CLEAN Teleconference Call December 5, 2017

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Provenance: Daniela Pennycook, University of Colorado at Boulder
Reuse: This item is in the public domain and maybe reused freely without restriction.

Having "The Talk": Youth-Parent Climate Conversations

Abstract: Youth are concerned about climate change. Recent research conducted by the Alliance for Climate Education, in partnership with the Skoll Global Threats Fund, demonstrates that youth have agency within their families regarding climate relevant behaviors, particularly resulting from conversations that rely on listening. In this pilot project, we examined whether youth involved in a year-long climate action program will carry out climate related conversations with their parents, and whether youth who have engaged online with a climate education group, will carry out similar conversations with their parents when asked to do so via SMS. In study one, we used mixed methods to determine if youth participating in a training would carry out a climate conversation with their parents, adhere to guidelines such as reflective listening, and have positive experiences. Further, we investigated to what extent parents would experience the conversation as a positive and impactful event. Parents overall reported a positive experience, and were proud of their child's work. In study two, in a randomized controlled trial conducted entirely via SMS, we investigated whether youth would watch a brief instructional animated video, and have a conversation with a parent. Results showed the majority of youth reported gained confidence in conducting a climate conversation and intended to speak to relatives. Preliminary results indicate when youth can express their climate engagement to a parent using these techniques, they have positive experiences, gain confidence in future engagements and can influence family. The studies highlight the positive impact of climate conversations as well as the potential to scale climate conversations to reach more youth and families.

Bio: Rebecca came to ACE in its inception in 2008 as an Educator, and now serves as ACE's Director of Education. Rebecca develops ACE's science content, manages the online climate education resource Our Climate Our Future, oversees the ACE Teacher Network, and works with schools in the Reno-Tahoe area.

Rebecca holds a B.A. in Geosciences from Williams College and an M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Colorado. For her graduate degree, she studied melting ice caps on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Some of the ice caps she studied in 2005 are now completely gone.

Rebecca has also worked in Antarctica as a member of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Ice Core Drilling Project, where she analyzed the age of the ice core, shoveled mountains of snow, lived in a tent, and worked in a (no joke) air-conditioned room at -30ºF. When not fighting climate change, Rebecca enjoys chasing her husband Andy and young son Huck over the slopes, rocks, and trails around Truckee, CA.

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