Initial Publication Date: March 30, 2022

CLEAN Teleconference Call March 31, 2015

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Provenance: Daniela Pennycook, University of Colorado at Boulder
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Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions. A Statewide Public Engagement Project.

The Will Steger Foundation ( has launched Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions, a two-year project funded through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Climate Minnesota responds to the urgent need to increase climate literacy and promote sustainable behavior change among Minnesotans by sharing the knowledge of local experts and the stories of individuals impacted by climate change. The project builds on the power of media for sharing stories and the importance of personal contact to reach a broader, more diverse audience.

The project's components include: 
1) Convenings: Throughout 2015 and into 2016, we will hold a series of 12 public convenings across the state that will connect communities through local science, stories, and solutions that encompass the broad range of impacts that Minnesotans are seeing now. In addition, we will hold two to four educator workshops that highlight local resources and build capacity. 
2) Climate action teams: Each convening will culminate in the establishment and ongoing support of peer groups in all of the 12 communities. These groups will focus on sharing their "climate stories" and implementing community projects that advance climate change solutions. 
3) Storytelling Collection: We're inviting Minnesotans across the state to share their stories of how climate change has impacted their lives, either in blog or podcast form. We will present these stories online and encourage them to be shared statewide as educational resources and as inspiration for climate action.
4) Television production: Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) is creating a TV production and video segments that examine the different ways that climate change is affecting Minnesotans in various settings.

Kristen Poppleton has spent the last five years developing and directing the Will Steger Foundation's climate change education program. Her work includes collaborating locally and nationally on climate and STEM education initiatives, creating original materials and training, strategic planning with the organization's board and staff to develop a clear educational philosophy, and seeking funding through partners and writing grants. In addition to her work with WSF Kristen is currently working as a Next Generation Science Standards curator assisting the National Science Teacher's Association to identify educational resources that support the new standards. 

Jothsna Harris is the Will Steger Foundation's Education Coordinator and is currently coordinating the series of public statewide Climate Minnesota Convenings. Prior to the Will Steger Foundation, Jothsna served as a 2013-14 MN GreenCorps Energy Conservation Member in the Burnsville Independent School District (ISD) 191, where she coordinated a multi-pronged energy conservation campaign, designed to engage students, staff and community members and to inspire behavioral changes. In addition to her current role at the Will Steger Foundation, Jothsna serves on the Executive Board for the Minnesota Green Schools Coalition through the USGBC MN Chapter and is working on a Master of Liberal Studies degree in Innovation and Sustainability at the University of Minnesota.

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