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Project Assessment

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Climate Literacy Assessment

Increasing Climate Literacy is critically important for all citizens to enable informed decisions and personal choices that consider the effects on climate. McCaffrey et al. [1] established seven guiding principles of climate literacy that formulate the basis for most of our project assessment plan. 

The Essential Principles of Climate Science Literacy

1. The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth’s climate system.

2. Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system.

3. Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate.

4. Climate varies over space and time through both natural and man-made processes. 

5. Our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling

6. Human activities are impacting the climate system.

7. Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives

Our assessment plan includes metrics for the numbers and types of students and teachers impacted as well as measurement of the change in STEM attitudes and climate literacy.  During the initial stages of the project we are developing and piloting a Climate Literacy Assessment Survey, which will provide a quantitative measure of students’ climate literacy based on the guidelines established above [1]

The undergraduate class and components of the teacher workshops will continue beyond the three years of the proposed project.  Our project will include evaluation and dissemination of these modules across the state through teacher training, project evaluation, and distribution to teachers around the country and the world through the World-wide Web.  

[1] McCaffrey, M. (Lead Author); C.J. Cleveland, S.B. Wise, M. Surface, K. Trenbath (Contributing Authors); S.C. Nodvin (Topic Editor) (2010). "Climate Literacy Handbook." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth May 15, 2009; Last revised January 5, 2010;. <>