Climate Outreach in Undergraduate Programs: A Student Perspective
Monday 2:30pm E Building 220
Oral Session Part of Monday Oral Session B
Gabrielle Brown, Northern Vermont University - Lyndon
Janel Hanrahan, Northern Vermont University
Many students desire to become better communicators on anthropogenic climate change but are easily intimidated by the topic and how it is discussed in society. This has increased the importance of having outlets for undergraduate students with similar passions and interests to gather, discuss, and practice. Students, faculty, and staff on the Northern Vermont University – Lyndon campus began navigating climate change communication and community engagement back in 2014 with campus and community-based activities such as student-led school visits, workshops, and climate strikes. This has since grown into a multi-institution network consisting of undergraduate and graduate student and faculty representation. Through climate outreach, not only do students get the opportunity to engage in conversations regarding climate change, but they also develop the confidence and communication skills needed to be an effective scientist. Closing the "consensus gap" on human-caused climate change, motivating real action, and empowering the next generation of scientists to engage in climate outreach starts with building a welcoming community. This presentation will discuss how climate outreach in undergraduate programs can benefit, attract, and support students.