This workshop is a hands-on learning experience using climate change as the lens for learning units regarding three critical ecosystem elements: vegetation, water, and soils. Participants will learn to measure landscape elements scientifically and to understand the strategies needed to address the impacts of climate change on their local landscape. Participants will complete an experiential exercise in climate empathy to assist their students in coping with the stress related to the future of the planet.
Participants will complete an "existing environmental conditions report" on the climate conditions of the landscape of their local school, park, or public building. The report could result in various future authentic tasks, such as setting a tree canopy goal or creating rain gardens for their chosen site. Participants will receive both simple and complex exercises to replicate with their students. The workshop will offer cross-curriculum ideas and a list of resources for future reference.
This course will be taught in three sessions: the first is online completing the mapping and measuring exercises; the second is in-person outside to conduct the three hands-on exercises that are taught in the class; the third is an on-site case study where the group conducts a site assessment in-person and also reports out some of the recommendations for their sites. Full remote participation will be accommodated through videos and live on-site Zoom meetings.