506 Increasing Climate Literacy among Undergraduate Students Using New AMS Learning Modules

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Joseph Petsche, San Jose State Univ., San Jose, CA

In an effort to increase climate literacy at the undergraduate level, San Jose State University, a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), participated in the NSF-supported AMS Climate Studies Diversity Project workshop in Silver Spring, MD during the Summer of 2018. The purpose of this collaboration is to introduce undergraduate students, many of whom are taking a science course for the first time in many years, to NOAA, NASA, and other geoscience data as part of a curriculum now containing a more robust introduction to climate and climate change. It is imperative that today’s students are climate-literate, as they include our future scientists and policy makers. To assess the students’ prior knowledge of climate and climate change, a thirty-question, multiple-choice quiz will be given to students during the first class meeting of the Fall 2018 semester. At the end of the semester, the same quiz will be administered. The author hypothesizes that results will indicate a clear and significant increase in the students’ overall understanding of the climate system and of climate change. Students with a strong sense of ownership over their knowledge about climate will be better at making informed decisions regarding energy use and climate-related policies as voters. Introduction of AMS Climate Studies should be a vehicle for this change.
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