Report to Harvard University Expanding Climate Change Education | News

A university report published last week called on Harvard University to expand its climate change offering by recruiting new faculty and staff in the field and establishing a standing committee to direct the school’s efforts. rice field.

The report, entitled “The Future of Climate Education at Harvard University,” was produced by the committee responsible for investigating the university’s climate change program. The group consisted of 29 Harvard faculty members and senior educational administrators throughout the university.

The report comes three months after Harvard University announced plans to create a new Institute for Climate and Sustainability to serve as a hub for climate research and education.

This report provided four overall recommendations for shaping the future of climate education at Harvard University. It called for “recruitment of faculty, institutionalization of a Standing Committee on Climate Education, staffing, and substantial funding for the Climate Education Accelerator Program, and the establishment of an external Climate Education Advisory Board.”

The committee surveyed students, faculty, and alumni and held a focus group on climate education at Harvard University. The report included testimonials from current affiliates and statistics on student satisfaction with the school’s current offerings.

According to the report, only 20% of students said they had enough opportunities to work on climate issues outside of class.

Nearly 80% of alumni respondents “expressed an interest in playing a role in climate education opportunities for current Harvard students,” and 90% of student respondents said “as part of a course or He said he would like to engage with alumni on climate topics as an extracurricular activity,” the report said.

Although there are educational offerings from the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and several climate-related classes and undergraduate concentrations, there is “a clear focus for students to deepen their knowledge and skill sets in a structured way within or across schools/departments.” “There are few good pathways,” says the report.

The committee called on the university to increase the number of advanced climate classes and hire more faculty to improve its current offering.

The report also says Harvard should establish a standing committee on climate education to advance programming, degree, and concentration offerings and explore potential climate education requirements for universities. It further suggested that the university could “create a climate education accelerator program charged with fostering institutional innovation, expanding expertise and influence, and building partnerships with organizations outside of Harvard.” Did.

In addition to curricular programming, the report called on universities to support opportunities outside the classroom. Harvard senior homes, for example, could help foster cross-school exchanges between college students and other stakeholders, the report says.

In an opening message to the document, James H. Stock, Vice President for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University, said the report “summaries the rich offerings in climate education already at Harvard University, Importantly, we will expand Harvard’s commitment to climate education both on and off campus.”

Co-chairs of the committee that authored the report, N. Michele Holbrook ’82 and Dustin Tingley, wrote in their Executive Summary: A vision shared with the larger University Commission. ”

“A strong, interdisciplinary educational program with a focus on climate and sustainability should be the foundation of Harvard,” they wrote.

— Staff Writer Christie K. Choi can be reached at [email protected].

— Staff writer Carrie Hsu can be reached at [email protected].

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