Expanding Climate Change Education in Agricultural Communities: Lessons from the U.S Midsouth
Keywords:agriculture, climate change, education, outreach, rural
The U.S agricultural industry is a major player in the global market, and changes in climate that impact the industry have implications for both domestic and global food security. Existing studies have revealed a disconnect between agricultural stakeholders and the wider climatological community which impedes the process of informed decision making in response to climate-related changes in agriculture. Furthermore, the topic of climate change is not well-represented in national and state science education standards. We propose CLASS (Climate Literacy for Agriculture and Sustainable Societies), a collaborative project that aims to both bridge this gap in perception and understanding regarding climate change among stakeholders in rural communities and enhance the educational curriculum in high schools and higher education institutes. Beneficiaries for this project are students and educators at the secondary and post-secondary level and partners served by the partnering universities. The final products consist of college level courses, dual-credit courses for secondary schools, and educational materials for agricultural stakeholders with a focus on climate change. The project’s goal is to assist today’s students as they become part of the future agricultural workforce and to develop the knowledge, skills, and adaptive strategies required to meet the challenges associated with a changing climate.
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