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Climate Literacy: Affective and Cognitive Challenges and Solutions for Formal and Informal Audiences in the SEUS

UTIG Seminars

Climate Literacy:
Affective and Cognitive Challenges and Solutions for
Formal and Informal Audiences in the SEUS

Karen McNeal
Department of Geosciences, Mississippi State University

When: Friday, April 13, 2012, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Join us for coffee beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Where: Seminar Conference Room, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196-ROC, Austin, Texas 78758
Host: Kathy Ellins, UTIG

Click for a Live Broadcast.

Understanding environmental issues, especially those pertaining to global climate change, is important in order for citizens to be able to make educated everyday decisions in the face of global environmental changes that have regional consequences in terms of the local economy, biodiversity, water and natural resources, human health and societal well-being, among others. The southeast (SEUS; AL, AR, GA, FL, KY, LA, NC, SC, TN, E. TX) faces the greatest impacts as a result of climate change of any region in the U.S. which presents considerable and costly adaptation challenges. Paradoxically, people in the SEUS hold attitudes and perceptions that are more dismissive of climate change than those of any other region. These unique characteristics of the SEUS also exacerbate cognitive and perceptual challenges to climate literacy. In order to address some of these educational challenges, two projects in the SEUS have been developed: The Climate Literacy Partnership in the South East (CLiPSE) and the EarthLabs for Educators and Policy Makers: Cryosphere and Earth System Science Modules. CLiPSE is a values-based regional education program that brings together various stakeholders from formal and informal audiences and focuses on creating dialogue centered about climate change. The EarthLabs project is an on-line curriculum and teacher training program for high school students and educators. Exploratory research results from the Climate Stewardship Survey (CSS), psychomotor (e.g., eye-tracking) experiments, and high-school classroom implementations will be shared. Furthermore, the outcomes of pilot listening sessions, resources inventories, and needs assessments focused in the SEUS will be highlighted with proposed solutions to meet a variety of publics in the SEUS.