The Smithsonian addresses the global challenge of climate change in a range of ways, including through exhibitions and scientific research.
From September 29 through October 1, 2009, the Smithsonian will offer an education online conference on climate change to allow teachers and the general public to participate in the Institution’s investigations, meet and question Smithsonian curators and scientists, and deepen our understanding of this critical issue. Alongside Smithsonian scientists and curators, you’ll look at the issues surrounding climate change from the perspectives of science, history, and art. Registration is free, and now open.
The conference is broadly organized around three topics: Evidence, Impact, and Response to climate change. Participants will sample some fascinating Smithsonian research–everything from an artist’s attempts to document sustainability issues, to a paleoclimatologist’s findings about prehistoric climate change and why it matters, to a discussion about how polar bears are faring in our warming world.
Curators, researchers, and educators from the Archives of American Art, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and the National Zoo will conduct twelve different live sessions, and several other units will deliver content in a “virtual exhibit hall.” The conference features talks, interactives, and resources such as lesson plans and classroom activities, to help make this knowledge as accessible and usable as possible. (See the full agenda.)
Affiliations is pleased to acknowledge the participation of educator Paisley Cato from the Western Center for Archeology and Paleontology, our Affiliate in Hemet, California. Paisley worked side-by-side with Smithsonian educators throughout the summer to develop educational materials to complement the conference.
How can Affiliates be involved? Like the virtual conference on Abraham Lincoln which took place in February (replay at smithsonianeducation.org/lincoln), Affiliates are encouraged to act as hosting sites for shared viewing and discussion with their local area teachers, educators, and the scientific community. Follow and comment on the climate change blog, or follow updates on Twitter (#SIClimate) and Facebook (Smithsonian Education).