photo courtesy of Christy Mazrimas-Ott/CZS
CZS Awarded Major Climate Change Grant from National Science Foundation: Seeking new ways to help people understand the impact of climate change, the National Science Foundation program on Climate Change Education has awarded a $1 million grant to the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo. CZS is leading a collaboration of specialists to develop plans for a national Climate Literacy Zoo Education Network and new approaches to connecting zoo visitors to polar animals that are endangered by climate change.
“This is a new approach to climate change education. Zoos are centers of informal science learning and they appeal to people who care about animals and the environment,” said Alejandro Grajal, Ph.D., senior vice president of conservation, education, and training for CZS. “The partner zoos involved in this project reach a diverse audience of 13 million visitors annually. We are interested in the roles zoos have in science education and in helping people understand what they can do to help the environment.”
Great Bear Wilderness underwater viewing window (©CZS/Jim Schulz)
He gives the example of Brookfield Zoo’s new Great Bear Wilderness, in which some exhibit messages address climate change and how it may affect polar bears. “We want to find out what works on an emotional learning level to help people understand the effects of climate change,” Grajal said.
Collaborators include educators, climate scientists, education researchers, computer scientists, and psychologists for partner institutions, including nine U.S. zoos, Polar Bears International
, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Pennsylvania State University.
...read more at Climate Change Education