February 23, 2012 | Michigan State University

The Environmental Science and Policy program (ESPP) at Michigan State University hosted a Climate Change Education Symposium on February 23, 2012. The symposium addressed the science of climate change education and panelists discussed how best to teach about climate change within a variety of educational settings: Kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12), college, and informal education. The symposium sought to facilitate collaborations by increasing awareness of existing work and providing space for interaction. Furthermore, we'll provide graduate students with useful information about the scholarship of teaching climate change, research and job opportunities, and resources for teaching.

The symposium pulled together diverse expertise in climate change education for a panel discussion on the efforts being made to improve climate change education in each educational setting and what hurdles individuals have faced and/or overcome. Additionally, participants engaged in lively break-out sessions on the core concepts to address in climate change education, identifying the gaps in our current curriculum and how to fill them. The outcomes of those sessions is available here. The symposium offered a unique diversity of academics and practitioners to facilitate a conversation on the advancement of climate change education.


1-1:15 p.m. Welcome/Introduction
1:15-2:15 p.m. Panel discussions (20 minutes for each panel)
  • K-12 panel
    Tom Occhipinti, Environmental Education Coordinator, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
    Jane Rice, Science Education, Michigan State University
    David Bydlowski, Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency
  • College panel
    Julie Libarkin, Associate Professor, Geological Sciences, Michigan State University
    Steve Hamilton, Professor, Zoology, Michigan State University
    Jeff Andresen, Associate Professor, Geography, Michigan State University
  • Informal Education panel
    Dave Poulson, Associate Director, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, MSU
    Laura Florence, Education Specialist, Michigan Sea Grant
    Dan Brown, Research Associate, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment Center (MSU UM)
2:15-2:30 p.m. Break and refreshments
2:30-3:30 p.m. Breakout sessions (outcomes)
  • K-12
    Facilitator:Jonathan Schramm, Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, Michigan State University
  • College
    Facilitator: Allison Rober, Graduate Student, Zoology and Environmental Science and Policy, Michigan State University
  • Informal Ed
    Facilitator: Mike Beaulac, Assistant Administrator, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
3:30-4 p.m. Group discussion: Report out themes discussed in break-out sessions
4-5 p.m. Social hour/reception