NCSE Past Events
Sacramento Convention Center
1400 J Street
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
Visit the ESA Annual Meeting website
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
Visit the Understanding Global Change website
In this online training, we’ll demonstrate how to create a petition using one of the widely-used online petition platforms, and discuss how to write a great petition. We’ll explore how to promote it once it’s online, and how to use the petition when meeting with the decision makers you’re targeting. And we’ll talk about ways to work with the people who signed the petition: how to encourage signers to get more involved in the cause and in your own planned actions, and how and when to keep signers informed about the petition’s progress. This training will help advocates without much experience in online organizing learn one of the most versatile and powerful tools available, while experienced activists will learn new approaches and discuss their own experiences.
Josh Nelson—Campaign Manager at CREDO Action—will demonstrate CREDO Mobilize, an online petition system that lets individual grassroots advocates tap into a broad network of likeminded citizens. He’ll demonstrate the website and discuss how to get the most out of it and similar platforms, and share best practices and his experiences gleaned as an online organizer for groups including the National Wildlife Federation, Alliance for Climate Protection, and CREDO. Josh Rosenau—Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education—will host the session and share his experiences with petitions at NCSE, and what he’s seen work well for grassroots science advocates.
To register for the event, sign up through GoToWebinar's site.
London, England and Budapest, Hungary
NCSE's Mark McCaffrey will be participating in the Climate KIC (Knowledge & Innovation Community) Education Advisory Board Meeting in London at the invitation of Britain's Imperial College. Following that he will be visiting the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary to learn more about their climate education efforts.
The Amazing Meeting
South Point Hotel
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada
What are the differences among urban legends, pranks, hoaxes, and frauds? In each, there is an intention to deceive, but both the spirit and the consequences of the deceit vary considerably. At what point do we pass from “good clean fun” to harmful consequences? A review of some examples of each, and a reflection on the bigger picture.
TAM: The Amazing Meeting
sponsored by the
James Randi Educational Foundation
La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
If you thought that you knew everything about the Scopes trial, think again! To commemorate the eighty-ninth anniversary of the seminal episode in the long contentious history of evolution education in the United States, the National Center for Science Education's Glenn Branch will tell the story of the Scopes trial as it has never been told before — focusing on obscure, underappreciated, and amusing details.
This is one of a monthly series of
sponsored by the
Bay Area Skeptics
Visit the Bay Area Skeptics website
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Twenty-two lucky members will raft the Grand Canyon from Marble Canyon to Diamond Creek, experiencing one of the most beautiful and majestic natural features on the planet.
Of course, as NCSE's Josh Rosenau will inform the rafters, the whole Colorado plateau was laid down by the receding waters of Noah's Flood about 4,327 years ago, and the Grand Canyon itself was gouged catastrophically in a matter of days. Geologist Steven Newton will present the standard geological history of Grand Canyon to the rafters — and "they can make up their own minds."
NCSE's "Creation/Evolution Grand Canyon Raft Trip" is a wonderful way to learn about the creationism/evolution controversy in a fabulous natural setting.
In this online training, we will explore how to reach out to student groups as partners, how to connect them with local or state-wide networks of off-campus science education advocates, and how to keep that partnership active and successful over the long run. A panel of specialists in building ties to campus groups will describe some of the difficulties that crop up when working with student groups, how to head problems off before they emerge, and how to make the most productive partnerships with student groups. They’ll talk about what they’ve learned from working with students, and what you can learn through this outreach.
The panel will include Dan Pemberton, the California/Nevada Regional Organizer for the Secular Student Alliance, a national organization which supports groups of secular students on college and high school campuses; and Jenny Marienau, U.S. Field Manager for 350.org, who coordinates climate activists on campuses across the country. NCSE’s Josh Rosenau will moderate.
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 Ninth Street
Human-caused climate change is not a hypothetical future event. It is real, and we are experiencing it in our lifetimes. Despite the compelling evidence of human effects on global climate, there is a continuing need for scientists to answer the question "How do we know it’s us?" Fingerprint studies use complex computer models of the climate system to understand how geographical patterns of temperature and moisture (and many other climatic variables) may change in response to human influences. The message from this body of research is that observed changes in many different (and independently-measured) aspects of the climate system cannot be explained by natural causes alone.
There are several common criticisms of IPCC and NAS "discernible human influence findings." Rather than simply dismissing such criticism, it is more powerful to perform the research necessary to determine whether the criticism has scientific validity. Scientific responses to two incorrect claims are illustrative: that "global warming stopped in 1998", and that computer models systematically underestimate the observed decadal variability of atmospheric temperature.
Please register for NCSE webinar HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
How should we respond when a weathercaster on TV says climate change isn't happening, or a school board member says evolution shouldn't be taught, or another parent at the playground repeats long-debunked claims about vaccine risks, or a student in class repeats a canard about the age of the earth? What do we do as individuals who care about science (even if we aren't experts on the science under attack)? How can local networks of science education advocates respond to such instances of science denial?
Our first instinct is usually to try correcting the false statement, but too often that drags us into an endless discussion, or into topics where we don't know enough details to debunk every claim. Fortunately, there are resources out there to help fill in the blanks on common claims, and time-tested techniques to move people away from their false beliefs.
A panel of experts in the field will describe these resources and the techniques they've found effective, and webinar participants will have time to ask questions and practice their debunking skills. Participants without any experience will learn how to avoid common pitfalls and gain the confidence to confront science denial on their own, and experienced debunkers will have a chance to hone their skills and share their own experiences.
The panel will include Shauna Theel from the climate and energy project at Media Matters for America, John Cook of SkepticalScience.com and the University of Queensland's Global Change Institute, and be moderated by NCSE's Josh Rosenau. Shauna will discuss her work addressing media misstatements and how citizens can correct the record. John will describe the debunking resource SkepticalScience.com and the Debunking Handbook he co-authored, and Josh will talk about the experience he's gained debunking science denial at NCSE.