In the Trenches - April 2021
Geoscience Education and Climate Change Advocacy
Volume 11, Number 2
In This Issue
- Climate Change in State Science Standards: A 2020 Snapshot - Glenn Branch and Lin Andrews, the National Center for Science Education, Oakland, CA
- Geoscience Education Advocacy 101: An NAGT Primer on Action Outside of the Classroom - Catherine A. Riihimaki, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and Mike Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, IL
- Run for Something: The Importance of Serving on a School Board / Part 1 - Mike Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, IL, and Catherine A. Riihimaki, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
- Engaging the Geoscience Community in International Climate Action - Frank Granshaw, Portland State University, Portland, OR
This site provides web links that supplement the print articles as well as news and web resources. Members can follow the "Read more" links below to access full versions of the articles online. To receive the full edition of In the Trenches, join NAGT
Advocacy can feel awkward to those who have been trained toattempt to be as objective in their science as possible, but it is an important part of the mission of NAGT
Climate Change in State Science Standards: A 2020 Snapshot
Table 1: Overall grades for the treatment of climate change in state science standards. [Image courtesy of the National Center for Science Education]
GLENN BRANCH (email@example.com) is the Deputy Director at the National Center for Science Education, Oakland, CA, and LIN ANDREWS is the Director of Teacher Support at the National Center for Science Education, Oakland, CA.
In its position statement on climate change education, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers describes teaching climate change science as "a fundamental and integral part of earth science education," adding that "a current and comprehensive level of understanding of the science and teaching of climate change is essential to effective education" (2009). Similar position statements about the importance of climate change education have subsequently been adopted by the National Science Teaching Association (2018) and the National Association of Biology Teachers (2020). Read more...
Geoscience Education Advocacy 101: An NAGT Primer on Action Outside of the Classroom
"March for Science, Legend," taken on April 14, 2018, by Geoff Livingston
CATHERINE A. RIIHIMAKI (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Associate Director of the Science Education Council on Science and Technology at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, and MIKE PHILLIPS (email@example.com) is a Professor of Geology at Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, IL.
In 2009, Congress had a moment in which they tried to address climate change through establishing a cap-and-trade market for carbon. Having just moved to New Jersey a few months earlier, I knew little about my Congressman, Republican Leonard Lance, except that I hoped that he would vote in favor of the Waxman-Markey bill. I typed a letter filled with detailsof my professional opinions as a geoscientist and mailed it to his office. I then watched as he joined seven other Republicans and most Democrats in narrowly passing the bill in the House. Unfortunately, it went no further. Read more...
Run for Something: The Importance of Serving on a School Board
Your Name for School Board 2022 banner
MIKE PHILLIPS (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Professor of Geology at Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, IL, and CATHERINE A. RIIHIMAKI (email@example.com) is the Associate Director of the Science Education Council on Science and Technology at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.
One important way you can serve both your local community and the larger community of science (and geoscience) educators is to serve on a local school board. Public and private K-12 education relies on the service of community members willing to provide their time and expertise. A school board functions best when it includes members from a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds, and geoscience educators can add important insight. Becoming an active member of a local board or civic organization presents opportunities to participate in the development of community policy instead of reacting to the announcement of policies that may be counter to good science. Board service can involve a significant commitment of time and effort and can be frustrating at times, but we have found serving on our local school boards rewarding and enlightening. Read more...
Engaging the Geoscience Community in International Climate Action
FRANK GRANSHAW (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an Adjunct Instructor for Geology and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University, Portland, OR.
I regularly teach a climate science course for non-science majors at Portland State. It is not uncommon, particularly in a year like 2020, for students to ask if we have passed the point of no return in terms of dealing with an increasingly destabilized global climate. Embedded in this are questions of personal agency like "Will anything we do make any difference?" and "What can I do?" So, in addition to teaching science, I am often called upon to help students navigate these uncertain waters. Read more...
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