The National Climate Assessment: A Treasure Trove for Education, Communications and Outreach

Monday, 15 December 2014: 2:44 PM
Mark McCaffrey1, Minda Berbeco1, Rachel Connolly1, Frank Niepold III2, Kristen L I Poppleton3, Emily Cloyd4 and Tamara S Ledley5, (1)National Center for Science Education, Oakland, CA, United States, (2)NOAA Washington DC, Washington, DC, United States, (3)Will Steger Foundation, Minneapolis, MN, United States, (4)National Climate Assessment / USGCRP, Washington, DC, United States, (5)TERC, Cambridge, MA, United States
Required by Congress under the Global Change Act of 1990 to inform the nation on the findings of current climate research, the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA), released in May 2014, is a rich resource for climate change education, communications and outreach (ECO). Using a website design with mobile applications in mind, NCA takes advantage of mobile learning technology which is revolutionizing how, when and where learning occurs. In an effort to maximize the "teachable moments" inherent in the assessment, a community of experts from the National Center for Science Education and the CLEAN Network, working under the auspices of the National Climate Assessment Network (NCAnet) Education Affinity Group, have developed a series of NCA Learning Pathways that match key NCA messages and resources with reviewed educational materials and trusted online information sources, thereby adding pedagogical depth to the assessment. The NCA Learning Pathways, which focus on the regional chapters of the report, are designed make climate change science more local, human, relevant and, if properly framed by educators and communicators, hopeful for learners. This paper touches on the challenges and opportunities of infusing climate education, communications and outreach into curriculum and society, and details the development and content of NCA Learning Pathways, which are available online through NOAA's Climate.gov website: http://www.climate.gov/teaching