Welcome to the Earth to Sky “Starter Kit” for Climate Change Communication!

These learning resources are provided to help you begin to grasp the fundamental skills needed to engage the public about climate change as a critical issue affecting public lands and resources. These tools were chosen to help you begin to build a solid foundation of interpretive communication skills, emphasizing knowledge of the resource, knowledge of the audience, and knowledge of appropriate techniques.

The estimated completion time for the entire kit is 6-8 hours, depending upon your skill level. The segments of the kit may be completed in any sequence.

Knowledge of the Resource

  1. Take the Climate Change: Fitting the Pieces Together tutorial
    This professional development module from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s MetEd discusses climate change, particularly as it is currently being affected by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. It also covers signs of climate change, how scientists study climate, the current thinking on future changes, and what can be done to minimize the effects. Note: If the link below does not take you directly to the module, navigate to the Education & Training tab and use the drop down menu to get the list of modules on climate. Then scroll down to Climate Change: Fitting the Pieces Together

  2. pdfConduct an interview – This important activity will help inform or broaden your understanding of the climate change issues or stories, actual or potential, at your site.

  3. Identify at least one resource that you find useful, on each of these websites

Knowledge of the Audience

  1. Read pages 1-6 of edu/climate/publications/global-warmings-six-americas-2009/Global Warming’s Six Americas 2009. One of the first rules of effective communication is to “know your audience.” Climate change public communication and engagement efforts must start with the fundamental recognition that people are different and have different psychological, cultural, and political reasons for acting – or not acting– to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This report identifies six types of audiences within the American public, each responding to the topic in their own distinct way. Follow-up reports to this initial research are also available at http://environment.yale.edu/climate/

Knowledge of Appropriate Techniques

  1. Take the Foundations of Interpretation on-line tutorial
    Whether your communication efforts are targeted at formal or informal learning, this short tutorial (1-2 hours) can help you consider ways to make your communication more meaningful, relevant and engaging for your audiences. Register for this free, National Park Service -developed course at http://eppley.org/elearning/interpretation-1/foundations-of-interpretation

  1. Read pdfCommunication Strategies for Interpreting Climate Change—Controversy vs. Conflict.This training handout from the NPS Interpretive Development Program provides guidance and encouragement for dealing with a controversial topic.