Toward A More Climate-Literate America
A new Administration initiative aims to “lift America’s game” in climate education, literacy, and training. Led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the interagency Climate Education and Literacy Initiative will connect students and citizens with the best-available scientific information about
The Initiative is kicking off with a roundtable discussion at the White House, convening leaders in the education community from government, academia, philanthropies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to discuss ways to enhance climate education in the United States.
USGCRP agencies will play a central part in implementing the Initiative. Their commitments include:
- Equipping National Park Service employees with climate-relevant resources. The National Park Service is developing a National Climate Change Interpretive Plan to assist employees, volunteers, and other partners in effectively conveying climate change concepts to Park visitors.
- Providing training to senior Federal leaders. New courses will equip Federal senior executives with the information and skills they need to address climate change through their programs. The Office of Personnel Management and USGCRP agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are spearheading this effort.
- Convening regional climate science workshops for educators. NOAA will sponsor five regional workshops for a total of 400 formal and informal educators, providing opportunities to interact with climate experts and visit climate centers. The workshops will focus on the regional impacts of climate change, as highlighted in USGCRP’s 2014 National Climate Assessment.
- Leveraging digital games to enhance climate education. NOAA and other science agencies will harness educational games and interactive media to enhance understanding of climate impacts and solutions. As part of this effort, a competition will bring together game developers, scientists, and educators to create new game prototypes that allow players to learn about climate change through science-based, interactive experiences.
- Enhancing energy literacy. The Department of Energy (DOE) and partners are releasing a series of videos highlighting each of the principles in the DOE Energy Literacy Framework. DOE is also expanding resources for Spanish speakers.
- Harnessing digital platforms to disseminate climate information. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) ESTEEM program, which promotes increased access by underrepresented minority groups to Earth science careers and education, will host a series of online conversations through its ongoing “Ask Us” Educator Professional Development series. In 2015, five “Ask Us” sessions will focus on connecting educators with the findings of the 2014 National Climate Assessment.
These efforts will be complemented by a number of commitments from external partners in formal and informal education, including academic groups, educator associations, museums, zoos, and foundations.