1.4 Climate education materials with sector-focused context

Monday, 18 July 2011: 11:15 AM
Salon C (Asheville Renaissance)
Megan E. Embrey, NC State University, Raleigh, NC; and R. P. Boyles, P. Knox, and S. K. Schulze

Climate science is gaining public interest, but there still exists large gaps in public understanding and education of climate science and climate issues. Often, information is most easily conveyed when put in a familiar context. This was the motivation behind the development of a website to better communicate climate science to non-scientific audiences. Working with educators, a series of modules were designed such that the context, appearance, and examples used could be easily adapted for different audiences.

Initially, the website was developed with an agricultural audience in mind. Description of impacts, examples, figures, and colors were chosen specifically for agriculture extension agents and growers. Later, contextual materials were developed for a K-12 educator audience with examples and activities included as aids for learning in the classroom. Workshops have been set up for educators to provide feedback on its utility.

The design of the site allows for audience-specific contextual features to be dynamically integrated into the core climate education materials. Future adaptations of the website for different audiences are being considered, including material focused for water and natural resource managers.

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