Understanding Global Change: A new web resource from the UC Museum of Paleontology

Sunday, 15 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Lisa White, University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, CA
The University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), a leader in education on the topics of paleontology, deep time, and evolution, together with the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), is raising awareness about the science of global change through a new web resource called Understanding Global Change. The website will provide scientific content, vetted teaching and learning resources, and strategies for K-16 educators to effectively incorporate global change science into their existing curricula.  Site topics will include the science and scientific disciplines behind global change, the multiple interactions and feedbacks between the climate systems, and the biotic impacts of past and current global change.  Users can explore changes in climate, biodiversity, ocean composition, and sea level, while drawing relevance to societal impacts and the role of human activities in global change. The site builds on direct feedback from educators, aligns with disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts from the Next Generation Science Standards, and provides new avenues and opportunities for public engagement on the complex topic of global change.  Through this resource, we hope to foster good communication about the nature of global change and demonstrate the connections between drivers and impacts within a complex and societally relevant subject.  The Understanding Global Change site builds on the success of two award winning UCMP websites, Understanding Evolution and Understanding Science which, together, receive 20 million page views annually confirming that educators value a “one-stop shop” for rigorously vetted educational resources.  Early testing and educator feedback on the Understanding Global Change web resource is guiding the site’s design, particularly with respect to online learning activities and teaching resources. During the year-long implementation phase of the website in 2015-16, a formal evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the project in improving teachers’ and students’ understanding of global change.