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Understanding Global Change

Benjamin D. Santer, Ph.D., NCSE board member

August 4, 2014

UC Museum of Paleontology
2063 Valley Life Sciences Building
UC Berkeley, California

Announcing a NEW UCMP Summer Institute for environmental science, earth science, and biology middle and high school teachers!

The University of California Museum of Paleontology, together with the National Center for Science Education, will launch a new web resource — Understanding Global Change — at the end of 2014. The resource will provide vetted scientific content, teaching resources, and strategies for K-16 educators to effectively incorporate the complex and critically important topic of global change into existing curricula.

The goal of the workshop is to preview parts of the new website, provide feedback to the UCMP and NCSE, review related teaching resources and supplemental materials that support the teaching of global change, and explore connections to the Next Generation Science Standards. The workshop will also feature invited speakers, prominent scientists whose research intersects with a variety of global change issues, from climate change to ocean acidification.


  • Ben Santer, Intergovernmental panel on climate change
  • Adina Paytan, UC Santa Cruz, Biogeochemistry and global change
  • Cesar Nufio, University of Colorado, Insect response to climate change
  • Marina Psaros, King Tides Project, Documenting sea level rise in your community through citizen science
  • Sarah Cohen, San Francisco State University, Changing food webs in SF Bay
  • Joe Levine, University of Massachusetts
  • Jackie Mohan, Climate change and forest systems
  • Tessa Hill, UC Davis, Ocean acidification
  • Jessica Bean, UC Davis, ocean circulation


For more information: 

Understanding Global Change: Assessing the Needs of Global Change Educators

Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.

August 13, 2014

Sacramento Convention Center
1400 J Street
Sacramento, California

Global change, from modern day habitat fragmentation and climate change to ancient extinctions and land formation, are some of the most compelling and challenging ideas for educators to teach. Yet, aside from state standards and regional curricular materials, it is not well-known how often and to what extent educators cover these topics. Moreover, it is not well-known how their own understanding limits or enhances their ability to share these often complex ideas. In order to address this challenge, the National Center for Science Education, the UC Museum of Paleontology, and BSCS surveyed educators across the country to find out what educators were teaching about global change, why they were choosing certain topics to focus on and how scientists can best serve this community.

The over 1350 respondents to the survey represented educators in grades 6-16 and informal settings in every state across the country and covering all areas of the sciences. The majority of them had been teaching ten years or more and over 95% indicated they felt teaching about global change issues was important or very important. Our results indicate that educators who identified as teaching about global change topics, taught concepts they felt most confident in. The most commonly taught concepts related to global change included climate change, the carbon cycle, pollution and water accessibility. Concepts that were not well-covered included phenology, the spread of disease and ocean acidification. When asked why these topics were not addressed, the majority of respondents expressed feeling a lack of confidence, training and background in these areas. These results suggest the need to provide educators with resources and background needed to increase their content knowledge and confidence levels. To address these needs, the UCMP, NCSE and BSCS are collaborating with senior educators and global change scientists to create a high quality resource for the educational community that highlight those areas educators feel least confident in.

This is a presentation at the
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting

For more information: 

The Science Denial Playbook: What We Can Learn from Debates on Evolution and Climate Change

Ann Reid, NCSE's Executive Director

Ann Reid

1:00pm to 2:30pm
October 24, 2014

Great Hall Room, Wilson Hall
Monmouth University School of Science
West Long Branch, New Jersey

Monmouth University logo

The seminar is free but seating is limited.  If you plan to attend, please register for the seminar HERE.

For more information: 

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