89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 4:15 PM
Enhancing climate literacy
Room 125B (Phoenix Convention Center)
Mark A. Shafer, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK; and T. E. James and N. Giuliano
Poster PDF (1.3 MB)
Many local and regional planners are not aware of the causes of climate change and variability or where to find information about climate that may be integrated into their operations. Brief presentations at workshops do not allow sufficient time to relay complex information; more than an hour or two is needed. More formal outreach training activities tend to be oriented toward multi-day workshops. While these provide much more detail and equip decision-makers well for using climate information, the investment of time for many managers is too great.

To balance these competing forces, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) developed a one-day “Climate Trainng” workshop focused on fundamentals of climate and weather, sources of climate information, climate change, and special topics such as drought and hazards. The project is funded by the NOAA Sector Applications Research Program (SARP). The workshops build upon the successful multi-day training courses used by OCS' K-12 and public safety outreach programs, with information distilled to a level commensurate with a one-day course.

Each of the workshops include an evaluation component. At each workshop, participants are asked to complete a pre-test and a post-test to assess learning during the training. Four to six months after each workshop, participants are contacted to gather information about how information from the workshops has affected advice they give to agricultural producers. This enables an assessment not only of direct changes in knowledge, but a qualitative assessment of changes in practices that may have some relationship to the long-term goals of mitigating climate-related impacts. Results from the series of six workshops and preliminary evaluation findings will be presented.

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