EarthLabs for Educators > Texas Summer Workshop

Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy

A Summer Workshop for High School Teachers

Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School for Geosciences

University of Texas at Austin

Monday June 10 – Friday June 14, 2013

Understanding the complexity and interconnectedness of Earth's natural cycles across various time and spatial scales has become increasingly important as the effects of human activity on those cycles become more apparent. Join us for a week at University of Texas at Austin to learn about three new high school curriculum units* that address these topics and how you can incorporate them into your science classes. The new Web-based curriculum units will be freely available to you and are designed to enhance classroom learning by allowing students to explore the topics in a variety of modes, including hands-on activities, video interviews with scientists, group work, self-guided examination of scientific data, and class discussions.

  • Participants who complete the workshop will receive 40 CEUs from University of Texas at Austin and a stipend.
  • Accommodations and two meals daily (breakfast and lunch) will be provided at no cost to participants.
  • Texas teachers can also apply for a transportation subsidy (max. $250).

Space is limited to 25.

CLICK HERE to complete and submit an application. We are no longer accepting applications.

Questions? Call Dr. Kathy Ellins at University of Texas at Austin (1-512 471-0347)


*Climate and the Cryosphere: Earth's Frozen Waters

How do Earth's glaciers, ice bergs, and ice sheets affect the Texas climate? The complexity of Earth's interconnected system is highlighted in this unit as students learn about the cryosphere's dynamic nature and the positive and negative feedback systems that play a critical role in shaping our planet's climate.

*Climate, Weather, and the Biosphere

Earth's atmosphere not only provides us with life-supporting oxygen; it helps maintain our planet's temperature range, which shapes life on Earth as we know it. Students learn about various temporal and spatial scales at which weather and climate occur, and the interactions of the Earth's system at local, regional, and global scales that drive our weather and shape our climate.

*Climate and the Carbon Cycle

Carbon cycles through the Earth system on time scales that vary from fractions of a second to hundreds of thousands of years, and is as essential to the phytoplankton as it is to the Giant Sequoia. Air bubbles from ice cores reveal the dynamic history of atmospheric carbon across the past 600,000 years and help scientists establish the long-term history of the carbon-climate connection.

Notes and Resources From the Austin Workshop: June, 2013

Click here (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 84kB Jun14 13) to download information about participating in the EarthLabs Research Implementation during the 2013-2014 school year.

Texas Climate News from the Houston Advance Research Center.

Climate Literacy Essential Principles

The Earth Exploration Toolbook website provides detailed instruction for learning about computer-based tools used to analyze data. Use the search function to find resources related to ImageJ, Google Earth and many other tools.

This link to Steve Kluge's web site is a good resource for learning more about Google Earth and other Earth science tools and topics.

EarthSystem_Intro.pptx (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 10.9MB May28 13) is a slide show you can use to introduce your students to the Earth System. Use the notes in the word document EarthSystem_Intro_NOTES.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 166kB May28 13) to add information as you show the slides.

The slide shown Global Circulation.pptx (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 2.9MB May28 13) addresses both atmospheric and oceanic circulation and explains the Coriolis effect.

Find a large collection of vetted, web-based , freely available resources related to climate and energy at the CLEAN web site

The TXESS Revolution web site is a reliable source of resources for teaching earth and space science.

Check the Skeptical Science web site.

Tamara's Iceland Trip (PowerPoint 44.8MB Jun14 13)

NOAA's time history of atmospheric CO2

NASA's Perpetual Ocean video showing surface circulation.

Keep in touch with Kaustubh's blog at