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The new Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators is an updated and expanded version of the award-winning and very popular Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit for Teachers and Interpreters which was first published in 2001. The new kit is designed for classroom teachers and informal educators in parks, refuges, forest lands, nature centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, etc., and is aimed at the middle school grade level.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with six other federal agencies (National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USDA/Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management), developed the kit to aid educators in teaching how climate change is affecting our nation's wildlife and public lands, and how everyone can become climate stewards.

Background

By 2007 it was clear that the kit should be updated and expanded.  The new toolkit's materials are grounded in government approved, current information (including IPCC reports, US Global Change Research Program assessments, recent research by federal agencies) on climate science and impacts to wildlife and their habitats in specific eco-regions of the United States. Specifically, it features:

  • Environmentally/user friendly packaging (DVD)
  • An easy to understand overview of the science of climate change in question/answer format
  • A glossary of climate change terms to build vocabulary
  • Case studies of 11 eco-regions in the U.S., highlighting regional impacts to habitats and wildlife, and information on what kids can do to help
  • A 12-minute, high-definition video on climate science, impacts on, and solutions for wildlife and wild lands; segmented for ease of use in any setting
  • Classroom activities keyed to national science standards, developed by participants in the 2008 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program
  • Additional updated materials and hands-on activities from EPA's popular climate change education resources library
  • Links to a wide variety of educational resources developed by all 7 federal agencies for use in formal and informal settings
  • Up-to-the-minute graphics developed by federal agencies at the forefront of the climate change issue

The new case studies and activities have been reviewed by scientists and educators in all 7 agencies involved in the creation of the kit.  The collaboration of the 7 federal agencies and bureaus working together to develop an educational kit on climate change is unprecedented.

The results of the effort are of the highest quality in the areas of climate science, environmental education, and stewardship information.  On behalf of all the agencies involved in the creation of the Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators, we invite you to use the information and lessons contained in it to educate, inspire, and engage students everywhere to become stewards of our nation's wildlife and the habitats on which they depend!