DOINews: NPS-Everglades National Park: Teacher Climate Change Workshop Held In Park

Last edited 09/05/2019

NPS rangers and teachers participating in climate-change workshop
Miami teachers gather around an activity designed to teach students about climate change. Photo by Joseph Bruce, NPS.

On Friday, Feb. 7, 30 educators participated in a ranger-led teachers' workshop called “Everglades: Climate Change Education.” This was the first workshop of its kind in the park.

The Miami-area middle school and high school teachers participated in indoor and immersive outdoor activities designed to increase their science knowledge, develop new teaching techniques, and also to share curriculum-based activities related to climate change.

“The Everglades is a unique classroom for understanding the processes, vulnerabilities, and impacts of climate change,” said workshop facilitator Greg Litten. Sharing the science, and then getting out into the resource firsthand as part of a wet-walk into a Cypress habitat was a big hit with the teachers.

For three years, environmental education rangers at the Everglades have been bringing the climate change topic to middle school students in ways that highlight actions that can be taken locally. Participants in the teachers' workshop were able to receive six hours of professional development credits from the school district for attending and then submitting a climate change lesson plan.

Resources for the workshop come from the climate change response strategy, NPS climate scientists, park researchers and publications, local universities, myriad social and science papers, and teaching materials and curriculum activities designed by park staff.

“At the end of the day, climate change is a human story,” said Litten. “We are finding ways to make it a story of hope, action and solutions – not a story of gloom. This workshop was an extension of what we are doing in-park, and it's important to be reaching out to the passionate teachers and education partners we have.”

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This story appears in the Feb. 14 edition of InsideNPS.

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