Integrated Climate Studies (ICS) is a Climate Literacy pilot project introduced Fall 2023 in Sebastopol, CA. Climate Change is a multi-dimensional issue transforming how we live, now and in the future. Empowering students with the knowledge and skills to become active participants in shaping this future, requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Every existing class could potentially incorporate a climate lesson.
[Climate Venn Diagram (right), courtesy of ayanaelizabethjohnson]
Climate Literacy includes several components:
- Adaptation: Adapting to the impacts of Climate Change. Local examples include wildfires, drought, and flooding. Adaptation practices that also mitigate GHGs are best.
- Resilience – adapting to changes occurring now and preparing for future changes.
- Mitigation: Reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions, slowing and potentially reversing increased warming. [Solutions menu = drawdown.org]
- Climate Science – understanding the science. How our ecosystem works, and why these changes are happening.
- Climate Justice – Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centered approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable people and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts equitably and fairly.
- Community Connections – partnering with local organizations, students can help shape climate resiliency in their own community.
- Careers – shaping a career path that helps improve climate resiliency.
How did ICS get started?
In the spring of 2023, local non-profit The Rahus Institute hosted a Sebastopol Carbon Conversation with a schools focus. From this dialogue emerged the idea of Integrated Climate Studies. Analy High School teacher John Grech, student Noa Schwartz, and Tor Allen (Rahus Institute) met over the summer to develop the program further.