Climate Communication Workshop Overview

This workshop will be held entirely online. There is no face-to-face component and no travel is necessary.

The workshop will consist of synchronous presentations, asynchronous discussions, small group activities, independent work time and collaborative work on small group writing projects. We will use Elluminate web conference software, SERC's web collaboration tools and conference call lines in order to create a well-rounded experience. Learn more about the technical aspects of this online workshop.


The goals of this workshop are to:
  • Learn strategies for effective communication of controversial science topics,
  • See examples of successful methods and activities for effective communication of climate science,
  • Explore the CLEAN collection of teaching materials,
  • Develop new materials or modify existing teaching materials to emphasize effective communication,
  • Collaborate with other faculty to share ideas about teaching climate science.


Each participant is expected to:
  • Participate in as many of the synchronous sessions as possible and review missed sessions via the webcast recordings.
  • Participate in all of the asynchronous discussion threads.
  • Participate in all of the small-group activities. These will include brainstorming, concept sketching, and writing activities.
  • Working in a small group, contribute to one or more of the following:
    • develop a new activity for teaching about the climate system, or
    • modify an existing activity to strengthen the communication aspect of the activity, or
    • contribute to a series of web pages intended to provide communications guidance for faculty who teach climate science
  • Provide feedback to the materials developed by other workshop participants,
  • Test the materials you develop during the workshop in your classroom within the next year.
Workshop participants are expected to actively participate throughout the entire workshop. Online workshops have many advantages, especially in your ability to access all of your instructional resources from your home office. However, the downside is that there are also many local distractions. So please be sure to block out times in your calendar for all scheduled workshop activities, just as if you were attending face-to-face meetings at those times. We anticipate that in total, the workshop will require 4-5 hours of your time on each of the scheduled days. Moreover you will want to set aside some time during the break to work on your activity. Your focused attention will be appreciated by all.

Each of the synchronous sessions will be recorded, so in the event that you are not able to attend a session, you will be able to review the presentations via the workshop website.

How to Register

To register for this workshop, complete the online registration form by Thursday, March 1, 2012. There is no registration fee. This workshop is designed for college faculty who are currently teaching climate topics in their courses, are in the process of designing climate-related course content, or who are engaged in research about climate science, communications or misconceptions. First priority will be given to applicants who meet this criteria.

The workshop is limited to 30 participants and the workshop may become full before the registration deadline. If you register for the workshop and then are not able to attend, we ask that you contact the workshop organizers so that someone else may occupy your spot.

For Further Information

Contact Karin Kirk (kkirk at