OUT8109 - Climate Science & Communication: A Regional Approach

Course CodeOUT8109
Course TitleClimate Science & Communication: A Regional Approach

Disregard 'Number of Open Seats'. Enrollment for this course requires a two-step process; failure to complete both steps will result in a delay or denial of your request to be considered for a seat in this course. All students wanting to enroll in this course will be placed on the 'waitlist'. Selections will be made based on responses to the required supplemental application. Instructions to access the application and to enroll in the course can be found after the Description in “Directions to Apply”.

Description: To help meet the challenge to effectively communicate about climate change with public audiences, this blended course will draw upon the expertise of NASA, NOAA, NPS, USFWS, and other subject matter experts to provide participants with accurate, up-to-date global & regional science, and effective communication techniques. Using recorded presentations followed by live discussions with climate scientists, self-study assignments, coach-facilitated small group work, a field trip to apply science content and communication principles, and sessions dedicated to practicing various skills, participants gain a deeper understanding of climate change and increased confidence in their ability to communicate about it in a meaningful and relevant way.

Classes will be delivered in different geographic regions on an annual/semiannual basis. In order to meet course objectives, participants are required to attend a class as part of a team of two to three members. Teams may be made up of either federal staff from two or more locations (for example, a refuge and a park) or federal and non-federal staff (for example, a Federal park ranger and a community youth group leader). Teams will work together to develop an action plan for a joint project (education/outreach/interpretive product/program) for execution within one year of having taken the course.

This course is delivered in two parts. Over the first four weeks participants will attend interactive real-time webinars & teleconferences and complete individual and team assignments that will begin to establish a collaborative approach for effective climate communication within a region. Global climate change using an Earth System Science approach, audience research, and appropriate communications techniques will be introduced. Part II of the course is a three-day face-to-face classroom experience at a chosen field site where participants engage with colleagues, coaches, and presenters to hone communication techniques and build collaborative approaches to climate communication. A local case study is included to illustrate regional climate change science/research, and it will be used to provide first-hand practice with how to educate about the changing climate in that region.

In order to attend this course, participants must demonstrate prior experience in communications (i.e., interpretation, environmental education, outreach, and/or public affairs). Individuals will need to complete an application that requires them to provide narrative responses that illustrate their interest in climate change and experience in communications. They can do so by clicking on the link in the “Directions to Apply” found below. The completed application will be used to select the teams who will participate in the class (the maximum number of participants is 25). Those not initially selected will remain on a waitlist that will be used to fill cancellations.

Full credit for this course will only be given to participants/teams who have attended all of the distance learning and classroom sessions and who have completed the assigned team project which includes development of an action plan for an interpretive/educational product to be executed within one year.

Directions to Apply:

You must complete both steps below. Failure to complete these steps will result in a delay or denial of your request to be considered for a seat in this course.

Steps: 1) Complete the supplemental application and return to Susan_Destephanis@fws.gov by the deadline.  All applicants must have their Supervisor’s signature on the application. Download an e-version: http://nctc.fws.gov/courses/OUT/OUT8109/documents/OUT8109_ClimateScienceAndCommunication-SupApp.doc

2) Once the application has been downloaded, it will be important to also enroll in the course by using the enroll button found here in DOI Learn. Interested individuals must click on the “scheduled classes” button, and then click “enroll”. DOI employees, ensure your supervisor also approves your request in DOI Learn. Non-DOI participants new to the DOI Learn system need to first establish an account to obtain a User ID and Password. From the login page, simply use the “Request a New Account” link.

Note: Applicants are not officially enrolled until they receive a confirmation email from the course leader stating they have been accepted and enrolled. If there are questions concerning this process please contact: sandy_spakoff@fws.gov.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
• Describe at least one connection between global, regional and local changes in climate, using an Earth Systems Science approach;
• Describe at least one effect increased global temperature has on regional natural/cultural resources;
• Explain how climate-related changes in the Arctic either already are or are expected to affect another region’s economy/sociology/ecology;
• Choose suitable communication strategies for the target audience based on social science research, statistics, and available audience research results;
• Identify climate change-related activities appropriate for engaging/involving youth audiences;
• Use appropriate techniques such as suitable language, metaphor or analogy, visual imagery, or a personal story to convey information that is meaningful & relevant to the target audience;
• Select relevant, audience-appropriate NASA/NOAA/NCA climate science content and/or educational/visual elements to use in their program/project;
• Draw from of credible sources of accurate and timely climate change science and mitigation and adaptation activities relevant to their region/site;
• Execute an action plan with at least one team member from a different site, to collaboratively produce an education/outreach/interpretive product/program within one year.

Target Audience:

Experienced communicators/non-formal educators from Federal agencies, and the public and private sectors. Some examples: 1) Experienced Federal Visitor Services professionals, interpretive staff, education specialists, and public affairs officers; 2) Experienced educators from State, Regional, and City parks; 3) Experienced tour leaders from museums, zoos, and aquaria;

Delivery MethodInstructor Led
Non-FWS Fee$995.00
Instructional Hours40
Course Content ContactSandy Spakoff: sandy_spakoff@fws.gov; (304) 876-7783; sandy_spakoff@fws.gov
Curriculum CategoryEnvironmental Education
Registration CategoryApplication
Registration LinkRegister
Extracted from DOI LEARN on5/28/2015 4:00:28 AM

Schedule:  OUT8109 - Climate Science & Communication: A Regional Approach

StartEndSession ContactSession Details
10/14/2015 10/14/2015 John Morris

There’s never been a better time to engage your visitors, staff, and communities about the impacts and implications of climate change in Alaska. And now is a great time to join with colleagues in a supportive community of practice in which you can learn and share about the science of climate change and best practices in climate communication. Climate Science and Communication - Alaska, will provide you with a foundation in climate science with emphasis on the connection of global to local processes and on climate impacts of direct relevance to Alaska. Participants will discuss and practice selected methods for successful climate communication, and become connected with the growing Earth to Sky community of practice – over 500 communicators and scientists from a variety of national and local organizations gaining and sharing expertise on this topic. You will depart with cutting edge knowledge about climate change, and a plan for bringing the climate story to your visitors in engaging and inspiring ways. Offered through the Earth to Sky NPS-NASA-USFWS interagency partnership. No Tuition Fee