Climate Change Series– It’s a wrap!

By Kristin Marshall, Sarah Bisbing, and Mike SanClements

A quick review and wrap-up on our climate change series.  We hope we’ve provided you all with some new information and resources and convinced at least a few of you to put global climate change on your radar. In case you missed one of the posts, here are the links to all of them:

Part 1 – Climate Change for Beginners: the Uninformed, the Skeptics, and the Deniers

Part 2 – Climate Change Silence: Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Part 3 – Winning Over the Climate Change Skeptics

Part 4 – Unconvinced that climate change action demands immediate action? Think again!
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Unconvinced that climate change demands immediate action? Think again!

Climate Change for Beginners: Convincing the Deniers (Part 4 of 4 )

By Mike SanClements

Over the last day or so, Sarah and Kristin have done a wonderful job discussing the science behind climate change and arguments for winning over climate skeptics. And if we’re doing our job well, maybe we’ve convinced you of the science. But perhaps you’re still unconvinced that climate change is a big enough problem to require any action.

These days, most of us have become extremely disconnected from our climate. And even though I think about climate change on a daily basis at work, it only takes a minute of reflection to see how easily it might fall from your mind if you didn’t. We all have our daily lives to live, work to do, and problems to deal with, making the idea of upending our comfy status quo seem unthinkable (or at least like some abstract future thing).

When society does seem to voice worry about our climate it’s often met with the argument that addressing climate change will destroy the economy. A silly argument, because the economy exists within the environment and is already feeling the effects of climate change. Continue reading

Climate Change Silence: Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Sperry Glacier (Glacier National Park, Motana) repeat photography shows the glacier’s recession between 1913 (credit: W.C. Alden) and 2012 (credit: Lisa McKeon). Photos are part of the USGS Repeat Photography Project (

Climate Change for Beginners: Addressing the Uninformed (Part 2 of 4 )

By Sarah Bisbing

Despite ample evidence supporting the occurrence of global climate change, the consequences and risks associated with this change are seldom the topic of dialogue in classrooms, amongst communities, or even between those determining the fate of scientific policy (ahem, presidential candidates). This incredibly relevant, world-altering topic thus remains poorly understood and seemingly irrelevant in day-to-day life.

Americans, nevertheless, stand firm on their position in the divisive battle over the existence of climate change – a topic so infrequently on our radar that we actually lack the knowledge required to take a educated stance (or make an informed decision). A Yale University climate change literacy assessment concluded that over 50% of the American public would receive an ‘F’ (an F !!!) for their climate literacy, while only 1% has knowledge equivalent to an ‘A.’

Ummm, does anyone else see this as a problem?

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The Marriage of Ecological Minds: Cross-Blog Collaboration

Collaboration is a key component of productive research, multiple-use land management, sustainable conservation, and effective scientific policy. So, why not apply it to the production and distribution of accessible science? When setting the stage for our blog, we set the objective of being as collaborative as possible.

Well, we’re making it happen . . .

The Early Career Ecologist blog is teaming up with NREL’s EcoPress in a cross-blog collaboration! We are thrilled to dedicate a portion of our site to an EcoPress RSS Feed. Check out our sidebar (or head on over to their site) for their latest science musings! Once there, you’ll also have the pleasure of re-connecting with us. It’s on!

How to Think Like a Scientist: New Directions in Science Education

Heading out for science days with Hopi and Navajo students in Northern Arizona! Photo courtesy of Helen Bothwell, 2012.

As ecologists, we are in the thick of climate change awareness, and it can be tough not to get pulled in by that magnet of doom and gloom.  Yet, as Mike SanClements pointed out in his recent post, it’s important to find those things that empower us and keep us motivated to work towards change.  Science educators are in a unique position to potentially interact with hundreds of students every year.  While only a small percentage of these students may end up pursuing a career as a scientist or researcher, all of them will have the opportunity to vote on ballot measures and for politicians that will dictate major future environmental impacts.  Continue reading