Survey of climate curriculum already in practice and other resources here.
Link to an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Colleges Get Greener in Operations, but Not in Teaching," here.
Link to profiles of "climate resiliant" cities from The World Bank here.
Link to article about SmartGridCity here: Boulder, CO will become the first city in the U.S. to run off a smart grid.
Link to the Climate Change Chanel from Energy Policy TV here.
Link to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment here.
The Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) is a professional society for the top environmental leaders at more than 150 universities and colleges across the country. CEDD members are leaders in shaping the direction and content of environmental programs, courses and curriculum for both environmental majors and for others. They are also at the front lines of responding to student calls and societal demands for new environmental courses and classes.
As the secretariat of CEDD, the National Council for Science and the Environment has a unique ability to shape environmental education across the United States at institutions of all sizes and impact students in all majors.
Recently, many CEDD representatives have reported that students, faculty, governmental agencies and private industries are pressing for new courses and programs related to climate change . These demands are being driven by the scale and urgency of the issue, and the need to educate a new generation of citizens and environmental professionals about how they can understand and respond to climate change in a careers ranging from science and engineering to environmental management, law and other professions.
In January, recognizing the likely duplication, and reduced efficiency of many independent initiatives scattered over as many institutions, CEDD representatives prioritized a coordinated approach to rapidly develop high quality courses, course sequences and curricular material to educate majors and general students about climate change, its consequences, and its solutions.
As a result, a CEDD Climate Solutions Curriculum Committee has been formed to develop the means for colleges and universities to prepare their students to tackle climate change. The Committee currently has 18 individuals from 15 schools and one outside organization (see attachment). The Committee is meeting by conference call every two weeks and will convene at the three-day summer meeting of Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) on July 15-17, near Portland, Oregon which will be focused entirely on the theme of Climate, Sustainability and Environmental Programs. As illustrated below, members of the CEDD Curriculum Committee are already active on their own campuses and in broader efforts .
The CEDD Climate Solutions Curriculum Committee has identified three general target audiences (each with specific target communities) of students with different needs:
“Generalists” – the average student who will not become an environmental professional, but needs to understand climate change, its causes, consequences and solutions as part of becoming an informed and active citizen. These needs can be served by curricular modules in existing courses ranging from science to the humanities (such as the state of Washington Curriculum for the Bioregion headed by committee member Jean MacGregor), or by courses targeted to non-majors (such as a general education course taught by committee member Arnold Bloom at the University of California-Davis).
“Immersers” – students majoring in an environmental field who need to understand climate change as the context that they will be operating in regardless of their environmental career – these students will need at least a full one or two-semester dedicated course (such as one that is being developed by committee member Monty Hempel at the University of Redlands).
“Professionals” – students whose career pathway will center on evaluating and predicting the influence of climate change and developing and implementing solutions for mitigation and adaptation. These students need to take a program of many courses over one or two years (such as the climate minor being developed at the University of Montana by a 25-member group of faculty, including committee member Nicky Phear).
The Committee believes that each group requires a multidisciplinary or “whole systems approach” which recognizes climate change in the context of the full range of human behaviors. Particularly important is the development of curricular material that crosses the boundaries between key disciplinary areas like ecology/environment, business, technology, and policy. Further, each approach must also be a “solutions” approach that informs student about what they can do to address climate change. There is agreement among our group that the courses they are involved with are the exception rather than the norm in higher education today and that curricular resource material is largely lacking at the college and university level.
CEDD and NCSE also:
have strong relations with many other leaders in climate solutions education ,
participate in climate education projects at the pre-college level ,
provide considerable information about climate change through our Earth Portal and the ongoing website from our recent conference on Climate Change: Science and Solutions; and,
are undertaking projects to identify core competencies in environmental education, assess the practices of interdisciplinary degree-granting programs, and survey environmental alumni along their career pathways.
POSSIBLE CLIMATE SOLUTIONS CURRICULUM ACTIVITIES
For each target audience, the CEDD Climate Solutions Curriculum Committee has identified six types of needed activities:
Review and assessment of:
the needs and interest of students of different types and majors; the needs of the market place and prospective employers in preparing students for the jobs relevant to climate change;
existing courses and curricular resources;
the types "change resistance" facing new curriculum and “best practices” is the introduction of new modules, classes, and courses; and,
taxonomies for organize materials of various kinds for different majors. .
Identify and develop core competencies, key learning, outcomes and curricula at different levels, with testing at participating schools, for:
General basic course on climate change for all students
Courses for environmental majors and minors
Specialized courses in preparation for careers of various types
National climate science and management curricula
Creation of majors and minors related to climate mitigation and adaptation
Strong interdisciplinary programs; relating climate change to all disciplines
Course modules that can be added as appropriate to existing courses
Distance learning featuring leading scientists, practitioners and policymakers.
“Teaching teachers” about climate change.
Bringing together groups of faculty and curriculum developers through workshops, training sessions, and creating ongoing networks.
Career initiating opportunities in climate change; e.g., student internships, service-learning, and other experiential opportunities with state and federal agencies, corporations, and NGOs.
Coordinate and collaborate internationally with the global effort to create curriculum on climate change and adaptation.
Although some schools are already doing pieces of this effort, there is an urgency that behooves a collaborative effort. It will be more effective for CEDD to catalyze the community to work collectively than for each school to do their own, particularly as many schools don’t have the resources to do this alone.
CEDD CLIMATE SOLUTIONS CURRICULUM COMMITTEE
Leonard Berry, Florida Atlantic U.
- Arnold Bloom, U. of California, Davis
- Lakhdar Boukerrou, Florida Atlantic U.
- Jim Elder, Campaign for Env. Literacy
- Marty Garrel, Adelphi University
- David Hassenzahl, UN Las Vegas
- Dave Johnson, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
- Lucile Johnson, Vassar College
- Michelle Land, Pace University
- Jean MacGregor, Evergreen State College
- Alan McIntosh, University of Vermont
- Leslie Patrick, CUNY - Hunter College
- Arianne Peterson, Arizona State University
- Stephanie Pfirman, Barnard College
- Nicky Phear, Universityof Montana
- Thomas Piechota, UN Las Vegas
- KJ Reddy, University of Wyoming
- Mick Womersley, Unity College
 This effort is concurrent, but not yet connected with, the more than 400 university presidents who have signed onto the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. At present, efforts to change facilities and operations seem to be exceeding efforts to modify curriculum.
 Examples include: American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment; Center for Environmental Education (at Unity College); Climate Change Education ; and, Facing the Future
 E.g., Stephen Schneider, Stanford; Roberta Johnson, National Earth Sciences Teachers Association
 Through the Campaign for Climate Literacy and the Climate Xchange Network, headed by Dr. Pachauri.