Building Lasting Impact: Ten Years of the Earth to Sky Interagency Partnership

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Anita Davis, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, Becky Lacome, Stephen T. Mather Training Center - NPS, Harpers Ferry, WV, United States, Bart Merrick, NOAA Environmental Science Training Center, Cooperative Oxford Lab, Oxford, MD, United States, John Morris, National Park Service Anchorage, Anchorage, AK, United States, Ruth Paglierani, University of California Berkeley, Multiverse, Berkeley, CA, United States and Sandy Spakoff, USFWS National Conservation Training Center, Division of Education Outreach, Shepherdstown, WV, United States
Beginning in Fall of 2004, NASA and the National Park Service (NPS) embarked on collaborative work aimed at bringing the wonders of NASA science and education content into the hands of outstanding and highly regarded science “communicators” – interpreters in NPS. What began as a showcase of NASA content delivered in an interpretive workshop has evolved and matured into a long-standing, and growing partnership focused on climate change communication. The partnership has been fruitful and successful, producing a variety of professional development events that have resulted in participants reaching millions of Park and Refuge visitors and thousands of interpreters and educators, with content derived from our courses. Earth to Sky (ETS) now includes the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA, and is working towards establishment of a network of regional networks made up of alumni and their communities.

The key to our success has been the careful building and nurturing of the partnership, and its resulting community of practice, beginning with excellent facilitated meetings of the parties involved, and continuing through implementation of best practices in partnership and collaborative work. Project design, development, and execution were accomplished in true partnership with leaders from our intended audience, NPS interpreters, and later USFWS environmental educators. Our partners were fully involved, from the inception of the first workshop design, through its implementation and assessment, to strategic planning for sustainability and all subsequent efforts. ETS can serve as a model of an effective partnership in climate communication efforts, drawing upon the strengths of partners with widely different areas of expertise to produce cohesive work with high impact. We will share the ETS model of partnership, and discuss how this model might be useful as the climate communication community moves towards a more coherent approach to improve climate literacy.