92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 2:15 PM
Climate Education Materials with Sector-Focused Context
Room 348/349 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Heather A. Dinon, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC; and R. P. Boyles, M. E. Embrey, P. N. Knox, M. Megalos, 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. A series of modules were designed such that the context, appearance, and examples used could be easily adapted for different audiences while the core climate science remained consistent.

The initial target audience for the climate education materials was the agriculture sector. Description of impacts, examples, figures, and colors were chosen specifically for agricultural extension agents and growers. Contextual materials were then adapted 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 currently being pursued, including material focused on water and forestry sectors. However, these climate materials can be easily adapted for any sector as a useful supplement to the process of climate education.

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