Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
305, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Teaching global climate change is a challenge for those of us who cover the topic of global climate change and the degradation and loss of the world’s biodiversity in individual lectures, and more so for those of us who cover it for a full 16 weeks in courses such as conservation biology or environmental science. The material is, to put it bluntly, depressing. My own experiences suggest that many undergraduate students arrive on college campuses already discouraged by the current state of affairs – a condition which certainly fails to foster creative problem-solving. Then they come to my class, where, in lecture after lecture, I must seem, to them, to drone on about the mostly negative anthropogenic effects on the biosphere. This is not a recipe for successfully nurturing the scientists, educators, inventors, and leaders of tomorrow. At this workshop I would like to share what I and others are doing to overcome the burden of teaching discouraging content and promote innovative thinking. I too wish to springboard into informal discussion about what you are doing or think could be done in order to improve the effectiveness of our teaching methods to keep students engaged and promote innovation in order to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for the challenges of today and tomorrow. This workshop is open to educators at any level, including graduate students – as they represent individuals with creative ideas about conveying information and often are engaged in undergraduate teaching as a part of their graduate school experience.