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Viewing: MEA 519 : Barriers to Climate Change Literacy

Last approved: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:13:50 GMT

Last edit: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:13:50 GMT

Change Type
MEA (Marine, Earth, and Atomspheric Sciences)
519
032290
Dual-Level Course
No
Cross-listed Course
No
Barriers to Climate Change Literacy
Climate Literacy Messaging
College of Sciences
Marine Earth & Atmospheric Science (17MEA)
Term Offering
Spring Only
Offered Every Year
Spring 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Yes
1
 
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
MEA 593Spring 201511
Course Delivery
Distance Education (DELTA)

Grading Method
Graded/Audit
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3
Course Attribute(s)


If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Karen Sue McNeal
Associate Professor
Full

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Delivery FormatPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
LEC1616NoThis course is an on-line offering so a mixed approach is used in the instruction approach which are largely asynchronous (e.g., discussions)
Prerequisite: Graduate standing
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
No
Investigates the discipline-based geoscience education lenses of the cognitive, affective, and behavioral barriers to climate literacy and the practical interventions for addressing them. Critically analyzes key aspects of climate science, common misconceptions, mental models, cultural influences, and risk perceptions about climate change. Students engage with the public and design projects for overcoming barriers to climate change literacy. The course features relevant readings, classroom discussions, student peer-review, and summative and formative course feedback though course assignments and exams. Minimum of 50% seats reserved for Climate Change and Society Certificate program students.

The lack of communication training in STEM graduate education fundamentally results in uni-dimensional researchers who are less attracted by non-academic sectors due to the inability to translate their research to practical problems (Walker, 2005; Brown et al., 2010; Moser, 2010; Mitchell and Weiler, 2011). Further, it contributes to the public not fully understanding the climate issue (Francis et al., 1993; Leiserowitz, 2008) leading to a large fraction who (~33%) are dismissive, doubtful, or disengaged about the reality of climate change (Pew Research Center, 2008; Leiserowitz et. al., 2010; Leiserowitz and Smith, 2010; Leiserowitz, et al., 2012). As such, researchers are increasingly recognizing the need to train STEM graduate students in applied sectors (Walker, 2002; Walker, 2005) to become more skilled at engaging public stakeholders in the scientific process and communicating their scientific findings in clear, understandable terms where uncertainties and risks are specifically addressed in ways that help a variety of stakeholders make informed decisions (Nisbet, 2009; Nisbet and Kothcer, 2009).


This course will train graduate students in understanding the foundations of climate science and the affective, cognitive and behavioral challenges to climate literacy within the public domain and multiple stakeholder groups.  It will provide students a unique and scaffolded opportunity to apply effective messaging strategies through real-world experiences engaging with and developing climate products for the public.


Although, there is an on-going split-level Climate Communication course offering in the Department of Communication, this course is unique as it provides students a coupled experience which includes theory related to the learning barriers to climate change and provides practical experience to better address these barriers among a variety of stakeholders.  


Additionally, this course is a requirement for the proposed on-line Climate Change and Society Certificate program. As such, this class is tailored towards the goals and learning objectives of that program and it is anticipated that, at minimum, half of the course will be reserved for Climate Change and Society certificate program students, leaving some spaces for STEM/science education/other graduate enrollees.  However, after just the first offering with little to no advertising the course had 11 enrolled and successfully completed graduate students. Likely, with additional advertising and the launching of the certificate program, there will be more demand than the course can handle.  As such, the parallel offering in the Dept. of Communication may be attractive for many students not enrolled in the Certificate Program and/or who would prefer to take a face to face offering. 


No

Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

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Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 

 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 

 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 

 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 

 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 

 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 

College(s)Contact NameStatement Summary
College of Humanities and Social SciencesDeanna DannelsDean Dannels, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, distributed the course materials to several colleagues. There was some concern raised about duplication between this class and a climate communication course being developed in the Communication Department. Dr. McNeal has discussed these developments as described below:

Dr. David Berube teaches a split level climate communication course. We have jointly shared our course materials and have been in consultation about the respective courses, along with discussions with Dr. Ken Zagacki (Dept. Head Comm.). The courses are differentiated largely in terms of the expected learning outcomes and student activities. Furthermore, the epistemological, theoretical, and pedagogical perspectives for both courses are unique due to the foundational differences in the fields of science and communication. Requests for course title changes by Dept of Comm personnel have been accommodated to exclude "communication" in the title.

In-person meetings and email correspondence has led to alterations to the MEA 519 title and content in such a way to address the concerns raised previously.


See email correspondence below:
Consult with Deanna Below:
From 10/6/015:
Hi Gary--

Sorry for the slow reply. I have consulted with colleagues in the college and there are some concerns about duplication, specifically regarding the Climate Change Literacy and Messaging Strategies. In fact, I believe this consult came to the college prior to my time as Associate Dean because some of the people I consulted with were familiar with it. Indeed, based on the prior consult, the course has been retitled to exclude the term communication, but the "messaging strategies" seems to have been appended to this as a substitute (which my colleagues still find a bit challenging given the focus on messaging) and the content of the course wasn't changed to articulate the focus on the science, rather than the communication.

To explain further, the explanation that is given for what differentiates this course from a current Climate Communication course seems is that "it provides students a coupled experience which includes theory related to the learning barriers to climate change and provides practical experience to better address these barriers among a variety of stakeholders." This seems very similar to what is done in the Climate Communication course. In addition, the CIM description states that "the epistemological, theoretical, and pedagogical perspectives for both courses are unique due to the foundational differences in the fields of science and communication." Most of the proposed course, though (three out of four modules) focuses on psychology and communication, so it is unclear how the courses is focused specifically on the scientific foundations, rather than the communicative or psychological foundations of learning barriers, stakeholder experience, etc. (which is what the COM course is set up to do)

In short-- as the course is written, there is duplication with our Climate Communication course which delves deeply into more of the communicative/social scientific issues related to climate change. Let me know if you have further questions about this-- I'm happy to talk (as is the department head of Communication, who I've consulted with on this particular course).

There does not seem to be significant issues that are arising for the other courses as they do not duplicate content/foundational material in courses such as Risk Communication, etc.

Best,
Deanna

Then, I wrote:
Dear Deanna,

I'm writing to update you on our progress with the MEA 519 course. Thanks for your earlier comments. Karen McNeal, the instructor and course developer, held a meeting with Ken Zagacki on Friday 10/16, and communicated with others here in MEAS, and based on these meetings she has revised the scope of the course and the title. These changes have been added to the Courseleaf document for MEA 519. Could you, or others in CHASS, please review these modified materials? We are confident that your previous concerns have been addressed, but are willing to consider additional changes if this is not the case.

Thank you,
Gary

Next, Deanna and Ken Zagacki wrote the following:

Hi Gary--

Here is Ken's response-- just a minor change.

Best,
Deanna
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kenneth Zagacki <kszagack@ncsu.edu>
Date: Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 1:51 PM
Subject: Re: Consultation for new graduate courses in MEAS
To: Deanna Dannels <dpdannel@ncsu.edu>


Deanna - I have reviewed the course action and as far as I can tell Karen has made all of my suggested changes. The one question I have concerns the Course Objectives/Goals statement, part of which reads: "To improve graduate students' knowledge and skills in understanding the barriers to climate literacy and in effectively communicating the associated uncertainty and variability through exposure to the literature and practical experience talking to and developing products for multiple stakeholder groups." So that this statement is consistent with the "student learning outcomes," I recommend it be revised to read, "To improve graduate students' knowledge and skills in understanding the barriers to climate literacy and in effectively addressing information challenges associated with the concepts of uncertainty and variability. Students will achieve this learning outcome through exposure to the literature and practical experience talking to and developing products for multiple stakeholder groups."

Does this make sense?

Thanks,
Ken

That last minor change was made and then they were satisfied with the changes to the course.
Online platform for delivery of distance course; currently Moodle-based. Course has already been developed under support from Delta. Course is part of Dr. McNeal's regular course load.

To improve graduate students' knowledge and skills in understanding the barriers to climate literacy and in effectively addressing information challenges associated with the concepts of uncertainty and variability. Students will achieve this learning outcome through exposure to the literature and practical experience talking to and developing products for multiple stakeholder groups.


Student Learning Outcomes

(i) Students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of climate science and climate change.


(ii) Students will be able to explain the barriers and influences to climate change understanding, risk perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors.


(iii) Students will use discipline specific knowledge when developing climate change related products.


(iv) Students will implement effective strategies and practices for solving an information problem related to climate change literacy.


(v) Students will describe the role of scientists as effective mediators to address public climate change literacy.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Quizzes10%A total of 5 quizzes. Quizzes are designed to help students stay up on course information be prepared to discuss course materials. Quizzes will be made available at the end of a module and will test students’ understanding of the primary material (no additional reading) covered during the module.
Midterm15% Exams will cover materials presented including viewed movies/resources/lectures, discussions, reading assignments, quizzes, etc. The mid-term exam is a mixture of multiple choice and essay questions.
Forum_post25%A total of 2-3 discussion forums will be made available at the beginning of each module. The topics will require critical thinking of the material being discussed during the module. Students are expected to go beyond the primary material and formulate discussion contributions through a holistic appreciation of the subject matter. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their responses.
Homework20%A total of 4 climate products will be developed by each individual student. Assignments will be directed by instructors. They will be due at the end of each module.
Project15%A final project that addresses ways of overcoming climate literacy barriers will be due at the end of the course. The product can include items such as videos, brochures, fact sheets, infographics, electronic posters, web-sites, blogs, artistic displays, etc. that provides accurate scientific information about a climate change process(es), consequence(s), and local to global impact(s). The product should explicitly address at least one of the major barriers to climate literacy. Products should be electronic, originally constructed, illustrated, and include text/audio to describe the phenomenon of interest. In addition, a written justification along with the product should be provided describing the climate science, approach, and intended audience. Final project drafts will be peer-reviewed and students should include in their final product how they addressed peer-review critiques. The final product should be shared using social media or other outlet for the intended audience and discussion should be included about how the intended audience perceived the product and what future improvements could be made. Products should be of high quality and designed on a transferrable platform for easy adoption/reproduction. More detailed assignment guidelines will be provided by the course instructor.
Final Exam15%The final exam is a demonstration of communication skill and effective messaging where students are asked to record, evaluate, and justify their messaging strategy to three climate skeptics through a written assignment which includes reference to appropriate course readings/information.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Orientation1 weekNavigating class Moodle site/Read Syllabus
Student Introductions
Why do we need this course?/Why are you interested in it?

Module 1-Scientists as Mediators of Climate Change3 weeksNatural factors of Earth’s climate change
Anthropogenic factors influencing climate
Evidence of climate change
Impacts of climate change
Future scenarios, variability, and uncertainty
Response (adaptation and mitigation) to climate change
Scientists as communicators
Dealing with uncertainty
Module 2-Cognitive Barriers and Messaging Strategies3 weeksMental Models
Misconceptions
Mis-information
Module 3 - Climate Emotions and Risks associated with Public Perceptions Strategies4 weeksRisk perceptions
Cultural Cognition
Value and Political Systems
Climate Messages, Framing, Emotions, and Risks
Module 4- Behavioral Barriers and Messaging Strategies 4 weeksBehavior
Climate Skeptics
Case Studies
Role of Media
Final Product Peer Review1 weekStudents will upload final products. Students will review, comment on, and grade other students' products and revision of products will occur for final instructor grading. The class will work collectively to create a portfolio for broader distribution to the NC Museum.
There are little or no formal course offerings held within a STEM department in Climate Change Messaging nationwide at the graduate level. This course will be one of the first courses to address this critical need, becoming a model for like courses at other institutions. Furthermore, the on-line platform will enable transportability and widespread dissemination/enrollment.

mlnosbis 12/8/2015: Somewhat related courses- CE 578 Energy and Climate; ES 200 Climate Change and Society; PS 536 Global Environmental Law and Policy. This course seems to focus more on engaging stakeholders. Possible consult with PS to see if that is part of their course?

ghodge 12/08/1205 Ready for ABGS reviewers. CHASS provided college consultation. Confirm with Deanna Daniels that there are no concerns from political science or public administration

KMcNeal 01/19 The PS 536 course emphasizes laws and policies as they are applied to the environment as per the course description below. It covers an array of environmental topics spanning population growth to biodiversity, among others, and it focuses on developing countries. MEA 519 does not focus on laws, policies, or any of the environmental issues except for climate change, or third world development. The only overlap between the courses is evidently that they share the topic of climate change, which would be appropriately housed in MEAS. The MEA 519 course uses the term "stakeholder" to mean anyone or any group that may need to understand the climate change issue. The focus in MEA 519 is about understanding the barriers to learning about climate change and how scientists can best overcome those barriers to increase literacy of those stakeholders.

ABGS Reviewer Comments:
-No problems with the course since Communications has signed off on it.
allloyd (Fri, 04 Sep 2015 14:26:41 GMT): Rollback: for edits
allloyd (Mon, 07 Dec 2015 17:16:24 GMT): passed college committee 12/3/2015
allloyd (Mon, 07 Dec 2015 17:16:44 GMT): Passed college committee 12/3/2015
Key: 7358