SIfT 2013

Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest


Teachers from grades 4-12 are invited to attend this year’s Summer Teacher Institute, a three day workshop at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge! This training is free for teachers in the South Sound GREENNisqually River Education Project, and Chehalis Basin Education Consortium projects. Teachers who attend will gain skills and experience implementing Climate Change science activities and community action projects in their classroom, gain an understanding of local, global, and historical watershed resources and issues, and learn water quality testing skills and knowledge. Teachers will learn how local tribes are already responding to climate change and will also have the opportunity to meet local professionals and experts! This workshop includes a tour, led by the Skokomish Natural Resources staff, of the Skokomish Estuary, as well as a trip to Taylor Shellfish in Shelton, WA. Earn 19 clock hours, and 3 bonus clock hours if you complete and hand in a climate change unit by July 1st!

Updated Resources: 6/25/2013

Resources presented during STI 2013

  • Algae Boom and Bust Climate change and increasing water temperatures, along with added nutrients from human activities, impact both aquatic ecosystems and the people who depend on them. In this experiment-based lesson, students examine one outcome — algae blooms.
  • Brain Rules Explore each rule through illustrations, charts and video. These tutorials are designed to reinforce the concepts in the book; we recommend reading the corresponding chapter first.
  • Climate Change Message: Essential Information-Bill Moyers explores climate change for the six Americas.
  • Cool School Challenge– Find all of the materials you need to implement the Cool School Challenge at your school.
  • Forward or Reverse– In this activity, students will graph and make correlations between snowfall and glacial advance and retreat of Mount Rainier’s Nisqually Glacier.
  • Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills– Day 1 activity, Teaching the Cardinal Directions, is found on pg. 69. Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills prepares young learners from kindergarten to eighth grade to complete a data report form of fish, wildlife and habitat they observe in the environment. Data they collect may be contributed through a citizen science program to a professional scientist who can use the data to inform research.
  • Greenhouse Effect Lab -In this activity, we will simulate the greenhouse effect by generating carbon dioxide in a small container.
  • Mapping the Snout– In this activity, students will map and graph the advance and retreat of the Nisqually Glacier and state the relationship between weather patterns and terminus movement, as well as the impacts of climate change on Mount Rainer’s glaciers.
  • Next Generation Science Standards-New K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally bench-marked science education.
  • Phenology Wheels Curriculum Packet– A new curriculum for students to learn about seasonal events and cycles in a hands-on, experiential way. Phenology is defined as the study of natural events, such as bird migration or fall leaf color, that recur periodically in relation to climate and seasonal change.
  • Phenology Wheels: Earth Observations Where You Live– Making a habit of Earth observation where you live is a fun and fundamental way to practice Earth stewardship. It is often our own observations close to home that keep us inspired to learn more and allow us to remain steady advocates for solutions to today’s daunting problems.
  • Power Pollinators: The Beauty of Pollination– A non-narrated, close-up video on pollinators. From Louie Schwartzberg TED talk and produced for DisneyNature’s “Wings of Life.”
  • Sense of Place Quiz– How well do you know your hometown basics…where your water comes from? which plants are native? Where does your garbage go?
  • Water Quality Monitoring Resources and Manual

Facing Climate Change Videos:

  • Oyster Farmers -Over the past 250 years, the world’s oceans have absorbed about 25 percent of the carbon dioxide that humans have put into the air by burning fossil fuels. Produced by Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy-Steele.
  • Coastal Tribes -After scientists identified sea level rise as a threat to the Lower Skagit River area, the tribe launched a climate change initiative to study the long-term impacts of climate change on their reservation, and to develop an action plan to adapt. Produced by Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy-Steele.
  • Potato Farmers – A warmer climate is changing agricultural landscapes throughout the Pacific Northwest. Produced by Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy-Steele.
  • Plateau Tribes -The Umatilla Tribe in northeastern Oregon promised to take care of the foods that promised to take care of them: water, fish, game, roots and berries. Produced by Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy-Steele.

Guest Presenters for STI 2013

  • ESD 113 – Dr. Craig Gabler serves as Regional Science Coordinator and LASER Alliance Co-Director where his primary role is to coordinate and deliver science professional development to the 44 school districts in the region. During his time at ESD, Dr. Gabler also served as Curriculum Director for Science & Mathematics for Tacoma Public Schools in Washington for two years.
  • The Evergreen State College – Rebecca Chamberlain is a faculty at The Evergreen State College specializing in language, poetics, storytelling and folklore, mythology, cultural and environmental education, mountaineering, astronomy. She developed the curriculum Earth is Our First Teacher, which explores poetry through sense of place.
  • Nisqually Tribal Nation -The Nisqually people have lived in the watershed for thousands of years. According to legend, the Squalli-absch (ancestors of the modern Nisqually Indian Tribe), came north from the Great Basin, crossed the Cascade Mountain Range and erected their first village in a basin now known as Skate Creek, just outside the Nisqually River Watershed’s southern boundary. Later, a major village would be located near the Mashel River.
  • NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center -Dr. Shallin Busch is interested in how environmental change influences animal physiology, populations, and communities. Her current research focuses on how ocean acidification and climate change may impact North Pacific ecosystems. Working with other members of the NWFSC ocean acidification group, she helped develop a state-of-the-art laboratory at the NWFSC for studying the impacts of ocean acidification, hypoxia, and temperature change on coastal marine organisms.
  • Piece Conservation District– Isabel Ragland is the Water Quality Coordinator for Piece County Stream Team. Piece County Stream Team helps individuals achieve a sense of stewardship for our local streams, forests, and wildlife. Volunteers and public participation are the backbone of the Stream Team organization, and people of all ages can get involved in a variety of ways, from water quality monitoring to planting native vegetation along streams. Other action projects such as stormdrain marking and stream clean-ups provide additional opportunities to get involved.
  • Skokomish Department of Natural Resources: he Skokomish Natural Resources Department Habitat Division is responsible for development and implementation of the Tribe’s water quality, environmental health, hazardous waste, habitat protection and enhancement programs for salmon-bearing streams and wetlands, among other as-needed and requested duties for the tribal community.
  • Poetry of Place – A former newspaper reporter and editor, Carolyn Maddux earned her Master of Arts degree through the McGregor School of Antioch University. A published poet, she teaches creative writing at Olympic College in Shelton.
  • Thurston County Stream Team – Chris Maun coordinates Thurston County Stream Team. Stream Team is a program for citizens interested in protecting and enhancing water resources in Thurston County watersheds. The program is jointly coordinated by Thurston County and the cities of Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater.
  • Thurston County Solid Waste Youth Program – Colleen Minion is an environmental educator for Thurston County Solid Waste, which offers free, high-quality, interactive presentations to teach K-8 students about recycling, composting, sustainability, waste reduction, solid waste management and hazardous household products. We also provide students with opportunities to earn community service hours, and help them gather information for their environmental projects.
  • Tulalip Tribal Nation: Terry Williams is an Elder of the Tulalip tribe. The Tulalip Tribal vision: “We gathered at Tulalip are one people. We govern ourselves. We will arrive at a time when each and every person has become most capable.”
  • Understanding Climate Change – Laura Tucker developed Climate Change curriculum in 7 sessions. Teachers will experience curriculum that develops deep understanding of climate change using a wide variety of formats: pre-assessment of student knowledge and misconceptions engaging, hands-on science experiments that effectively demonstrates the Greenhouse Effect, critical analysis of articles and current data leading to scientific discourse among students, enabling them to see these issues from different points of view first-hand, experience with a variety of interactive web pages from NOAA and NASA, and exemplars of student research on current climate-related issues.
  • University Washington Program on Climate Change – Dr. Richard Gammon is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry,Professor of Oceanography, Adjunct Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, and received his Ph.D. at Harvard University, 1970 Research in the Gammon group has been directed toward an improved understanding of the natural and perturbed biogeochemical cycles of C, S and the halogens in relation to climate and climate change.

Field Trips STI 2013

  • Skokomish Estuary Phase 3 -This project represents Phase Three of the Skokomish River Estuary Restoration, and uses an adaptive and staged approach in the original Phase I area. Phase III includes additional salt marsh in the western edge of the estuary and wetland/channel connectivity in the phase I site. This phase is a continuation of Phase I and II and will restore estuarine functions by re-connecting wetland channels through the salt marsh, restoring tidal channels, enhancing roads to connect natural wetland flow or tidal channels, and filling or enhancing ditches for wetland channel habitat.
  • Taylor Shellfish -We are the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the United States. Under the leadership of the Taylor family of Shelton, WA, our business has grown to nearly 500 employees and 11,000 acres of tidelands along the Washington coast and British Columbia. We also operate additional hatchery and nursery facilities in Hawaii and California, a shellfish distribution business in Hong Kong, and are partners growing Fiji Pearls with J. Hunter Pearls Fiji, Ltd.

Additional Presentation and Online Resources:

  • Climate Change and Biodiversity– Center for Essential Science at the University of Michigan- SPECIES (Students Predicting the Effects of Climate in Ecological Systems). Free, downloadable lesson plans and archived webinar. Aligned to Common Core, suitable for Middle-High School.
  • Climate Change For Families – The intention of this website is to share information about climate change news, updates, calls to action, and local (Washington) events.
  • Department of Ecology: Climate Change– Department of Ecology: meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities.
  • EPA’s Student Guide– An interactive website exploring climate change by EPA.
  • The Exciting Movement -After decades of scant organized response to climate change, a powerful movement is quickly emerging around the country and around the world. Bill McKibben, Rolling Stones.
  • The Fizz Project– This project addresses the Friday Institute’s goals of developing innovative teacher professional development practices and resources and improving 21st century teaching and learning.
  • Investi-Gator– An upper elementary school science education journal on climate change, PNW Research Station.
  • The Living River– Watershed activities in the classroom.
  • National Center for Science Education -Climate change interpretations.
  • New York Times on Next Generation Science Standards– NY Times article, referring to climate change
  • Project Bud Burst -Project BudBurst is a network of people across the United States who monitor plants as the seasons change and submit ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants.
  • Ocean Acidification: Is there a Problem? -Link to free downloadable lesson plans. Education and Research Testing Hypotheses (EARTH) from Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Parks Climate Challenge– This website serves as a resource to provide all teachers with the tools necessary to be successful in delivering national park centric climate change lessons.
  • Simulating the Greenhouse Effect In a Terrarium – In this experiment we will find that air over the open containers is constantly changing, and as it gets warm it is more easily replaced by cooler air.
  • Tips for Climate Change Activists -A self-help guide for dealing with the grief from climate change, by Renee Lertzman.
  • What’s Your Personal Climate Profile Survey -See where you fall on the spectrum of American attitudes about climate change, and compare your results with other quiz-takers.

Northwest Indians Fisheries Commission articles on Climate Change:


  • Acidifying Waters Corrode NW Shellfish – PBS episode featuring local shellfish farm Chelsea Farms in Washington.
  • Chasing Ice- The story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time-lapse cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Contact Stephanie Bishop from South Sound GREEN for a DVD to screen in your classroom (length: 71 minutes)
  • The Carbon Cycle – Informational motion piece describing the process of the carbon cycle in a visually engaging manner.
  • Flipping the Classroom -A middle school teacher explains the flipped classroom.
  • Pacific Northwest: Climate Change– Ambrose digital classroom video explores how climate change models predict that the greatest changes in climate will occur in the Pacific Northwest, impacting its timber and water resources.Reserve through ESD 113 media center. Contact with reference #078243 (length: 34 minutes) for a DVD to screen in your classroom.

Additional Resources Identified During STI 2013:

  • The Center for Eco-literacy– Provides a variety of instructional tools to assist teachers as they plan and implement sustainable curriculum. Many are available online. Resources include: books, discussion guides, resource listings, activities, lessons, and professional development seminars and other events designed for educators.
  • K.L.E.W Chart: A learning tool used as an explanation mapping exercise for science activities and units. Know Learn Evidence Wonder charts emphasize connecting claims to evidence.
  • Northwest Earth Institute – “Discovering Sense of Place” and “Change by Degrees: Addressing the Climate Change Challenge.” Discussion courses give people a framework to talk about their relationship with the planet and to share in discovering new ways to live, work, create and consume. They are designed to help break big issues into bite-sized pieces.
  • NSTA’s Climate Change From Pole to Pole: Biology Investigations– (For high school) National Science Teachers Association’s resource for high school teachers offers timely, relevant, biology-based case studies and background information on how to teach the science of climate change. The six researched and field-tested activities build on four content chapters, give students the opportunity to solve real-life scientific problems using guiding questions, graphs and data tables, short reading assignments, and independent research.
  • Padilla Bay Estuary Curriculum – A series of texts is available at three grade levels: K-3 (Level I), 4-8 (Level II), and high school (Level III). They are intended to compliment a visit to Padilla Bay, but are also appropriate for students studying estuaries in other locations. All three use Padilla Bay as the example with a focus on eelgrass and mud flat habitats. Contact Glen Alexander, Educational Coordinator, for information on visiting Padilla Bay
  • Qualco Energy– In Lushootseed, the language of the Coast Salish people,Qualco means “where two rivers come together.” Qualco operates an anaerobic digester taking animal waste, trap grease and other pollutants, keeping them from landfills, drains and illegal dumping, digesting them and then burning the methane gas produced (the worst greenhouse gas) to create renewable energy. These 4 videos explore big picture, origins, how it works, and benefits.
  • Salmon Nation– a place outlined both by its coastline and by the rivers that reach deep into its lands, Salmon Nation’s geographical boundaries are simply defined: anywhere Pacific salmon have ever run.

Power Point Presentations:

  • Next Generation Science Standards – Slides presented by Craig Gabler
  • Ocean Acidification and its Biological Impacts– Presentation Shallin Busch Ph.D, NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center (47:00 minutes)
  • Global Climate Change– Presentation by Dr. Richard Gammon, emeritus professor of chemistry (39:00 minutes)
  • Ocean Acidification and Coral Bleaching– Powerpoint by Dr. Richard Gammon
  • Ocean’s Role in Global Warming– Powerpoint by Dr. Richard Gammon