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Education Plan

Climate Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have established that "Environmental literacy" is integral to NOAA's mission. It has a central role in its strategic plan by recognizing that "all of NOAA's long-term goals ultimately depend on the public's capacity to understand and react to Earth system science and ecosystem conditions." NOAA's Climate Program Office Education and Outreach team are developing the climate part of NOAA's environmental literacy priority through a partnership with NOAA's Office of Education, outside agencies and organizations. The Climate program office is beginning the process of developing the climate literacy essential principles and fundamental concepts framework.

NOAAs Requirements for Climate Literacy

Environmental literacy is integral to NOAAs mission: All of NOAAs long-term goals ultimately depend on the publics capacity to understand and react to Earth system science and ecosystem conditions. A better-informed public will provide improved environmental stewardship and will acquire, use, and respond to NOAAs information services and forecasts in more effective ways. Given the central role of environmental literacy to NOAAs long-term effectiveness, NOAA places a high priority on formal and informal education efforts leveraging NOAAs distinctive scientific, technical, and operational expertise. Key requirements include: Ensuring coordination between developers of educational products and those partners responsible for establishing educational standards; Overcoming barriers to influencing formal educational curricula that exist because of education standards that do not adequately reflect Earth system science; and deploying strategic approaches to environmental literacy, as articulated in the NOAA Education Plan and Policy, which recognize the multi-generational, long-term nature of change in public attitudes and actions.

NOAAs Climate Program Office Education and Outreach team is drafting a climate primer called "about climate." The "about climate" portion is a new idea that is being designed to help all audiences understand what climate is and the current state of the science. Both the "about" section will be created using an eighth grade reading level and co-written by students and science teachers to ensure comprehension and to adequately address precursor concepts, while also dealing with any misconceptions. NOAAs Climate Education Working Group (CEWG), one of the four program goal educational working groups, will be the responsible group to find ways that NOAA can fulfill environmental literacy cross-cutting priority and the parts of the climate mission goal that relate to both formal education and life-long learning about the Earths climate system.

NOAA Education Plan (pdf)
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Last Updated on Novemeber 11, 2007