Mon, Aug 28, 2023
Join us for a discussion on Climate Science Science in the Astronomy Classroom
How to Teach and Talk about Climate Change in an Astronomy Class
From a health, social, and environmental standpoint, climate change is an existential threat that requires our immediate attention. The good news is that most Americans now understand that climate change is a threat. However, many people– particularly the young– are convinced that nothing can be done. Known as “climate doomism”, this fear represents one of the biggest barriers for people to actively engage in advocating for solutions. Fortunately, physics and astronomy teachers are especially well positioned to help people understand the problem, as well as solutions. In this session, we’ll talk about effective ways to incorporate climate change into your introductory physics and astronomy classes. (Happily, we already teach many concepts that are important for putting climate change into context, such as conservation of energy and terrestrial planetary atmospheres.) We’ll also talk about research-validated communication strategies that have been found to be effective in raising awareness, concern, and action.
Dr. Travis Rector is an astrophysicist and professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Living in Alaska, he has witnessed dramatic changes in his home state. In recent years his focus has been on helping other instructors incorporate climate change into their teaching. He is the editor and co-author of a new book called Climate Change for Astronomers, to be released this fall by IoP/AAS Publishing. He is also currently serving as the chair of a task force for the American Astronomical Society, with the goal of identifying ways astronomy as a profession can reduce its carbon footprint.
Topic: Climate Change: Travis Rector
Time: Aug 30, 2023 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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