Keynote, Session, and Break-Out Descriptions

Engaging Communities in Science with Maps, Apps, and Drones

The community is where mutually beneficial research and education outcomes are discovered together through the power of citizen science, maps, apps, and drones. Citizen Science GIS seeks to engage academics and community organizations/residents in shared knowledge production focused on community-engaged research that benefits real-world communities. In this talk, we unravel the potential of engaging communities and science in meaningful collaboration. We will highlight opportunities to use interactive and visual mapping technologies to share the spatial stories and knowledge of community members around the world to understand some of the most pressing challenges in coastal communities. Together we will move beyond the idea of communities as merely dots on a map in research. Instead, we offer the idea of communities as active contributors to science empowered through interactive technologies to understand the most challenging social and environmental issues of our time.

Empowering Students Through the NYS Science Learning Standards

New York recently adopted new science standards… for the first time in 20 years!  The philosophy behind the current approach is for students to learn to think and act like scientists. To question the world around them, to investigate and to construct evidence-based explanations. To defend rationale arguments and engineer solutions. This session will introduce participants to the Next Gen Science Standards, Scientific Practices, and available teacher resources. We’ll aim to demonstrate how this will teach our students to see past the fake news and noise in the world around us, so we can grapple with humanity’s greatest challenge: climate change.

The Challenges of Mitigating Climate Change 

Through two different experiential exercises participants grapple with the geopolitical relationships and/or policy measures that need to be engaged for humanity to keep global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. World Climate focuses on geopolitical dynamics, World Energy on policy levers. Both use computer simulations developed at MIT that provide immediate feedback to participants on how effective their proposals are at limiting global warming. World Climate asks participants to take on the role of political leaders, World Energy the role of leaders in various energy sectors. The debrief of participants’ efforts focuses not only on the quantitative impact of their mitigation proposals but on the socio-political interactions at play in our attempts to address climate change.

Educator Challenge: Create NGSS Aligned Lessons Using GIS Images

What happened when University of Central Florida’s Open Reef Project Director and his Assistant offered three North Country science teachers dozens of GIS images of the Belize Cayes in 2017 with a challenge: use these images to create engaging science lessons that align to the Next Generation Science Standards? This session will describe the innovative four-month project that demonstrated how North Country teachers used GIS images of a far away place to design rigorous and relevant science lessons aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Inspiring Youth through Climate Action

The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program works to convene, engage, connect and empower young people around the world for action on climate change through Climate Summits, community climate outreach and youth leadership opportunities. Through hands-on workshops, motivating presentations, and unforgettable experiences with peers and sustainability practitioners, youth are prepared and inspired to take the lead on addressing climate change.

Inspiring Hope, Building Legislative Coalitions, and Communicating Across Differences

We live in daunting times, where anger and despair often dominate conversations. In order to build a sustainable future, we must become better at effectively communicating about climate change with people who are not already convinced of a need to act. We must re-frame our standard narratives and rebuild our capacity to develop win/win solutions. We will need to build broader coalitions to pass legislation that can shift business as usual. And we need to strengthen our sense of agency by seeing how to reinforce hopefulness, without ignoring the challenges before us. This interactive session will begin with two short presentations on how we can address these needs, and then we will break into small groups where participants will practice some of these requisite skills. In a full group discussion we report on our experiences, and talk about how to increase our community’s capacity to do this work.