change

Quaternary climate change is one of the most complex, yet relevant issues facing researchers and educators today. Not only is the topic scientifically complex, but there are economic, social and political ramifications as well. 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 climate data, visualizations, teaching activities, workshops and more.

Course Design & Pedagogy | Resource Collections | Special Topics | Workshops & Events | Get Involved

Designing an Effective Climate Change Course

1. Set goals

Learn to set effective course goals from the Course Design Tutorial. You can also browse course descriptions and syllabi from your colleagues to gauge the range of climate change courses currently offered.

2. Consider assessment options

Aligning your assessment strategies with the goals of your course is an essential part of the design process. You can learn more about assessment in the section about Assessing Student Learning in the Course Design Tutorial and through our module on Observing and Assessing Student Learning.

3. Select pedagogies and specific teaching activities

The pedagogic techniques highlighted below can provide inspiration as you consider various approaches that will help you achieve your course goals. The resource collections are organized to provide a rich set of materials to draw from in constructing the specific set of learning experiences you want for your students. Finally, explore the more in-depth information and ideas available in special topics.

Selected Pedagogical Approaches

Because climate change is a complex topic with scientific, policy, and societal components, the selection of an appropriate pedagogic approach is especially important. There are many strategies that can be used to achieve a desired learning outcome.

Resource Collections

Once you've identified the core learning goals for your course, you can use them to focus your search for relevant materials in our resource collections. The materials listed below reflect the contributions of faculty members from across the country.

  • Courses descriptions about climatology and climate change, including syllabi and course goals.
  • Teaching activities contributed by faculty members including classroom activities, lab exercises, problem sets, and more.
  • Teaching activity ideas, including ice core data and paleoclimate collections have been developed at various climate change workshops.
  • Visualization collections for teaching about Earth's climate and climate change. Collections include animations, photos, and interactive imagery and are sorted by topic.
  • Selected resources for teaching climate change including research summaries, data sets, graphics, and carbon footprint calculators. You can also browse additional web resources.

Special Topics

Workshop and Events

Get Involved