“Earth to Sky - Pacific West” - a Regional Climate Science and Communication course - was successfully convened at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, May 3-5, 2016.
Class Photo PW 2016More than 60 scientists and science communicators gathered in San Francisco last month, to talk and learn about changing climate in the Pacific West.  This was the second instance of a new regionally-focused training model that Earth to Sky hopes to take to many other regions of the country over the coming years.  For three days, at the General’s Residence in Fort Mason, scientists/presenters from NASA and many other organizations including UC Davis, the Marine Mammal Center, federal and state agencies, and non-profit groups, discussed the latest news about climate impacts and their implications to the Pacific Coast. Funding and support for the course was made possible by the NPS Climate Change Response Program, Mather Training Center, and by continuing leadership and generous support from NASA.
Participants came from all across the region (from American Samoa to Whiskeytown NRA, from Point Reyes to Greater Farallones Nat’l Marine Sanctuary), representing numerous governmental, non-gov’t, and community organizations - one of the most diverse audiences ever assembled for Earth to Sky. They were highly engaged by many stimulating presentations beginning with the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Ian Fenty, talking about Climate Change and El Nino across the Pacific Coast.  Discussions continued over 3 days through numerous plenary and concurrent sessions, culminating in panel discussions about Adaptation and Mitigation featuring Dr. Patrick Gonzalez of the NPS, Kevin Conger from CMG Landscape Architecture, and Alex DiGiorgio from CA utility company MCE. Their conclusion - how we adapt our communities and environment will be more about visioning the future than protecting the past.
IMG 4271Roxi Farwell and the "Magic Windows"Among the many highlights of the course was a field trip to the Marin Headlands on Wednesday morning. The half day case study included presentations by Will Elder on several Sea Level Rise exhibits, Roxi Farwell demonstrating a ‘Magic Window” teaching tool that helps students see and understand geologic change on the landscape, Kerri McAllister illustrating citizen science and curriculum projects by her organization, NatureBridge, and concluding with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, conducted by Adam Ratner, Guest Experience Manager.

Earth to Sky (ETS) is expanding its efforts through this course with new emphasis on partnering, and sharing new research specifically within a locally-based and engaged community of communicators and scientists. We are delighted with its successful launch, and look forward to the many future opportunities and new products that will surely result about changing climate in this region.
For more information and to access course presentations and materials on-line; click on Professional Development and look for "ETS @ PW 2016."  (You’ll need to register - for free - on the site to access all the many resources.)
Climate Change Science and Communication in the Pacific West

May 3-5, 2016

What’s really going on with climate change in the Pacific West? And how do you engage your audiences in climate issues?

GG-FtMason-smThis workshop-style course led by partners from NASA, National Park Service, and other Federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, will provide participants with a foundation in climate science with emphasis on the connection of global to local processes. Our focus is on climate impacts of direct relevance to western coastal states. Join fellow interpreters and science communicators to

  • Discuss and practice selected methods for successful climate communication, and become connected with the growing Earth to Sky community of practice – over 700 communicators and scientists from a variety of national and local organizations gaining and sharing expertise on this topic.
  • Depart with cutting edge knowledge about climate change, and a plan for bringing the climate story to your visitors in engaging and inspiring ways.
  • And learn how you can stay connected to these scientists and communicators over the long term. You’re not alone in your efforts – there’s lots of help available!


Target Audience:  Federal, State, Municipal agencies, as well as non-profit and private organizations with science communicators, interpreters, environmental educators and education specialists. Participants should have some experience with communication principles and techniques. Knowledge of climate science is not required. Partners and collaborators planning to work together on joint projects are especially encouraged

When: Tuesday - Thursday, May 3-5, 2016

Where: The General’s Residence, Fort Mason, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco

Tuition: $ 0.00 (Participants provide their own food, lodging and transportation)

This course is full, applications are no longer being accepted.

pdfDownload the full course announcement

docDownload the application form


disagreement-carbonThe international talks in Paris (COP21) seem to be all about carbon - how much there is in the atmosphere, the ocean, the plants, the permafrost and fossil fuels. How much carbon is moving, where, when, what can we do to alter the amount being released by human activity, how much do we need to reduce, etc. So, it seems an appropriate time to post a list of resources about carbon!

Here are a number of NASA resources on carbon, including short and long articles, short and long videos, visualizations and graphics. All are free, but please credit NASA if you share or use in your products/programs. 

Feature Articles About Carbon

A Breathing Planet, Off Balance

As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue their rapid, man-made rise, NASA scientists and others are confronted with important questions: How long can this balancing act continue? And if forests, other vegetation and the ocean cannot continue to absorb as much or more of our carbon emissions, what does that mean for the pace of climate change in the coming century?  This article explores this line of research and includes several downloadable visualizations.

More Articles

Multimedia and Interactives

  • ClimateBits: Carbon Dioxide (3 min) A nice explanation of the reason why carbon matters, stepping through seasonal and annual changes in atmospheric CO2 , consequences of added CO2 and actions people can take. Illustrated with visuals of the global greening and browning overlaid with the data from Mauna Loa.