Conference at Harvey Mudd College to Highlight Undergrad Climate Education

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Southern California educators and others wanting to join the growing effort to expand climate education and to incorporate climate beyond the earth sciences are invited to attend the Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) West Coast Regional Conference September 14–15 at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. The event is co-sponsored by SENCER and Harvey Mudd’s Hixon Center for Climate and the Environment and its Office of Civic and Community Engagement (OCCE).

A goal of the conference is to expand the number of faculty involved in climate education at higher education institutions and, for those already involved, to deepen their understanding of and appreciation for the strengths that multiple perspectives bring to addressing the challenges of climate. A theme throughout the conference will be broadening participation in climate education on campuses and within communities.

“The Hixon Center for Climate and the Environment is eager to partner with SENCER ambassador Karl Haushalter and OCCE Director Gabriela Gamiz to host this event that will speak directly to the mission of the center as a catalyst for climate education efforts on campus,” says Lelia Hawkins, Hixon Center director, professor of chemistry and Hixon Professor of Climate Studies. “In addition to making connections and networking with fellow educators from diverse backgrounds, participants will leave feeling empowered to engage/expand/improve climate education at their home institution and will have the opportunity to workshop ideas for lessons and modules that could be implemented in their own classrooms.”

The conference begins on the Harvey Mudd campus Sept. 14, Thursday evening at 5 p.m., with a keynote by V. Ram Ramanathan, emeritus professor at the University of California at San Diego. He is founding chair of University of California’s Bending the Curve, a climate solutions education protocol that is taught at many campuses around the world. Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of chlorofluorocarbons and other heat-trapping pollutant gases. His findings on super pollutants (methane, HFCs, ozone and black carbon) have led to several successful climate mitigation actions worldwide, including the formation of Climate and Clean Air Coalition by the United Nations to mitigate these pollutants.

On Friday, Sept. 15, at 9:15 a.m., Crystal Chissell, executive director of the Global Council for Science and the Environment, will speak. She has worked with government, business and academic organizations to identify, analyze and implement a diverse portfolio of effective strategies for reversing climate change at local and global scales. There will be speakers, workshops and poster presentations throughout the day, and the event closes with a reception at 4 p.m.

Registration for the SENCER West Coast Regional Conference is $25, and fee waivers are available upon request. Registrants will have the option of attending in-person or viewing many of the presentations online. The deadline to register is Sept. 12 (in-person) and Sept. 14 (remote).

Conference organizers are seeking presentation proposals through June 30 from those with climate expertise, teacher-scholars, staff and administrators, and community partners.

More information about the conference