177 Improving Climate Change Literacy and Communication Skills in an Undergraduate Atmospheric Sciences Program

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Janel Hanrahan, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, PA

While many undergraduate Atmospheric Science departments are expanding their curriculums to focus on the science of climate change, often overlooked is the need to educate students about how this topic can be effectively communicated to others.  It has become increasingly difficult for young scientists to comfortably discuss this polarizing topic with people outside of the classroom.  To address this, Atmospheric Science faculty at Lyndon State College are providing undergraduate students the opportunity to practice this important skill by reaching out to the local community.  Over the past two years, students have been meeting regularly to discuss climate change science and to plan and implement various outreach activities.  The group was organized with the primary goal of teaching undergraduate students about effective ways to communicate basic climate science to nonscientists, but to also improve public understanding of anthropogenic climate change while starting a conversation among young people in the community.  We will identify lessons learned after two years, discuss effective strategies, and summarize our accomplishments.
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