Implementation of a Climate Decision Support System in an Undergraduate Weather and Climate Classroom

Monday 4:30pm-6:00pm Quad
Poster Session Part of Monday Poster Session


Haven Cashwell, Auburn University Main Campus
karen mcneal, Auburn University Main Campus
Climate education needs to include actionable items to resonate with those pupils who are learning about climate change (Anderson 2012). For this project, a Decision Support System (DSS) was used in a classroom lab setting to show how endangered species will be impacted by climatic changes in the future to educate undergraduate students. This website known as Climate Analysis and Visualization for the Assessment of Species Status (CAnVAS) was used in a Weather and Climate course lab section at a large public University in the Southern U.S. An active learning lab was developed which provided students opportunities to navigate the website independently while working through the lab materials. Students were tasked with making observations of how species may be impacted when different climate variables were manipulated on the web tool. A pre and post assessment was conducted to assess knowledge gains of students across the semester around climate change impacts to endangered species. A pilot iteration of this study was conducted in Fall 2021 and subsequent iterations have occurred/will occur in Fall 2022 and Fall 2023 semesters. The research questions that guide this project include: (1) How do undergraduate students interact with the navigational CAnVAS website? (2) What improvements do undergraduate students want to be made to the CAnVAS website? (3) How did student learning change throughout the semester? This poster will show results from both Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 data of the pre/post assessment that was administered to students as well as student performance on the implemented lab. The end goal of the project is to create, implement, and evaluate an active learning undergraduate classroom lab that incorporates a real-world decision support system that provides students with insights to how endangered species are impacted by climatic changes through evidence based reasoning and use of climate science visualizations.