Tuesday, August 4, 2009: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Jemez, Albuquerque Convention Center
Climate change is everybody’s problem, yet public understanding still lags far behind that of the scientific community. Our pursuit of knowledge comes at the expense of communication among colleges, research groups, departments, even a department’s sub-fields. The results: compartmentalized knowledge full of gaps between specialties; faculty who feel uncomfortable stepping outside their expertise; and students whose educations reproduce these gaps. Business majors might never hear a word about climate change; political science majors might know next to nothing about the carbon cycle; biologists might have no clue how to write or speak about their work in ordinary language. Participants in this workshop will hear about Changing Climates @ Colorado State University, a multidisciplinary initiative to tackle these problems by making high-quality information from many fields available to faculty, researchers, students, and the public. Begun two years ago by two English professors, CC@CSU has involved faculty from 26 academic departments, all 8 CSU colleges, and numerous other entities; been adopted by an NSF Science and Technology Center, CMMAP; linked faculty from quite different fields; and begun building a web library of videotaped lectures and other teaching resources – all with the goal of spreading climate change across the curriculum so that every graduate will be reasonably literate in this area. Workshop participants will be offered exercises in interdisciplinary imagination and communication, some practical advice about starting a similar program, some brainstorming time, and some tips for helping specialists speak clearly to non-specialists about this critical issue.