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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment


Climate Science & Communication Mini-Course
Earth to Sky - Alaska 2016
For Interpreters, Non-formal Educators and Science Communicators

When: October 21, 2016

Where: Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center - Fairbanks, Alaska

Cost: No tuition fee

Applications: Accepted online or
emailing form to

Deadline: September 2, 2016

This mini-course will focus on the connections between global climate change and the regions across Alaska
undergoing profound changes. We will feature scientists from the NASA ABoVE research campaign and other
institutions, and climate communication tips and techniques from experienced interpreters and education

Participants will:

  • Gain an introductory understanding of how the interconnections of local, regional and global systems
    help drive profound changes occurring in Alaska, and elsewhere across our planet
  • Hear the latest science about climate from prominent climate scientists
  • Learn about impacts of changes already occurring on public lands around Alaska, perhaps including
    examples of permafrost vulnerability/resilience; changes in fire regime; snow impacts; greening and
    browning of vegetation; controls on carbon biogeochemistry; and changes to fish and wildlife habitat
  • Meet face-to-face and talk with world-class climate scientists, including NASA ABoVE
    campaign researchers who will be studying environmental changes in the Arctic-boreal region and
    determining their implications for society
  • Learn from and discuss with peers and course coaches a variety of climate communication tips and
  • Explore new citizen science activities as a climate communication technique that can both engage
    visitors and support NASA and other science in Alaska and beyond
  • Work closely with colleagues, coaches and experienced mentors in developing a plan outline for an
    interpretive and educational product or service for use at their site

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe at least one connection between global, regional and local changes in climate, using
    an Earth Systems Science approach
  • Describe the significance and relevance to visitors, of environmental change in the Alaska
    Region and its implications for society and natural systems
  • Draw from a suite of communication techniques for their target audience, including
    metaphor, analogy, an audience-centric approach or citizen science activity
  • Draw from credible sources of accurate and timely climate change science relevant to their
  • Engage with the Earth to Sky (ETS) community to exchange ideas and expertise, to facilitate
    implementation of climate change education, outreach, and/or interpretation

The ETS interagency partnership leverages unique strengths of the National Park Service the US Fish and
Wildlife Service and NASA to enable and encourage interpreters and environmental educators to access and use relevant science, data, and educational and outreach products in their work.

ETS courses provide a unique blend of content from scientists, interpreters and communication experts. The
collegial environment is highly interactive, and participants leave with a plan outline they can use to incorporate what they have learned within their work environment.

Since its inception in 2004, Over 75 NASA scientists have presented sessions in many ETS face-to-face
courses, distance learning events and conferences, engaging over 700 professional educators. Most have
focused on climate change. ETS serves a growing community of practice via continued opportunities for
professional development, a listserv (500 individuals), Facebook group site, and website

Who should attend:

Experienced interpretive staff, education specialists, public affairs officers, and any other experienced non-formal educators from the private or public sector interested in
collaborating with others to communicate about climate change.


Participants should have prior experience in communications (i.e., interpretation,
environmental education, outreach, and/or public affairs). Individuals must complete an
application that illustrates their interest in climate change and experience in communications. Experience or knowledge of climate science is not a prerequisite.
Additionally, participants will be asked to complete 4 hours of independent pre-course
assignments, draft a Plan Outline for developing an interpretive/educational/outreach
product or program based upon course content, attend a one-hour follow-up webinar in winter of 2016-17, and participate in course evaluation.

Selection Process:

Participant selections will be informed by the responses received in the application. The completed application will be used to select individuals who will participate in the class (the maximum number of individual participants is 30).


Accepted on-line:
or by emailing the completed application form to

Deadline for applying: September 2, 2016

Course Coordinators:

John Morris
Earth to Sky - Alaska Coordinator
16542 Marcus Street
Eagle River, AK 99577

Anita Davis
Lead, Earth to Sky Interagency Partnership
Science Systems and Applications, Inc.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Office: (301) 614-6669 or (410) 480-0718