Earth to Sky Team New Mexico appears over a nighttime image of Fajada Butte

Applications due August 11th!


Climate Change Science & Communication: A Regional Approach

Earth to Sky - Fire, Water, Heat, and Hope – Oct. 25-27, 2023

Interpreting Climate Change in New Mexico

Rio Grande Nature Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico

There’s never been a better time to engage your visitors, staff, and communities about the impacts and implications of climate change in New Mexico. Join with colleagues in a supportive community of practice to learn about the science of climate change and share best practices in climate communication.

Fajada Butte. Credit: NPS

Climate Change Science & Communication

Fire, Water, Heat, and Hope: Interpreting Climate Change in New Mexico, provides you with a foundation in climate science with an emphasis on the connection between global to local processes and on climate impacts in this region. Participants will discuss and practice proven methods for successful climate communication and connect with the growing Earth to Sky community of practice – over 700 communicators and scientists from a variety of organizations improving and sharing their expertise on this topic. You will leave the course armed with knowledge about cutting-edge climate science and a plan for bringing the climate story to your visitors in engaging and inspiring ways.

  • Offered through the Earth to Sky (ETS) NASA-NPS interagency partnership
  • No Tuition Fee
  • Travel expenses are the responsibility of participants and/or their institutions
  • A limited number of scholarships are available

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Design and execute an action plan to collaboratively produce a climate change education, outreach, and/or interpretative product/program.
  2. Engage with the Earth to Sky community, both regionally and nationally, to exchange ideas and expertise and to facilitate implementation of their action plan.
  3. Using an Earth Systems Science approach, describe at least one connection between global, regional, and local Earth processes affecting climate in their region.
  4. Describe the significance and implications of environmental change in their region to society and natural systems.
  5. Describe how global climate-related changes in ecosystems, economies, or society may impact their region.
  6. Choose suitable communication strategies for a particular audience based on available audience research and engagement with their audience.
  7. Use engaging, audience-appropriate communication techniques, such as metaphor, analogy, visual imagery, storytelling, dialogic questions, or co-creation of knowledge in their product/program.
  8. Select relevant, audience-appropriate NASA science content and/or educational/visual elements to use in their product/program. 
  9. Identify and access credible sources of accurate and timely climate change science relevant to their region/site.


Course Structure

This course emphasizes experiential learning. It starts with a few distance-learning components that participants are required to complete prior to attending the three days of face-to-face sessions in Albuquerque. Participants are expected to be present and fully participate in all of the face-to-face sessions. Approximately four months later, a one-hour webinar will be held for participants to share progress and challenges and receive feedback/assistance in executing their action plans. The collegial atmosphere of this course provides participants with many opportunities to engage with scientists, communication practitioners, and colleagues in collaborative learning.


Preliminary Assignments 

These will be referred to and used during the face-to-face sessions. 

  • Complete on-demand web-based module on Earth system science (1-2 hours)
  • View climate science essentials videos: Carbon Cycle, and Energy Budget (1 hour)
  • Conduct interview with subject matter expert about climate using provided outline (1 hour)
  • Read short excerpt from CRED Psychology of Climate Change Communication (20 min)
  • Read excerpt from the Norms of Collaboration (30 min)
  • Read article about Communities of Practice

Credit: USFWS

Face-to-Face Sessions in Albuquerque

  • Scientists from NASA and other agencies will present climate science in both global and regional contexts followed by discussion sessions to apply that content in participants’ work setting.
  • A field trip to Valle de Oro, National Wildlife Refuge will serve as a case study illustrating climate science/research and a model for climate communication.
  • Dedicated time to work with colleagues, coaches, and experienced mentors as part of a regional community of practice to create an action plan for developing a product or program applying course content for use in their site or organization. Participants are encouraged to reach out to internal and external communities as they execute these action plans.
  • Opportunities to meet and talk with world-class climate scientists, including NASA scientists studying changes in New Mexico.
  • Learn climate change communication best practices through presentations from ETS alumni.
  • Practice selected communication methodology appropriate to participants’ work settings.

About Earth to Sky

Earth to Sky (ETS) is an ongoing and expanding partnership between NASA and the National Park Service (NPS) that enables and encourages interpreters, educators, and science communicators to access and use relevant science, data, and educational and outreach products in their work. Since 2008, the partnership has conducted many professional development events on the topic of climate change.  

Who should attend?

Experienced interpretive staff, education specialists, public affairs officers, and any other experienced non-formal educators from the private or public sector interested in collaborating with others to communicate about climate change. 


To attend this course, participants should have prior experience in communications (i.e., interpretation, environmental education, outreach, and/or public affairs). Individuals must complete the Application Form illustrating their interest and experience in climate change communications. Experience or knowledge of climate science is not a prerequisite.

Credit: USFWS

Expectations of Participants

  • Complete ~4 hours of preliminary assignments outlined above in preparation for the face-to-face sessions.
  • Be present and fully participate in all three days of face-to-face sessions.
  • Create an Action Plan for developing an interpretive, educational or outreach product or program applying course content.
  • Within one year, produce and share with the ETS community, a synopsis of an implemented interpretive/educational/outreach product incorporating NASA science content.
  • Participate in post-course reporting and evaluations, including a one-hour follow-up webinar with fellow course participants.

Selection Process

The course planning team will carefully review and make selections based on information provided in your Application Form. The maximum class size is 25. Those not selected during the first round will be placed on a waitlist to backfill any cancellations.

How to Apply

Complete this application then email it to peter.lipscomb at If you prefer to submit your application by USPS Mail, send to the address shown below. To obtain a copy you can complete and return by mail, call 505-474-0196.


No Tuition. Travel expenses are the responsibility of participants and/or their institutions. A limited number of scholarships are available.


Earth to Sky Team New Mexico contact is:

Peter Lipscomb
Earth to Sky Team New Mexico
Cerrillos Hills State Park
P.O. Box 460
Cerrillos, NM 87010

Phone: 505-474-0196
Email: peter.lipscomb at

Be sure to mention Earth to Sky in your message if your call is not immediately answered.

Sign up for updates from Earth to Sky Team New Mexico, and share this link with your colleagues who want to learn more about climate change!

Image at top: credit Peter Lipscomb 

Cris White

The next few years will bring not one, but TWO solar eclipses visible from the entire contiguous United States and beyond. We are excited to welcome Cris White, our new team member who will be focused on helping you prepare to interpret these unique astonomical events. Cris can help connect you to experts at NASA, NPS, and other Earth to Sky partners, and act as a sounding board for your ideas about eclipse programs. Keep your eyes out for emails to the ETS mailing list with new NASA resources, discussions, webinars, and updated eclipse resources coming to the ETS website soon!

A note from Cris:

Hello Earth to Sky constituents! I’m very excited to join this incredible group of dedicated individuals and looking forward to getting to know you all in the near future.

A bit about me:

As a child, most of my time was spent wandering through the mountains and playing in the rivers of the Salt and Greys River Mountain ranges. Observing the natural world instilled an inquisitive nature in me from a young age. Growing up in Wyoming in a place called Star Valley, I guess I've always been obsessed with looking at the night sky and dreaming of what is beyond our pale blue dot.

I graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management in 1996. In 2003, I was hired as one of the first professional Naturalists to join Utah State Parks. My position primarily involved front line – place-based interpretation of Antelope Island’s various ecosystems. I was also connected to the Ogden Astronomical Society as the park liaison. As a Naturalist, I was often involved in training incoming interpretive staff in general interpretive techniques.

In 2009, I moved to Moab as the Assistant Park Manager at Dead Horse Point State Park. I continued as the lead trainer for astronomy and dark sky conservation programs. I also had the opportunity to join the Eppley institute as an Interpretive Coach and Mentor, followed by NAI Interpretive Mentor as the two merged. In 2016, I was able to get Dead Horse Point State Park certified as an International Dark Sky Park. Also that year, I was a co-founder of Moab Dark Skies, a community group organized to assist in dark sky conservation efforts in the greater Moab area. In 2017, I assisted in the revision of the City of Moab, and Grand County Utah’s exterior lighting policies to create a more night sky friendly lighting ordinance for both regions. These ordinances took effect in the spring of 2018.

In 2018, I was accepted as a Solar System Ambassador volunteering with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was a wonderful honor that continues today.

In 2018, I left Utah State Parks to begin a grand adventure as a private business owner. Moab Astronomy Tours opened May the 4th in 2019. I am the owner and lead guide for this local, small astronomy tour business. I feel fortunate to have experienced both sides of the spectrum from civil servant to private business owner. As the lead guide for this company, I have deeply enjoyed sharing a night of deep space observation during the full lunar eclipse. What a riot seeing the blood Moon while observing galaxies, nebulae, planets, and more.

I am very much looking forward to guiding the ETS eclipse efforts for the Oct. 14th, 2023 annular eclipse and the April 8th, 2024 total eclipse. I have seen firsthand how powerful eclipses can be at bringing people from all backgrounds together and igniting their passion for earth and space science. I’m looking forward to assisting the effort to strengthen that bridge in a meaningful way for both interpreters and eclipse viewers.

Graphic showing photos of five new regional teamsThe most effective conversations about climate interpretation and education are happening at regional scales.

Earth to Sky is excited to announce that five new regional teams have been selected to receive specialized training and to support interpreters and informal educators developing their climate communication skills.

The five teams were chosen via a competitive selection process.  Spanning the country, the five new teams represent several federal and state agencies, universities, city government, nonprofits, and partnerships. Collectively representing centuries of experience in interpretation, education, science, training, communications, and networking, the new regional leaders will bring valuable expertise to the entire Earth to Sky community.

The teams will travel to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in October 2022 for the Earth to Sky Academy, a week of training in NASA climate science, communication techniques, and Earth to Sky methodology.  After completing the Academy, each team will offer one or more climate communication courses tailored to the specific needs in their region, while serving as a resource and focal point for their community of interpreters and informal educators on an ongoing basis.

Learn more about Earth to Sky Regions

Earth to Sky continues to grow. Regular announcements are posted to the Earth to Sky mailing list; join by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the word "join" in the subject line.

To receive updates and details about future Earth to Sky Academies, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the word "join" in the subject line.

Guided hike in desert led by park rangerJoin Earth to Sky at the National Association for Interpretation 2021 Annual Conference in Palm Springs!

We are partnering with Joshua Tree National Park to offer a highly interactive two-day pre-conference workshop, emphasizing experiential learning in a collegial environment with peers and scientists. We’ll spend our first day at Joshua Tree NP, exploring the science of global climate change through the lens of desert ecosystems. At the park, we will observe climate impacts and engage in a discussion with interpreters and educators about effective techniques and strategies for interpreting climate change in a hopeful way, for a variety of audiences.

scenic view of silhouetted landscape and blues sky and clouds reflected in water

Earth to Sky is partnering with the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) to provide a two-day pre-conference virtual workshop, November 5-6, 2020. The workshop is offered in association with the National Association for Interpretation 's annual conference.

Registration deadline: 11/01/2020

The highly interactive workshop will emphasize experiential learning in a collegial, resource-rich environment with peers and scientists.

Our World is Changing - Do you have the tools to stay relevant?

A Two-day pre-conference workshop on climate science and communication at the 2019 National Association for Interpretation National Conference

November 11-12, 2019

Denver, CO



Join us in beautiful Denver, Colorado for this Earth to Sky workshop designed to help you meet the challenges of connecting with visitors on climate change. In our experiential and collaborative learning environment you will learn foundational climate science, engage with scientists and peers, and gain exposure to new technologies.

NIW 2017 cover

"Interpreting Climate Change" Workshop in Spokane, WA, Nov. 2017 - Content Available On-line

Here's your save-the-date announcement for a two-day Earth to Sky workshop on interpreting climate change, which will be held as part of the National Association for Interpretation’s Annual Conference in Spokane, WA this November. This workshop will include key elements common to all of our courses - science content from NASA science specialists, and interpretation techniques from experienced interpreters and ETS alumni, joined together in a collegial environment. 

There is a maximum of 25 seats for this workshop, first come, first served, and open to all regardless of your affiliation or workplace. NAI will be opening registration soon. A fee will be charged by NAI (most likely around $200). Here’s the basic info:
Interpreting Climate Change

2-Day Earth to Sky Workshop at the NAI National Conference
Spokane, Washington
Interpreting climate change can be challenging!
It’s complicated, and audiences may respond on a wide variety of emotional and
intellectual levels. This two-day, highly interactive workshop will join interpreters
and NASA science and education specialists to learn from each other about climate science 
and communication. We’ll cover some basics of the science, and explore appropriate techniques for
addressing this subject with a variety of audiences, including youth. Abundant
interpretation, education and scientific resources will be provided to support
participants’ climate change interpretation efforts. 
The first day of the workshop will be held at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, and the second will be at the conference hotel.  (Transportation from the conference hotel to the refuge will be provided, as well as lunch on both days.)
When:    Our workshop is November 13th – 14th 2017
Where:  NAI Conference runs November 14th – 18th 2017,   Spokane, Washington
Registration and Lodging: Reserve through NAI 
Registration will open soon; the cutoff will be October 10th.
It is recommended that participants reserve lodging ASAP.
Target Audience: Employees from the USFS, USFWS, and other Federal, State and Municipal agencies, as well as non-profit and private organizations with science communicators,interpreters, environmental educators and educationspecialists.
Participants should have some experiencewith interpretation/science communication. Knowledge of climatescience is not required.
For more Info (and to add yourname to the mailing list for updates) contact: Anita Davis This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.