Spotlighting Climate Impacts in Our Backyard
Education that focuses on local impacts is more likely to reach audiences and demonstrate that climate change is an issue that is happening here and now. When we focus on what’s happening in the Arctic or the effect on polar bears, audiences leave with the impression that climate change is a distant challenge, unlikely to touch them personally.
Research shows that many formal, in classroom educators provide mixed messages on climate science, whether that is presenting the topic as a debate or not communicating the scientific agreement on man-made climate change. While they have different settings and teaching styles, informal education institutions are also challenged with how to speak about climate change and deal with a pervasive discomfort with discussing this topic with the public among informal educators. One way to lessen this discomfort is to focus on local climate impacts, which moves beyond statistics and engages people emotionally.
BayCLIC is connecting educators to local climate science impacts through two projects. One is a local climate science database that features regionally-specific data. The second project is a science/educator seminars series, slated for summer 2017. These seminars will share new, local climate science and help forge connections between those conducting the important research—the scientists—and those that have the public’s ear and are adept at translating scientific concepts—the educators. Dates, times, and other logistical information coming soon!
You can find the local climate science resource database on our website HERE, or click on the database tab. If you have climate science resources focused on the San Francsico Bay Area that you'd like to submit to the database, please contact us.