NatureBridge Program Trains Teachers to Tackle Climate Change
SAN FRANCISCO, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — NatureBridge, the largest residential environmental education partner of the National Park Service, announced today it will hold its Teacher Professional Development Program on climate change at the NatureBridge campus at Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area on June 20 and 21. Funded by the National Park Foundation’s Parks Climate Challenge, the program will provide nationally relevant and replicable training for teachers to develop hands-on service learning projects to better educate students on climate change and strengthen their connection to national parks.
Despite the enormous impacts of rapid climate change, a recent study found that many Americans do not understand its causes and only one in 10 believe they are “very well informed” on the issue. Meanwhile, 75 percent of Americans believe schools should teach children about climate change, and 68 percent would welcome a national education program on the issue.(1) To address this gap in climate change education, The Parks Climate Challenge program was successfully launched in 2009 by the National Park Foundation. Now in its third year, the program has expanded to four national parks in California, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington State to immerse middle and high school educators in national parks while they learn strategies to educate students about climate change.
“The first step in addressing climate change is to provide a hands-on learning experience so students can fully understand its causes, effects and ways to prevent further damage to the environment,” Susan Smartt, NatureBridge president and CEO. “By providing educators with the resources and training they need to demonstrate the impact and challenges associated with climate change, NatureBridge is helping to inspire more people — particularly the younger generation — to take responsible actions to sustain the environment.”
NatureBridge’s Teacher Professional Development Program will convene at NatureBridge’s Marin Headlands campus in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area north of San Francisco. During the program, teachers of students in grades K-12 will learn from a local scientist about the potential impact of climate change and possible solutions for living with its effects. Educators will also develop a service learning action plan while spending two days exploring Golden Gate Recreation Area. Upon completion of the program, educators will receive a toolkit that contains ready-to-use resources for the classroom.
For more information and videos about the National Park Foundation’s Park Climate Challenge, please visit their website: http://parksclimatechallenge.org/train.php.
Founded in 1971 and based in San Francisco, NatureBridge is the largest residential environmental education partner of the National Park Service. Its mission is to inspire personal connections to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. NatureBridge currently operates four campuses at Yosemite National Park, in Olympic National Park in Washington State, in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Each year, NatureBridge serves more than 40,000 participants through field science, youth leadership and teacher training programs. NatureBridge is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. www.naturebridge.org.
(1) “Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change,” 2010, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
Kathleen Stuart | Bateman Group for NatureBridge
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