State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

EI LIVE K12: RSVP for Our Winter/Spring 2022 Sessions

We are excited to announce the return of our popular EI LIVE K12 series, which will continue to provide educational content for K12 students, educators, and parents from January to May, 2022. The series will feature experts from across the Columbia Climate School in 45-minute live sessions where they will share aspects of their work through lectures and interactive activities. We are looking forward to offering 10 exciting semi-monthly sessions beginning January 13, detailed below. We hope to see you at an upcoming talk.

During winter/spring 2022, the sessions will take place between 4:00-5:00pm EDT on a semi-monthly schedule. Most sessions will take place on Wednesday afternoons, with a few exceptions, which are noted with an asterisk.

All sessions are free, but pre-registration is REQUIRED for each event. RSVP links, along with the schedule from January to May, are below. We will send a Zoom Webinar link to all registered participants prior to the start of the programming. All sessions will be recorded and hosted on the EI LIVE K12 page for easy accessibility.

Parents/Students: Each session has a specific age range, so please make a note of that.

Educators: We suggest tuning in for the sessions that correspond with the age groups that you teach, and where we are able to, we will share additional readings and resources.

Winter/Spring 2022 Sessions

Using Tools to Explore the Changes of the Polar Regions*

Thursday, January 13, 4:00 – 5:00pm EDT*

Presenters: Margie Turrin, Director of Educational Field Programs and Laurel Zaima, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Target Audience: Grades 6-12

The polar regions are extremely dynamic with the ice always changing and flowing in response to forces, including climate change. This session focuses on empowering students with accessible and user-friendly remote sensing tools that allow them to explore, observe, and make hypotheses about our ever-changing world.

RSVP here

Coral Chemistry and Paleohydrology*

Thursday, January 27, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT*

Presenter: Brad Linsley, Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Target Audience: Grades 9-12 (and undergraduates)

In this session we will discuss how coral skeletal barium concentration and oxygen isotopic ratios can be used to reconstruct near-monthly resolved changes in river discharge and hydrology in Panamá back to the early 1700s CE.  We will then evaluate the implications of the paleohydrology results for understanding El Niño Southern Oscillation effects on Central American drought cyclicity and the long-term management of the Panamá Canal.

RSVP here

Solving Mysteries of the Past-Tree Rings & Archaeology

Wednesday, February 9, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Cari Leland, Lecturer, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Target Audience: Grades 3-5

Did you know that we can learn about the history of wooden material and artifacts through studying their tree rings? In this talk, students will explore how scientists study tree rings from historical structures to uncover mysteries of the past.

RSVP here

Climate Change Conversations: Decoding Perspectives and Facilitating Engagement

Wednesday, February 23, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Joshua DeVincenzo, Senior Instructional Designer, National Center for Disaster Preparedness

Target Audience: Grades 8-12

This interactive session will allow students to understand a variety of perspectives people hold on the topic of climate change. Students will gain a toolkit of communication strategies for engaging in difficult conversations around climate change with people who may or may not agree with them. By the end of the session, students will have practice addressing climate skepticism and acquire skills to steer the conversation into a learning opportunity.

RSVP here

What Was the Little Ice Age, and Why Do We Care?

Wednesday, March 9, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Mike Kaplan, Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Target Audience: Grades 9-12

Before the 20th century, from about 1400 AD to 1900 AD, glaciers were larger and climate was much colder than present. This period is known as the Little Ice Age in Europe and North America, and studying it might help us learn about present climate changes.

RSVP here

River to Reef: Using the Coral Time Machine to Learn About the Coast

Wednesday, March 23, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Logan Brenner, Assistant Professor, Barnard College

Target Audience: Grades 6-12

Corals might look just like rocks, but they are living animals that grow their own stony skeleton. In this session we will explore how the chemical components of this hard skeleton can tell us about the coastal conditions in which the coral grew. We will focus on how corals can take us back in time and tell us the history of nearby rivers.

RSVP here

Planning a Mission to An Icy Moon

Wednesday, April 6, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Christine McCarthy, Lamont Associate Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Target Audience: Grades 3-8

So, you’re thinking about a trip to an icy moon of Jupiter or Saturn? In this session you will learn about what to consider when turning your concept into a mission. In particular we will identify threats and complications you might encounter on a moon with a cold, inhospitable icy shell.

RSVP here

Can You Outsmart Disaster? Make Your National Disaster Plan With an Uncertain Forecast

Wednesday, April 20, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Dan Osgood, Lead Scientist, Financial Instruments Sector Team, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Target Audience: Grades 6-12

Governments can take action to prepare for disasters, like national droughts, if they know the disaster is coming. Unfortunately, forecasts for disasters are uncertain probabilities. If you act too aggressively on a forecast, you may spend money in vain, preparing for forecasted droughts that do not occur. If you are too tentative, you may fail to act on a forecast when a drought does happen. In the real world, a leader must balance how much they face each of these, knowing that if you need more time to prepare, you are more likely to get it wrong. In this session you will work with the tools that real government leaders around the world are using to make the tough choices between failing to act, and acting in vain.

RSVP here

How Do We Know the Temperature of the Earth?

Wednesday, May 4, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Nathan Lenssen, PhD Candidate, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Target Audience: Grades 9-12 (and undergraduates)

Over the past 150 years, human emissions of greenhouse gases have led to increased global temperatures with the last seven years being the seven warmest years on record. While the global mean temperature is important to know, it is not straightforward to calculate, particularly 100+ years ago. In this session, we will explore the history of global mean temperature calculations, discuss how scientists currently calculate changes in the temperature of the Earth, show how confident these calculations of global temperature are, and discuss the various sources of data used to calculate and verify the temperature record over the past 150+ years.

RSVP here

Natural History of the Hudson River

Wednesday, May 18, 4:00 – 4:45pm EDT

Presenter: Frank Nitsche, Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Target Audience: Grades 9-12

During this session, we will explore how nature has influenced human use of the estuary and how human beings have shaped nature in the context of the Hudson River. Learn about the development of the Hudson River since the ice ages, how its location and nature drove European settlements along the river, and how human beings have made changes to the river to further development.

RSVP here

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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