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Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy

EARTHLABS: Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy
A Summer Workshop for High School Teachers

Monday June 11 – Friday June 15, 2012

Understanding the complexity and interconnectedness of Earth’s natural cycles across various time and spatial scales has become increasingly important as the effects of human activity on those cycles become more apparent. Join us for a week at The University of Texas at Austin to learn about three new high school curriculum units* that address these topics and how you can incorporate them into your science classes. The new Web-based EARTHLABS curriculum units will be freely available to you and are designed to enhance classroom learning by allowing students to explore the topics in a variety of modes, including hands-on activities, video interviews with scientists, group work, self-guided examination of scientific data, and class discussions. Download this page as a .pdf.

Cost: Participants receive 40 SBEC hours and a stipend for completing the workshop. Accommodations and two meals daily (breakfast and lunch) will be provided at no cost to participants.

The project will cover the costs of travel and lodging for teachers who live outside of the Austin area.

Deadline: Space is limited to 25.

Interested Texas teachers will receive first priority through February 14, 2012.
After that date, unfilled spaces will be made available to teachers from other states. 

For more information and to apply, visit:

Questions? Call Dr. Kathy Ellins at the Institute for Geophysics (1-512-471-0347)

Curriculum Units Covered during the Workshop:

* EARTHLABS: Cryosphere: Earth’s Frozen Waters
How do Earth’s glaciers, ice bergs, and ice sheets affect Texas’ climate? The complexity of Earth’s interconnected system is highlighted in this unit as students learn about the cryosphere’s dynamic nature and the positive and negative feedback systems that play a critical role in shaping our planet’s climate.

* EARTHLABS: Climate and Weather
Earth’s atmosphere not only provides us with life-supporting oxygen; it helps maintain our planet’s temperature range, which shapes life on Earth as we know it. Students learn about various temporal and spatial scales at which weather and climate occur, and the interactions of the Earth’s system at local, regional, and global scales that drive our weather and shape our climate.

* EARTHLABS: Earth’s Carbon Cycle
Carbon cycles through the Earth system on time scales that vary from fractions of a second to hundreds of thousands of years, and is as essential to the phytoplankton as it is to the Giant Sequoia. Air bubbles from ice cores reveal the dynamic history of atmospheric carbon across the past 600,000 years, and help scientists establish the long-term history of the carbon-climate connection.

Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy is a curriculum development project funded by the National Science Foundation under grant DRL-1019815.