Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will be participating in the 2013 Parks Climate Challenge program using national parks as classrooms to educate students about climate change, thanks to funding provided by the National Park Foundation.
The ability to learn about this important issue through a hands-on, science-based field curriculum, has proven a positive model through which to reach students.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s Changing Climate, Changing Culture teacher institute is scheduled for July 15-18. This professional development program is based at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wisconsin, with field experiences in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest; Apostle Islands, and neighboring tribal communities. Program information and registration materials are posted at this site.
The Changing Climate-Changing Culture Institute provides what’s missing in most climate change training and teaching -- the integration of climate change science with place-based evidence of how it is affecting both the environment and people. Participants discover how climate change is affecting cultural traditions of the Lake Superior Ojibwe people through Native perspectives. They will learn how to apply the latest climate research, from sources like the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, to determine if culture and science agree that climate change is affecting all people and cultures.
“This Institute provides teachers with the training and tools to create hands-on service projects and dynamic lessons for their students to address climate change while incorporating a national park experience either within or outside the boundaries of a national park," said Neil Howk, assistant chief of interpretation and education at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Teachers will also lead their students on field trips to parks they are studying to deepen their understanding of climate change and their connection to the national parks. Service learning projects and lesson plans developed by the Institute participants are shared through the Parks Climate Challenge website so teachers everywhere can replicate the learning strategies.
Besides outstanding experiential professional development from nationally recognized instructors, teachers can receive a $400 stipend, credit, and transportation funds to bring their class to a national park for climate change field experiences. Applications to participate in the institute are due June 21st.
For more information about the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore “Changing Climate, Changing Culture” Teacher Institute contact Cathy Techtmann, UW-Extension Environmental Outreach State Specialist at 715.561.2695 or visit this site.