Example of climate change seminar: Contrasting peer-reviewed literature and how it is discussed in the news (radio and newspapers)

Thursday 1:45pm REC Center Large Ice Overlook Room
Oral Presentation Part of Teaching Controversial Topics


Abir Biswas, The Evergreen State College
Carri LeRoy, The Evergreen State College
Climate change is an important topic in geoscience classes that can sometimes be difficult to discuss fully, and which in the context of today's news can be polarizing given students' different perspectives on global change and/or climate warming. In our weekly seminar during our team-taught upper division bio-geo-chemistry class, we have been reading recent articles in peer-reviewed literature to give students opportunities to discuss new findings and develop stronger foundations in unpacking dense information in peer-reviewed literature (compared to text books), as students work toward writing peer-review style papers of their own. In this particularly successful seminar, we had students read a recent article from the peer-reviewed literature, and found accompanying radio pieces, as well as new articles and web blogs discussing the research from the perspective of predicted imminent climate warming as well as from a more skeptical perspective questioning climate change and the published research. The students' seminar was thus directed both by the findings as well as the way in which the findings were discussed in news articles. Students appeared to enjoy this shift toward considering how controversial sciences is portrayed in the news and overall this approach generate more diverse discussion.

Presentation Media

Seminar handout for Climate-Drought Seminar (Cook et al) (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) PRIVATE FILE 23kB Jul16 15)