University of Calgary

Climate change

July 28, 2009

U of C scientists empower teachers with climate change research

Dr. John Pomeroy and teachers at the mid-mountain meteorological station of the Marmot Creek Research Basin.
Dr. John Pomeroy and teachers at the mid-mountain meteorological station of the Marmot Creek Research Basin. Photo credit: Debby Peck

School’s out, but teachers have been tackling climate change in an outdoor classroom on the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies in Kananaskis Country.

Climate change research and education featured prominently on the agenda at the U of C Biogeoscience Institute's fourth annual summer institute for teachers.

Sponsored by Alberta Ingenuity, this summer's institute, focused on providing high-school teachers and teacher educators with current research and teaching resources to address climate change and its impact on freshwater in the Canadian Rockies and Prairies. Fourteen teachers from across the nation attended the institute from July 4 to 11.

Seven guest speakers, including two Canada Research Chairs from the University of Calgary, were involved in the institute: Drs. Shawn Marshall and Masaki Hayashi. Other presenters included Dr. John Pomeroy, a Canada Research Chair from the University of Saskatchewan; Robert Sanford, Canadian Chair of United Nations “Water for Life” Partnership; Dr. Susan Barker, Associate Dean of Education from the University of Alberta; and Dr. Beryl Zaitlan from the University of Calgary.

“They each provided us with activities that we can take our students through, many with a keen eye on cost factors that were within public school budgets,” says Phil Langford, the science department head at Bert Fox Community High School in Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask. “By interacting with scientists at the top of their respective fields, we now have firsthand wisdom surrounding how to both present facts to our students and engage them with current issues surrounding those facts.”

Debby Peck, a teacher educator from the University of New Brunswick, says she was impressed with the U of C scientists.

“I think that teachers are often nervous about interacting with scientists based on an expert/novice perception but the scientists actually went out of their way to make suggestions about how their research equipment, procedures, and data management could be adapted for a classroom setting.”

For more info, go to: http://bgs.ucalgary.ca/workshops/AISIBE


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