White House Climate Education and Literacy Initiative

Category: 
Community Based

Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, important steps have already been taken to cut carbon pollution, prepare for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to fight this global challenge. Continued progress into the future will depend on ensuring a climate-smart citizenry and a next-generation American workforce of city planners, community leaders, engineers, and entrepreneurs who understand the urgent climate-change challenge and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and training to seek and implement solutions.

That’s why, in support of the Obama Administration’s steady efforts to address climate change, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) in partnership with the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Education Interagency Working Group (Lead federal agencies: NOAA, NASA, USDA/USFS, DOI/USFWS, NSF) launched on December 3rd 2014 a new Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about climate change.

Through the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, the Obama Administration is asks leaders across sectors to step up and help lift our Nation’s game in climate education. In response to several calls to action, more than 200 activities, projects, and ideas were submitted by individuals and organizations across the country, from more than 30 states. These included a diverse array of innovative approaches being implemented in K-12 classrooms, on college and university campuses, and in zoos, parks, aquariums, and museums to educate and engage students and citizens of all ages.

 

Students and Teachers Act on Climate at the White House

Goals: 

Ensuring a climate-smart citizenry and a next-generation American workforce of city planners, community leaders, engineers, and entrepreneurs who understand the urgent climate-change challenge and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and training to seek and implement solutions.

High Level Impact: 

The White House initiative pulls together more than two dozen NGO and education groups from more than 30 states that responded to a call for increased leadership in climate education made by the administration in October of 2014. Some of the groups include the Chicago Botanic Garden, the American Meteorological Society, the Alliance for Climate Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Philadelphia School, Climate Interactive, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and the Green Schools Alliance.

The groups are providing fellowship programs, teacher training opportunities and increased attention to public education on climate change through museums, aquariums, botanic gardens and zoos. The combined efforts are expected to reach millions of students, teachers, federal employees and visitors to national parks and public nature facilities.

The National Park Service, for example, will develop a plan by the end of 2015 that will help employees create and deliver "effective climate change messages in the programs and exhibits" in national parks, according to a fact sheet from the White House (add link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/climateed...). Each year, more than 270 million people visit the 401 national parks.

Point of Contact: 

Laura Petes, Lead for the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, Office of Science and Technology Policy Executive Office of the President, Laura_E_Petes@ostp.eop.gov