Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands: A Toolkit for the Educator in You

 image of people working near a shoreline Students participate in the Baldwin County Grasses in Classes program to help grow native plants for wetland and dune restoration projects.

Do you want to educate, inspire, and engage students, scouts, park, zoo or museum visitors, or even your neighbors and family members to do something about climate change and how it may affect wildlife and their precious habitats? We (Karen, a former teacher and Mike, who monitors local water quality as a volunteer for the Audubon Naturalist Society) are impassioned about the climate change issue, especially as it may affect wildlife and wild places, and how important it is to get everyone involved in solving the problems associated with it. So two years ago we gathered together educators from 6 other federal agencies to develop the new Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators to help the educator in each of us spread the word on what is at stake and what we can do about it.

It was not an easy task to find and organize staff members from agencies as diverse as National Park Service, NASA, NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, but we were determined to create an educational product that demonstrated a strong, unified voice on climate change and that was built on the efforts of scientists and educators from government agencies that work on issues involving climate change, wildlife and wild places. After two years of meetings, phone calls, emails, data dumps, arguments, hugs, long drives to video shoots, and lunches for grousing and/or celebrating, we are extremely proud and excited about the end result of this truly unique collaboration.

Please go to the inter-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) site where the toolkit is being hosted and see for yourself! Let us know what you think!

About the Authors: Karen Scott is an Environmental Education Specialist for the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education after spending more than 10 years with EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs, Climate Change Division. Michael Kolian is a physical scientist with EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs, Climate Change Division.