[ESIP-all] Fw: Launch of Climate Education and Literacy Initiative

Tamara Ledley via ESIP-all esip-all at lists.esipfed.org
Wed Dec 3 13:31:28 EST 2014

Here is the White House announcement of the Climate Education and Literacy 
Initiative.  Please share.  Sorry for cross posting!

Tamara Shapiro Ledley, PhD
Senior Scientist, TERC
2067 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
phone: 617-873-9658; fax: 617-349-3535

----- Forwarded by Tamara Ledley/CSTL/TERC on 12/03/2014 01:29 PM -----

From:   "Petes, Laura" <Laura_E_Petes at ostp.eop.gov>
To:     "Petes, Laura" <Laura_E_Petes at ostp.eop.gov>
Cc:     "Hubbard, Sarah (Intern)" <Sarah_M_Hubbard at ostp.eop.gov>
Date:   12/03/2014 12:44 PM
Subject:        Launch of Climate Education and Literacy Initiative

Dear All,
I wanted to let you know that we just that we just announced the launch of 
a new Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to help connect students 
and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about 
climate change.  Today’s launch includes a number of exciting new 
commitments and announcements, including your contributions.  You are 
encouraged to share with your networks and to amplify via social media 
using the hashtags #ActonClimate and  #ClimateED”.
Thanks again for all of your hard work.  Your input and energy have been 
(and will continue to be) invaluable in guiding our climate-education 
efforts, and we are grateful for your support and dedication. 
Fact Sheet about the Administration’s new Climate Education and Literacy 
Initiative HERE (and pasted below). [
Read about additional climate-related steps the White House announced 
today HERE. [
Office of Science and Technology Policy
For Immediate Release  
December 3, 2014
FACT SHEET: Lifting America’s Game in Climate Education, Literacy, and 
“If you believe, like I do, that something has to be done on this, then 
you’re going to have to speak out. You’re going to have to learn more 
about these issues… You’ve got to educate your classmates, and colleagues, 
and family members and fellow citizens, and tell them what’s at stake.”
-- President Obama, June 2014, Remarks at the University of 
California-Irvine Commencement Ceremony
Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, important steps have already 
been taken to cut carbon pollution, prepare for the impacts of climate 
change, and lead international efforts to fight this global challenge. 
Continued progress into the future will depend on ensuring a climate-smart 
citizenry and a next-generation American workforce of city planners, 
community leaders, engineers, and entrepreneurs who understand the urgent 
climate-change challenge and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and 
training to seek and implement solutions. 
That’s why today, in support of the Obama Administration’s steady efforts 
to address climate change, the White House Office of Science & Technology 
Policy (OSTP) is launching a new Climate Education and Literacy Initiative 
to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, 
science-based information about climate change. 
The Initiative is kicking off with a roundtable discussion at the White 
House, convening key 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. 
The discussion will focus on planned and potential efforts to: increase 
learning opportunities about climate change for students; equip educators 
with science-based information and resources; enhance climate-related 
professional development and training; and engage citizens through 
place-based and informal climate education.
Through the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, the Obama 
Administration is asking leaders across sectors to step up and help lift 
our Nation’s game in climate education. In response to an initial call to 
action made in October, more than 150 activities, projects, and ideas were 
submitted by individuals and organizations across the country, from more 
than 30 states. These included a diverse array of innovative approaches 
being implemented in K-12 classrooms, on college and university campuses, 
and in zoos, parks, aquariums, and museums to educate and engage students 
and citizens of all ages. Today’s launch includes a number of exciting new 
commitments by Federal agencies and outside groups.
Administration Commitments:
Equipping National Park Service employees with climate-relevant resources. 
The National Park Service (NPS) is developing a National Climate Change 
Interpretive Plan to better serve the employees, volunteers, partners, and 
concessionaires who engage with the more than 270 million individuals who 
visit the Nation's 401 National Parks annually. To be completed by the end 
of 2015, the Plan will guide NPS in providing interpretive services 
related to climate change as the nation celebrates the NPS Centennial in 
2016. Specifically, the Plan will assist NPS interpretive managers and 
practitioners in the creation and delivery of effective climate-change 
messages in the programs and exhibits across all National Parks. 
Providing training to senior Federal leaders. The Office of Personnel 
Management (OPM), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of the 
Interior (DOI), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are spearheading a 
new “Climate Change for Senior Executive Leaders” program. Based on a 
pilot held in October 2014, new courses will be offered in 2015, with the 
goal of training 100 Senior Executives from the Federal Government over 
the coming year. In addition, a new “Climate-LEAD” course will be piloted 
in 2015 in partnership with OPM's Leadership Education And Development 
Program; this course will educate future climate-change leaders in the 
General Schedule (GS) ranks across Federal agencies.  Collectively, these 
trainings will equip the Federal Government’s leaders with the information 
and skills they need to understand and address climate change through 
their positions and programs.
Convening regional climate-science workshops for educators. In 2015, 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-science facilities to explore the technological 
innovations that have revolutionized Earth-system research. Workshops will 
focus on the regional impacts of climate change, as highlighted in the 
Third National Climate Assessment. The series will start in Silver Spring, 
MD with a NOAA Climate Modeling and Simulation Workshop for Educators to 
showcase tools and hands-on, interactive strategies that can be used in 
classrooms to meaningfully foster understanding and critical thinking 
around society’s climate challenges. Other workshops will take place in 
Seattle, WA, St. Petersburg, FL, Boulder, CO, and Chicago, IL.
Leveraging digital games to enhance climate education. NOAA and other 
science agencies will collaborate to harness the promise of educational 
games and interactive media to enhance understanding and awareness of 
climate-change impacts and solutions. As part of this effort, in 2015, 
NOAA and partners will organize a competition bringing together game 
developers, scientists, and educators to create new game prototypes that 
allow players to learn about climate change through science-based, 
interactive experiences. Promising prototypes may be made available for 
teachers and students to use in the classroom. 
Enhancing energy literacy. Today, the Department of Energy (DOE), along 
with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Center for 
Science Education (NCSE), is launching the first four videos in a series 
highlighting each of the seven essential principles presented in the DOE 
Energy Literacy Framework. The Framework seeks to help educators of all 
disciplines and age groups incorporate a multidisciplinary approach to 
energy into their lessons and programs. The final three videos are 
expected by September 2015. In addition, DOE is also announcing the 
Spanish-language version of its Get Current coloring book, which is part 
of an ongoing effort to expand educational resources for the growing 
Spanish-speaking population in the United States.
Harnessing digital platforms to disseminate climate information. In 2015, 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ESTEEM (Earth 
Systems, Technology, and Energy Education for MUREP-Minority University 
Research and Education Project) will host a set of online conversations 
through its “Ask US (Useful Science)” Educator Professional Development 
series. “Ask US” brings science-based resources to teachers through 
engaging virtual sessions hosted by NASA’s Digital Learning Network. Last 
year, the newly launched series reached over 1,200 educators and spanned a 
variety of sectors, including pre-college education, universities, 
community colleges, and non-profits. In 2015, five additional “Ask US” 
sessions will be held, with a focus on connecting educators with findings 
of the Third National Climate Assessment.
External Commitments:
The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE). Over the coming year, ACE will 
educate 150,000 high-school students with their assembly program that 
presents climate science through storytelling, animation, music, and 
video. ACE will also engage 50,000 of those students through their online 
and mobile networks. As part of this effort, ACE has committed to align 
their assemblies and online resources with information from the Third 
National Climate Assessment and to train 80 high-school students next year 
as climate leaders through the ACE Action Fellowship. These Fellowships 
support students in becoming lifelong climate leaders by developing their 
knowledge of climate science and solutions, growing their public 
communication skills, and enhancing their ability to take action on local 
climate issues.
American Meteorological Society (AMS). In Spring 2015, AMS, in partnership 
with Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ 
Climate Commitment, will prepare 30 faculty members from Minority Serving 
Institutions (MSIs) to introduce climate-science courses onto their 
campuses. A series of workshops for MSI professors interested in enhancing 
coursework around paleoclimate is also being developed by AMS, the 
Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the National Science Foundation (NSF) 
International Ocean Discovery Program, and the U.S. Ice Drilling Program 
Office, in collaboration with multiple partners from higher education and 
with support from NSF and Lockheed Martin. 
Aquarium of the Pacific, National Aquarium, New England Aquarium, and 
Seattle Aquarium. Through a partnership called Visualizing Change: 
Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators, the Aquarium of the 
Pacific, National Aquarium, New England Aquarium, and Seattle Aquarium, 
which collectively welcome over 5 million visitors annually, are 
collaborating to use digital platforms and technologies to illustrate 
impacts of climate change on coasts and oceans. In 2015, new visual 
narratives on sea-level rise, ocean acidification, extreme weather, and 
impacts on primary productivity will be launched in pilot phases at these 
aquariums and other informal education centers throughout the Nation, with 
the goal of communicating climate information and science through enhanced 
visitor engagement. 
Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). In 2015, ASTC, The Wild 
Center, and the Alliance for Climate Education, in collaboration with DOE, 
will hold 10 Youth Climate Summits throughout the United States and five 
in other areas of the world, directly engaging over 1,000 student leaders. 
 The Youth Climate Summits will provide an opportunity for high-school, 
college, and university students to gain leadership skills through 
educational conferences on climate change and sustainability, and to 
create Climate Action Plans for their own institutions.  Selected teams 
will join together for a major internet-based youth conference at the 
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the 
Parties (COP) 21 Summit in Paris.
Chicago Botanic Garden. The Chicago Botanic Garden, in collaboration with 
11 other community and conservation organizations in the Midwest, is 
launching the Connecting Climate to Communities Initiative (C3I). With 
funding from the EPA, C3I will engage diverse audiences in climate actions 
that build on existing community improvement projects, such as providing 
training to staff of Chicago-area zoos, supporting the installation by 
teachers of rain gardens in Northwest Indiana schools to address flooding 
and increase climate literacy, and more. Through its projects, C3I expects 
to reach over 5,000 youth, families, and adults and intends to make a 
collection of case studies and resources available for other organizations 
interested in place-based, science-based approaches to climate action.
The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN). By Summer 2015, 
over 50 new resources, including classroom activities, experiments, 
visualizations, and videos will be added to the CLEAN Collection – a free, 
online catalogue of over 625 scientifically and educationally reviewed 
climate and energy education materials. The CLEAN Collection is led by 
TERC, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science at 
the University of Colorado Boulder, the Science Education Resource Center 
at Carleton College, and NOAA. As part of this effort, NOAA and DOE are 
working with CLEAN to align these online resources with the Next 
Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and 
the University of Colorado, Boulder. Through the Tribe’s Eye project, 
co-led by tribal community partners and education experts from the 
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), 
tribal college students from the Navajo Nation and their instructors will 
use photography to tell a story about how environmental and climatic 
changes affect their lives on the reservation. University of Colorado 
Boulder science graduate students and a professional photographer will 
mentor the students throughout the project.  In addition, CIRES, together 
with the Western Water Assessment program, is announcing a new four-week 
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Water in the Western United States,” 
starting Spring 2015. This free, online course features water researchers 
discussing the importance of water to society and the changing physical, 
climatic, social and legal aspects of water management in the Western 
United States. The course is expected to reach over 10,000 students.
Earth Day Network (EDN). In honor of the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, 
and recognizing that climate change is one of the greatest threats 
currently facing the planet, the EDN is announcing that the theme of the 
2015 Earth Week (April 18-25) is “It’s Our Turn to Lead,” with a focus on 
climate education. During this week, EDN and partners will work with their 
100,000 K-12 Earth Day coordinators at schools across the country to 
provide climate-science-based curricula, posters, and other products to 
engage students and educators.  EDN will also collaborate with the World 
Bank’s Connect4Climate program to facilitate the extension of this work to 
other countries around the world. 
Green Schools Alliance. The Green Schools Alliance is announcing a new 
initiative to empower K-12 teachers with the skills needed to implement 
climate and conservation projects at their schools. This pilot program 
will invite up to 50 teachers from across the country to participate in 
the first Educator Climate & Conservation Colloquium (EC3) and Global 
Resilience & Environmental Educational Educators Network (GREEN) Educator 
Certification program through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center. Educators from 
public and independent schools will receive training on a variety of 
campus sustainability, green building, and wildlife conservation issues in 
order to better serve their schools and communities. 
Los Angeles (LA) Unified School District. Today, the LA Unified School 
District, the second-largest school district in the Nation, is joining the 
Green Schools Alliance, making a commitment to address climate and 
sustainability issues through its operations and education programs. With 
the membership of the LA Unified School District, the Green Schools 
Alliance now includes the three largest school districts in the country 
(along with NYC Department of Education and Chicago Public Schools). The 
LA Unified School District will join other Alliance schools in setting, 
meeting, and implementing sustainability and climate goals, including 
efforts to reduce energy and water use, increase waste diversion rates, 
and engage the next generation of innovators through experiential 
Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education Assessment and Research 
(MADE-CLEAR) Program. The MADE-CLEAR program, a partnership led by the 
Maryland and Delaware state university systems and funded by NSF, is 
enhancing climate education and literacy in the mid-Atlantic region. In 
2015, MADE-CLEAR will provide training for master educators to guide 
colleagues in teaching climate science in classrooms and nature centers. 
In addition, MADE-CLEAR will conduct climate-education workshops for 
pre-service teachers (undergraduate students studying to become teachers) 
at universities in Maryland and Delaware. These workshops will connect 
future educators with climate-science content and standards-based model 
lessons, to support integration of this new topic into their middle- and 
high-school classrooms. 
Museum of Science in Miami. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of 
Science in Miami is partnering with the University of Miami – Rosenstiel 
School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on a new course to provide 
climate-communications training to scientists. Through the course, 
scientists will develop and present demonstrations and activities that 
explain concepts relevant to the Museum’s scientific content, including 
South Florida’s changing ecosystems and climate change. In 2015, up to 50 
students will participate in this course, with the goal of expanding the 
program to other universities in South Florida over the coming years. This 
course will enhance the ability of scientists to discuss environmental 
issues throughout their careers, including through interactions with 
visitors to the Museum.
National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). The National 
Environmental Education Foundation is developing a free online “Extreme 
Weather 101” course for release in early 2015 to equip individuals, 
families, and communities with the information they need to understand the 
links between climate change and extreme weather, anticipate extreme 
weather events, and take steps to prepare in order to protect life and 
property. NEEF will work with NOAA and interagency collaborators to draw 
upon information, data, and tools from the Third National Climate 
Assessment, climate.gov, and elsewhere. The course is being developed with 
a Social Innovation Grant from Udemy and will be published through the 
Udemy online platform.
The Ocean Project. In January 2015, The Ocean Project, an initiative to 
advance conservation in partnership with aquariums, zoos, and museums 
around the world, will release a new study based on a survey of 11,000 
Americans about their perceptions related to oceans, climate change, and 
environmental concerns. Leveraging years of previous survey and analysis 
work, this report will provide findings and strategic recommendations to 
help institutions across the country tailor their programs, exhibits, and 
outreach efforts to inspire informed action to combat climate change. 
Collectively, U.S. aquariums, zoos, and museums engage with and educate 
more than 250 million annual visitors. 
Philadelphia Zoo. Today, recognizing the crucial role of zoos in informing 
social discourse, the Philadelphia Zoo, which welcomes over 1.3 million 
visitors annually, is announcing a new effort to document the connection 
between onsite energy-saving messaging and visitors’ at-home energy-saving 
behavior.  This project, which is supported by PECO, the largest electric 
and natural gas utility in Pennsylvania, and The Ocean Project’s 
Innovation Solutions+ Grant Program, will complement and build upon 
hands-on “Save Energy to Save Wildlife” activities already in place at 
Philadelphia’s KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo and Faris Family 
Education Center. 
Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate 
Commitment (ACUPCC). ACUPCC, a signature program of the nonprofit Second 
Nature, represents over 680 colleges and universities committed to 
pursuing carbon neutrality, achieving sustainability, creating robust 
climate action plans, and rigorously reporting greenhouse-gas emissions. 
Building on the ACUPCC, in May 2014, Second Nature launched a new network 
of partners, focused specifically on building climate resilience on 
campuses. Nearly 50 colleges and universities, including Agnes Scott 
College, Central Community College, Portland State University, University 
of Arizona, and others, have already committed to join this partnership, 
and over the coming year approximately 100 additional signatories are 
anticipated. Partners will conduct assessments and planning in key 
climate-vulnerable sectors, such as energy, water, infrastructure, and 
transportation. They will also work closely with their surrounding 
communities to accelerate and enhance education, research, and activities 
that advance understanding of climate-related risks and design positive 
University of California, Irvine (UCI). In January 2015, the Global 
Sustainability Resource Center will host UCI’s first retreat for 
undergraduate students enrolled in the Global Sustainability Minor – 
enabling approximately 40 students to build their skills in strategic 
questioning, community visioning, action planning, and climate 
communication. The Resource Center will lead a similar training in Spring 
2015 with high-school students in the Anza Borrego desert region, and in 
Summer 2015 with incoming students through UCI’s Summer Institute for 
Sustainability Leadership. At the grade-school level, UCI’s Water 
Partnership for International Research and Education H2Outreach, a 
graduate student-led educational program, will design an interactive 
activity to turn more than 700 local elementary-school students into water 
engineers and scientists for a day in Spring 2015, teaching them about 
environmentally friendly ways to manage water in the face of a changing 
USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN). USA-NPN, a partnership of the 
University of Arizona, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other institutions, 
encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to observe and record 
phenology, the timing of events like leafing and blooming of trees, as a 
way to discover and explore the nature and pace of our dynamic world. In 
2015, the more than 4,000 active observers contributing to the USA-NPN 
Nature’s Notebook will receive near-real-time predictions of leaf-out 
dates for target tree species in their area and will be asked to help 
evaluate the accuracy of these predictions by reporting actual conditions 
on the ground. The collected citizen-science data will be analyzed and 
used to help improve predictive models of the onset of spring under 
current and future climate scenarios.
Will Steger Foundation. The Will Steger Foundation is launching a series 
of events through Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate, a project 
funded through Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund 
and focused on sharing climate-relevant knowledge of local experts and the 
stories of individual experiences. Beginning in March 2015, twelve public 
forums and four educator workshops will be held across the State of 
Minnesota to help share stories and credible information about climate 
change. These events are expected to reach over 2,500 individuals and will 
include discussions and information based on best-available science, 
including the Third National Climate Assessment and research from 
Minnesota universities and state government agencies. In addition, through 
this project, and in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television, a new 
television documentary and a website featuring local stories and other 
resources will be developed. 
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