Climate Change Education at WSU
Climate change is a key driver of global agricultural, environmental and social system transformation. As a land-grant institution, WSU has a mission to educate students about climate change and how it impacts the world in which we live.
CEREO is working with WSU educators, staff and students to identify the breadth of climate change courses and materials currently being taught to bring climate change education to the forefront at WSU.
This town hall discussion, open to all WSU members, was held to understand how climate change is currently being taught at WSU, and how it could be improved to provide clear, robust and diverse educational pathways to undergraduate and graduate students. Outcomes from this discussion are summarized below:
There is a need for a UCORE climate change course. UCORE courses provide excellent opportunities to engage new non-science majors and undecided students in science and science policy. There currently is no UCORE course on climate change, but there is substantial interest in developing a cross-college course that would provide a broad overview of climate science and climate change policy. With few environmental UCORE courses available, this new course (esp. if it had no lab requirement) would potentially be attractive to many students.
Faculty specifically interested in developing this UCORE course include: Steve Katz (SoE), Von Walden (CEE), Allyson Beall-King (SoE) and Kara Whitman (SoE).
Existing classes and learning opportunities tht address climate change are not well documented. CEREO is interested in aggregating information on existing courses that teach about climate science and climate change across all disciplines at WSU. A climate change course database would provide a scaffold for helping students interested in climate science and change find courses to help them deepen their understanding of the topic and explore ideas around climate change from different perspectives. It could also help us identify where there are current gaps in climate change education at WSU.
If you currently, or plan to, teach a course or section of a course that addresses climate science or climate change, please consider adding your course information to our database: https://tinyurl.com/m6hcdxp
Climate change as an interdisciplinary certificate program: Given the level of interest in climate change education at WSU, a certificate program at the undergraduate or graduate level may be appealing to students who would find value in documenting their interest in climate change while pursuing their disciplinary or departmental degrees. Certificates could utilize pre-existing courses to ensure students were exposed to a breadth of climate change issues and topics (e.g., spanning humanities, arts, social and physical sciences and engineering), and could offer extracurricular experiences, such as sending a student delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, that help give real-world context to the problem.