In April, 2019, National Public Radio announced results of an NPR/Ipsos poll regarding attitudes toward teaching climate science. Important findings included:
“More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change… Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school… A separate poll of teachers found that they are even more supportive, in theory — 86% agree that climate change should be taught.”
Yet respondents emphasized their frustration in finding climate curriculum to teach to their students or share with their children. Earth Charter Indiana and HEART decided to do their part to fill this gap, and provide the content you'll find on this Toolkit.
If you have come across effective climate literacy tools in your experience, please share them with us here.
Who Are We?
Kristina Hulvershorn is the Indianapolis Program Manager of HEART and is the Director of Humane and Restorative Programs for Peace Learning Center. She was a public school teacher in a variety of settings and has a Master’s degree in Humane Education from the Institute for Humane Education. She is the founder of 'be the change' a humane education museum located in Peace Learning Center, the author of Secret of Troublemakers and a firm believer that there is hope for even the most daunting of crises, especially when we look towards the bright, wild, and creative spark in children.
In the early 1990s, Jim Poyser taught language arts and other subjects at The Children’s House, a small, Montessori-influenced school in Indianapolis. By 1995, he began his career as a journalist and editor with various publications, including The Bloomington Voice, Breeze Magazine, Indiana Living Green and NUVO Newsweekly. In the 2000s, Jim awakened to the climate crisis, and trained with the Climate Reality Project. In 2013, he became Earth Charter Indiana’s executive director, with a focus on empowering youth through systems thinking, circular economy education, to advocate for climate action.
Jordan Smith is an environmentally conscious interior designer, web designer, writer, and marketing coordinator working in the private aviation industry. She uses her platform, Planet-Jordan, to share her research and insight on living a sustainable lifestyle. Her goal is to create a space for people to come together and better understand waste reduction, permaculture, and the necessity and benefits of reconnecting with the Earth.
Shannon Anderson is the Assistant Director for Earth Charter Indiana and formerly Communications Director for Sustainable Indiana 2016, a Bicentennial Legacy Project. Her academic background is in cell biology, with many years of laboratory research on fundamental mechanisms that direct the life cycle of an eukaryotic cell and how DNA compression is managed. Her political advocacy background includes working on many election campaigns, be they for candidates or specific issues. She works on energy issues and in political advocacy as well as connecting science, public policy, and civics to youth climate action.
Tatjana Rebelle (they/she) is our new Resilient Schools Coordinator, working with schools that were granted funds through the Thriving Schools Challenge with their sustainability projects. Tatjana is a mother, activist, author, spoken word artist and founder of VOCAB. They have spent the past few years on the front lines of several social justice movements in Indianapolis. They are passionate about speaking up for equity and equality for our marginalized communities. Environmental justice has become the vehicle where they can continue that work and assist our youth in the fight for climate change. In the past, they worked for American Friends Service Committee linking international issues to local issues. They are excited to join Earth Charter Indiana and supporting the next generation in their efforts to make a more sustainable world.
Harriet Shugarman is Executive Director of ClimateMama, professor of Climate Change and Society and World Sustainability, and Chair of the Climate Reality Project, NYC Metro Chapter. She is a nationally recognized influencer, connector, and trusted messenger for parents on solutions to our climate crisis. A 2020 New York City Climate Hero , 2019 featured speaker at the Global Engagement Summit at the United Nations, and a recipient of the prestigious Climate Reality Green Ring Award, Harriet has been praised by Al Gore as “an outstanding Climate Reality Leader who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to her role as a climate communicator and activist.” Library Journal (where libraries go to get trusted recommendations) calls Harriet’s 2020 book: Talking to Your Kids About Climate Change, Turning Angst to Action, “a helpful tome on a crucial topic filled with scientific facts..useful to both parents and teachers.” She shares her message of hope and action at www.climatemama.com.
J. Adam Scribner
J. Adam Scribner, EdD, is the Director of STEM Education Initiatives for the Indiana University (IU) School of Education where he cultivates partnerships to create transformative STEM teaching and learning experiences. Dr. Scribner bridges research to practice by designing authentic learning environments that integrate STEM disciplines. Among his projects, he currently serves as co-principal investigator of Primary AI, a National Science Foundation project aimed at teaching students about artificial intelligence through game-based, problem-based science lessons. He also serves as principal investigator of Educating for Environmental Change, a project supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute that aims to improve the teaching of climate change in K-12 schools. Dr. Scribner has presented at numerous state and national conferences including HASTI, NSTA, ASEE, and ITEEA. Before joining IU, he was the Manager of STEM Outreach for the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ).
Faye Snodgress, Executive Director of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, has served this professional organization since 2001. Ms. Snodgress’ professional experience includes working as Money and Banking Manager of Digital Equipment Corporation in Switzerland and France, but she has long had a heart for education. Utilizing her background in foreign language education, Ms. Snodgress has worked in various educational settings including the elementary classroom, adult English as a Second Language classes, and four years in the College of Education at Butler University. She has
been serving on that school’s advisory board for the last 10 years, as well as on numerous other education boards. She serves as an Expert Advisor and Chair of the Expert Committee of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Institute for Education for Sustainable Development on various other committees for organizations, such as the U.S. Green Schools Council, related to green schools and sustainable education. Ms. Snodgress received her Bachelor’s Degree in German and French through Indiana University’s Honors Program and a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University. In 2005, she earned the designation Certified Association Executive (CAE).
Dr. Gabriel Filippelli is a Chancellor's Professor at IUPUI in the Department of Earth Sciences and Directs the Center for Urban Health at Indiana University. Filippelli is a biogeochemist with broad training in climate change in marine and terrestrial systems. Filippelli has published broadly, including publications in Science, Nature and Geology as well as in specialty journals and in popular press. He has personally directed over $6M of research funding over his career, and is currently a co-PI on the $55M Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative. He and is currently the Editor-in-Chief for the journal GeoHealth, published by the American Geophysical Union. Filippelli is a Fellow of the International Association of Geochemistry, and former National Academy of Sciences Jefferson Fellow, where he served as a Senior Science Advisor for the State Department, with a policy portfolio including Science Cooperation in the Arctic, Antarctic climate change, and Marine Debris and Plastics.
Dr. Plankis has been an educational researcher, environmental educator, and science
communicator for over a decade. Brian is has worked on science and climate education efforts while working as a professor at the University of Houston, University of Houston – Clear Lake and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) as well as being the Chief Science Educator for the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Dr. Plankis has presented at numerous international, national and state conferences on climate and environmental literacy education and research efforts. Brian was the 2018 State of Indiana Project Learning Tree Educator of the Year and a 2019 nominee for the National Project Learning Tree Educator of the Year. His research and educational efforts have focused on student environmental literacy, teacher professional development, and examining the influence of the anti-science movement on science education. Brian has served in an advisory role for Earth Charter Indiana since 2014.
Dr. James Damico is Professor of Literacy, Culture and Language Education at Indiana University, Bloomington. A former elementary and middle school teacher from New Jersey, James received his PhD in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy from Michigan State University. His scholarship and teaching center on critical literacies and inquiry-based approaches for working with digital media and complex topics, such as climate change. He is the author of many journal articles and book chapters and is co-author of the book, Social Studies as New Literacies: Relational Cosmopolitanism in the Classroom (Routledge, 2011). He is also completing work on two books, Commemorative Literacies and Justice Work: Resistance, Reconciliation and Recovery in Buenos Aires and Beyond (in press) and Climate Denial in Social Studies: Frameworks and Applications (in preparation). James has been the Director of the INSPIRE Living Learning Center (inspire.indiana.edu) and is Co-Director of the Harmony-Meier Institute for Democracy and Equity in Education. He also writes poetry and music, including songs on the album American Lullaby by his band, Amigo Fields (http://www.amigofields.com/).