This course introduces the basics of climate science and communication strategies to help empower educators, volunteers and individuals to talk about climate change as a means to inspire action. This course is part of a climate communication training program for volunteers at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) that integrates content and strategies from NMNH, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Network for Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI), Visualizing Change, and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE).
This self-paced course is divided into four lessons:
- Why we should communicate about climate change
- Climate science - Earth’s past climate, today’s drivers, climate change impacts and solutions
- How people perceive climate change
- Facilitation strategies
Each lesson takes approximately 20 minutes to 1 hour to complete and contains a short non-graded quiz. The first lesson introduces the need for climate change conversations in learning venue settings. The second lesson covers climate science concepts through an introduction to Earth’s past climate history, drivers of climate change, and examples of impacts and solutions. The lesson also features examples of Smithsonian climate work. The third lesson dives into the current research around public perceptions and beliefs of climate change, and how this perception has changed over time in the United States. The last lesson introduces several strategies for meaningful conversation about climate change.