89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 5:00 PM
Promoting Climate Literacy through K12 Professional Development Opportunities
Room 125B (Phoenix Convention Center)
Margaret Mooney, CIMSS/SSEC/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and S. Ackerman, L. Schiferl, J. Martin, and T. Whittaker
Climate is an ideal topic for interdisciplinary education and the Internet is an appropriate low-carbon delivery method for new material explaining climate change science to K-12 educators. This AMS presentation will elaborate on recently developed on-line content aptly entitled Global and Regional Climate Change (http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/climatechange/) from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, an effort led by the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS).

Course content is consistent with the Climate Literacy Framework set out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation and is intended to clarify concepts in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers. While the IPCC laid the foundation for measures needed to counteract climate change, there is a chasm between the well-documented evidence presented in the report and the public's ability to comprehend climate change mechanisms. The CIMSS on-line course enables educators to cross this climate literacy chasm with new interactive content, text and audio.

In order to measure the effectiveness of the new material, a pre and post test was administered to the teachers taking the on-line course. CIMSS also conducted a two-day workshop in 2008 on the topic of climate change and distributed the same evaluative test to that group of educators. Results from both efforts will be summarized at this presentation.

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