Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy A Summer Workshop for High School Teachers

Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

Monday June 17 – Friday June 21, 2013

Understanding the complexity and interconnectedness of Earth’s natural cycles across various time and spatial scales is key to understanding our planet’s climate. Join us for a week at Mississippi State University to learn about three new high school curriculum units* that address these topics and how you can incorporate them into your science classes. The new Web-based curriculum units will be freely available to you and are designed to enhance classroom learning by allowing students to explore the topics in a variety of modes, including hands-on activities, video interviews with scientists, group work, self-guided examination of scientific data, and class discussions.

Participants receive 4 CEU’s and a $250 stipend for completing the workshop. Accommodations, a light breakfast, and a lunch will be provided daily at no cost to participants.

Space is limited to 25. Interested Mississippi teachers will receive first priority through February 28, 2013. After that date, unfilled spaces will be made available to teachers from other states.

For more information and to apply, visit: Questions? Call Dr. Karen McNeal at Mississippi State University (1-662-268-1032)

* Climate and the Cryosphere: Earth’s Frozen Waters

How do Earth’s glaciers, ice bergs, and ice sheets affect Mississippi’s climate? The complexity of Earth’s interconnected system is highlighted in this unit as students learn about the cryosphere’s dynamic nature and the positive and negative feedback systems that play a critical role in shaping our planet’s climate.

* Climate, Weather, and the Biosphere

Earth’s atmosphere not only provides us with life-supporting oxygen; it helps maintain our planet’s temperature range, which shapes life on Earth as we know it. Students learn about various temporal and spatial scales at which weather and climate occur, and the interactions of the Earth’s system at local, regional, and global scales that drive our weather and shape our climate.

* Climate and the Carbon Cycle

Carbon cycles through the Earth system on time scales that vary from fractions of a second to hundreds of thousands of years, and is as essential to the phytoplankton as it is to the Giant Sequoia. Air bubbles from ice cores reveal the dynamic history of atmospheric carbon across the past 600,000 years, and help scientists establish the long-term history of the carbon-climate connection.

Katharine Wilkinson’s interview

Resulting from our public dialogues, faith-based discussions, and “Green Like God” book study with Rusty Pritchard and author Jonathan Merritt, CLiPSE was delighted when Katharine Wilkinson, author of “Between God & Green: How Evangelicals are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change,” agreed to speak at Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi. An engaging speaker, Katharine led a rich and enthusiastic conversation on the subtle shifts in the Evangelical movement’s view of Climate Change. The conversation led to an interview and article, titled “God goes Green: Evangelical community focuses on environmentalism,” by Riley Manning, Religion Writer for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal ( To see the article incorporating Katharine’s interview, please click here.

MSU Research and Economic Development

Open dialogue fosters critical thinking, so conversation partners must be allowed to voice their opinions, no matter how divisive the topic may be. That’s exactly what Mississippi State University leaders envisioned when, in 2010, they formed the Climate Literacy Partnership of the Southeast to talk about climate change and form a climate-change education plan for the region.

The climate-focused network represents the diverse opinions, values and belief systems across the region, according to Karen McNeal, CLiPSE principal investigator and associate professor of geosciences at MSU. CLiPSE’s mission is not to tell people what to think. Instead, the project’s goal is to create a network of stakeholders across the Southeast and offer them a collection of information to promote understanding of climate, climate change, its implications and possible alternate outcomes, while also giving them the tools to continue open conversations about climate change.

With the first phase of the project complete, CLiPSE researchers are excited about the accomplishments they’ve achieved and the next steps the program will take to enhance climate-change education throughout the Southeast U.S., McNeal explained.

To see the complete article ….

Evangelicals and climate change: MSU holds open conversation with author Katharine K. Wilkinson


The author of “Between God & Green: How Evangelicals Are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change,” will speak Monday, Oct. 15, at Mississippi State University.

Katharine K. Wilkinson will host a discussion, free and open to the public, about faith-based efforts for addressing climate care at 6 p.m. in 102 Hilbun Hall. Wilkinson will also sign copies of her book.

A consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, Wilkinson is a religion graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South who went on to receive a doctoral degree in environmental studies from the University of Oxford, England.

In its review, the Boston Globe stated, “If you understand American evangelical Christianity … as the politically and theologically complex, fractious and ultimately mainstream phenomenon that it is, then you’ll appreciate the nuance and sensitivity with which Wilkinson navigates her subject. She tells a vitally important, even subversive, story at the heart of this carefully researched book.”

Wilkinson’s visit is sponsored by the university-affiliated Climate Literacy Partnership in the Southeast, or CLiPSE, which works to help improve an understanding of climate change in the Southeast through respectful dialogue, critical thought and communication among faith, agriculture, leisure and education communities.

For more information about Wilkinson’s reading, contact Julian Carroll at 662-325-7789 or To learn more about CLiPSE, visit


Please visit CLiPSE Partner Operation Green Leaves’ website ( to hear OGL Executive Director Nadine Patrice interview Keri Bolding, Vice-President Resource Media. Keri, one of the presenters at our Spring 2012 workshop in Savannah, Georgia, sets the strategic direction for, and oversees Resource Media’s work in the energy and climate areas.  Please support our Partners by tuning in.