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