CSEP provides formal and informal educators working with elementary through university age students with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship. CSEP also provides support for educators to execute climate stewardship (mitigation or adaptation) projects with their audiences to increase understanding of climate science and practical actions to reduce the impact of climate change. The project is part of NOAA's portfolio of activities to strengthen ocean, climate, and atmospheric science education.
Level I. If you are only interested professional development opportunities in climate science and have no interest in doing a stewardship project, go to: https://list.woc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/noaaclimatestewards/ and subscribe to our educator Listserv. You will receive notifications of upcoming workshops, webinars, book/discussion club meetings, professional development opportunities, and the educational materials/resources and readings, etc. for announcements about resources, webinars and book club announcements.
Level II. If you are interested in professional development opportunities and:
Mini-grant funding up to $2000.00 to develop and implement a climate stewardship project. (definition below)
Travel stipends/reimbursements to attend and present at regional workshops &/or national conferences
Special professional development opportunities
CSEP contests with monetary and educational resource prizes
Then you will need to apply to the Stewardship Community of CSEP. You will be committing to:
Develop and implement a climate stewardship action project
Participate in monthly CSEP Web seminars during evening hours – typically the 1st Monday of every month.
Participate in a Stewardship Project Peer Review Group - meetings during evening hours (~ once/month).
Use a newly developed CSEP Wiki to post stewardship project plans, progress updates, results, share resources, and comments with other CSEP educators.
Participate in CSEP evaluation efforts i.e. online surveys.
The application to join the Stewardship Community of CSEP includes a proposed climate stewardship action project. Applications will be accepted until midnight on January 18, 2015. Applicants will be selected based on their qualifications and the merits of their proposal.
Go to http://goo.gl/jCLVnm to apply online.
Note: Stewardship action project proposals are NOT proposals for funding at this time. They are solely meant for application into the program. If accepted, participants will work with a peer review group and a peer mentor to refine their proposal which may be submitted for funding of up to $2000.00 during the summer of 2015. Accepted refined proposals will be funded for the 2015/2016 academic year.
Accepted educators will be notified by January 30, 2015
A climate stewardship action project must involve action based behavioral activities focused on the mitigation of or adaptation to climate change. The IPCC defines climate change mitigation as, "A human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases" and climate change adaptation as, "The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects."*
Climate change mitigation generally involves engaging in activities that reduce the production of human generated greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. energy reduction/conservation in homes and transportation options, recycling, etc. or increasing sinks of carbon dioxide i.e. reforestation, planting regionally appropriate gardens, etc. Climate change adaptation involves making changes in our environment or the way we do things to respond to changes in climate i.e. habitat restoration, planting regionally appropriate gardens, establishing regionally appropriate pollinator habitats, birdhouses, etc.
*Glossary/Definition IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Working Group III Mitigation of Climate Change (http://report.mitigation2014.org/drafts/final-draft postplenary/ipcc_wg3_ar5_final-draft_postplenary_annex-i.pdf)
Local Educators measuring elevation change due to sea level rise in the wetlands surrounding the NOAA Oxford Cooperative Laboratory at a hands-on workshop.
The NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project provides formal and informal educators sustained professional development, collaborative online tools, and the support to build a climate-literate public engaged in climate stewardship. Climate Stewards educate themselves and others as they work with their students and communities to reduce their carbon footprints and “go green.” The following are examples of CSEP educator climate stewardship projects:
After learning about climate change, 5th graders in New York were anxious to disseminate their important findings. They knew they needed the help of adults. But many adults don't know how to talk to kids about this important topic. "It's too scary," some say. "How do I even begin?" others lament. So they helped their teacher write an article about how to talk to children about climate change. These 11-year-olds know what they're talking about! Last fall they researched the Earth's changing climate, evaluated and synthesized information to write essays, participated in teleconferences with students in South Africa who were also studying climate change, and took steps toward mitigating global warming by recycling and reducing their energy use. Their teacher and the students, hope you'll spread the word.
Elementary school students designed a project to reduce idling cars waiting to drop off and pick up students at the school. Students measured the temperature and carbon dioxide levels of the school driveway before, during, and after the carpool line-up. They also counted which waiting cars were idling and which had their engines off. Lastly, they recorded the model and fuel ratings of the cars. Students used their results to develop an anti-idling campaign, which they presented to the student body and posted on the school website and e-newsletter.
Elementary school teachers learned about how human activities affect climate change and impact various habitats as well as the animals that live in them. Teachers and students developed classroom projects to conserve energy that involved making at least one change to their daily habits for 21 days. Teachers took pictures of their students and parents in action, calculating the amount of carbon dioxide they prevented from entering the atmosphere.
Middle school students created and led a model United Nations simulation of the 2011 Durban Climate Summit, experiencing the roles of diplomats attempting to solve a significant global problem and scientists as contributors of knowledge. Working together, the students developed a framework to provide global solutions as world leaders. Students representing members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change worked with computer models and data to develop a well-rounded understanding of paleoclimate, current climatic trends, carbon cycling, and modeling future outcomes. Others took on the roles of UN diplomats researching their respective nations, engaged in practice UN simulations, and developed a working understanding of the diplomatic process. After the climate summit, students said that they finally understood why it was so difficult to get a world consensus on climate change. Post assessments also demonstrated awareness of students’ personal contribution to carbon emissions—that small steps (e.g., playing outside, not using the dishwasher when it isn’t full) matter if enough people do them.
Elementary school students learned about climate change, then studied one issue effecting their local environment: production and disposal of plastic bags. Students took a “Plastic Bag Reduction Pledge,” to reduce their plastic bags use over time. They held a plastic bag drive, collecting all the bags the school community throws out in a month. Each week, they calculated the weight, number and carbon footprint of the bags and reported their data to the school community to see if this impacted plastic bag use in subsequent weeks.
Elementary school students learned about their effect on the environment through a lesson called “What is Your Carbon Footprint?” The students started a vermicomposting bin to minimize their lunch waste. They also created a school garden to show the importance of plants to the environment, and how local farming and food consumption helps decrease carbon dioxide.
Elementary school students and their teachers learned about ocean acidification and its effect on indigenous sea life. Students built a “cultivation station” to observe the effects of ocean acidification on the growth and reproduction of local sea urchins, and worked to reduce their carbon footprints using an online carbon footprint calculator.
College students recorded information about their energy usage and expenses, and developed individual plans to reduce their carbon footprints and increase their savings. Students “journaled” their activities, graphing their data to visualize their successes or failures. After one month, students were asked to look at their data, reflect on what they learned about climate change, and determine whether this affected their attitude toward reducing their carbon footprint and saving money.