Tribal Staff Develop Youth Engagement Programs Featuring NASA Climate Science
Earth to Sky regional leaders at the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center hosted a three-day workshop in in Sulphur, OK at the Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center. The professional development event, supported in part by the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium, brought together Native informal educators, higher education professionals, land managers, and other specialists from across Oklahoma. Participants visited a National Park Service site where mineral springs of cultural significance are jeopardized by climate change. Participants also learned about the latest NASA climate science via presenters from Oklahoma University, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Southern Nazarene University. They explored educational resources such as the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) for American Indian and Alaska Native Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement (MAIANSE); the Living Landscapes Climate Science Project; Arctic and Earth STEM Integrating GLOBE and NASA (SIGNs); Landsat data, Global Precipitation Measurement activities, and Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) citizen science projects.
Participants collaborated and networked with colleagues and worked in teams to develop youth outreach activities on climate science to be implemented in their communities. This was the first Earth to Sky workshop hosted by this regional team, with support from the national Earth to Sky team. The participants described the training as useful for their work and wrote that they were especially interested in discovering data access tools from NASA and relevant examples for ways to engage youth. While the participants continue to develop their plans for youth outreach, the regional team is making plans for future engagement with the community of Native professionals in the South Central region, and the national team is supporting the growing network of regional teams, nurturing communities of interpreters, and informal educators in their climate communication work.
One of the Earth to Sky course evaluators had this to say: "My team came together to come up with a great outreach plan for our community youth. With COVID and no interaction with community, we needed this training to regroup."
The Earth to Sky project is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AO89A and is part of NASA’s Science Activation Portfolio. Learn more about how Science Activation connects NASA science experts, real content, and experiences with community leaders to do science in ways that activate minds and promote deeper understanding of our world and beyond: https://science.nasa.gov/learners