Committed to the advancement, extension, improvement and coordination of Earth Science education across all levels

November 2016 News and Notes

This month's image is from PAESTA member Timothy Gleason, who documented this artificially constructed wetland due to ones destroyed during the construction of I-99. You can view this image and all past images geospatially located on a map at: 

Don't forget, YOU can have one of your Pennsylvania Earth science photos featured in our eNewsletter and on our website and social media sites! Visit this link to learn how:
Registration Deadline Extended to Nov. 7th

We're so pleased to see the surge of PAESTA Science Conference registrations coming in at the last-minute for our Nov. 19th meeting in Media, that we are going to extend our registration deadline to Monday, November 7th, so that everyone has a chance to reserve their seat for a morning & lunchtime panel filled with climate science conversations!

Explore our conference schedule and register today (before it really is too late!)
From the PAESTA President - Greetings from your President

Greetings PAESTA members! One look at the trees outside in Pennsylvania and one cannot deny that fall has definitely arrived. Hard to believe that I have almost an entire marking period under my belt and grades will be due soon!

If you are like me, you have been keeping your eyes out for current science news articles to share with your students. Perhaps like me you have also noticed that there seems to be an increasingly rapid drumbeat of science research announcements concerning climate science. Whether it is the New York Times article about science teachers and their approach to dealing with climate science, or the recent studies showing accelerated melting of glaciers in both Antarctica and Greenland, there is no shortage of research pertinent to Earth’s climate. As Earth science leaders, we owe it to our students not to oversimplify these studies but to provide data-driven evidence for them to understand both climate and how science seeks to understand natural and man-made processes.

PAESTA can help! As you receive this newsletter, we have decided to extend the registration deadline to Nov. 7th for our 2016 PAESTA Science Conference. Please join us! If you are looking to explore some of the current research in climate science, we will be joined by three eminent scientists who are leading the way in climate studies: Dr. Benjamin Felzer (Lehigh University), Mr. Kyle Imhoff (State of Pennsylvania Climatologist) and Dr. Ravi Kopparapu (NASA Goddard).

We have a rich and interactive schedule planned for you on Saturday, November 19th at Penn State Brandywine in Media, PA. I am very excited about our fall conference and hope to see you there! If you cannot make it be sure to check our social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook for live postings using #PAESTA16.

-- Dave Curry, PAESTA President
New PAESTA Committee Seeking Members - PAESTA Meetings Committee

With our exciting growth as an organization, we need to expand our leadership to determine programming that is needed and valued by our membership. We are looking for volunteers to serve on a new PAESTA committee - the Meetings Committee.

The PAESTA Meetings Committee is responsible for planning the PAESTA annual meeting and any additional PAESTA-organized sessions focusing on professional development of teachers. This includes determining and securing the meeting location, inviting speakers, organizing the meeting registration, securing giveaways and sponsors, performing a conference evaluation, and coordinating with the PAESTA Treasurer to define the budget available. The PAESTA Meetings Committee will be composed of six members (at least two will be from higher education). The term will be from January 1st to December 31, with the option to renew to serve again via appointment from the PAESTA Executive Committee.
The first meeting of the Meetings Committee will be held immediately after the PAESTA Science Conference on November 19. We welcome committee members even if you are not able to join us for this inaugural meeting.

If you are interested in serving, please contact Laura Guertin via

***NEW*** on the PAESTA website - Navigate through Climate Science sources

Are you looking for a way to navigate through the numerous resources we have on the PAESTA website? Are you lost in a sea of teaching materials available on the world wide web? No need to be going in circles anymore! PAESTA has generated a collection of website guides to help you find thematic resources on science content, teaching, and careers. Use the table of contents below to navigate through our site guides to continue on your journey of Earth & space science teaching and learning!

Our first collection under our Navigation section supports our November Science Conference on Climate Science. We have selected the top content and pedagogical resources from the PAESTA website and from outside organizations. You can also check out our themed career resources. Additional Navigation topics will be added in the future to match our PAESTA science gatherings - stay tuned!

[Image from Grant, "Show Me The Way Home" CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

***ALSO NEW*** on the PAESTA website - Geography Awareness Week, November 13-19, 2016

Too many young Americans are unable to make effective decisions, understand geospatial issues, or even recognize their impacts as global citizens. National Geographic created Geography Awareness Week (link on the PAESTA website) to raise awareness to this deficiency in American education and to excite people about geography as both a discipline and as a part of everyday life. We now have a permanent Events section on the PAESTA website, along with our Earth Science Week section, to provide teachers materials and resources for this annual celebration. Check out our links to National Geographic's information and materials you can use from our own PAESTA Classroom!

NEW PBS VIDEO SERIES: "Global Weirding" Featuring Dr. Katharine Hayhoe  

*Teachers - this series is for you and answers many of the questions we know you are asking!

Climate Scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and KTTZ have partnered to bring you this new PBS Digital Series that will focus on exploring the arguments, science, religion, culture, and psychology at the intersection of politics and climate change. "Global Weirding" premiered Wednesday, September 28th, and a new episode will post every other Wednesday in YouTube at:

Current episodes include:

New EPA climate education resources

Do you know what climate change means for your state? Are you trying to help your students understand what climate change will mean for their communities? Explore new factsheets on how climate change will impact each of the 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Do your students know how climate change can impact the health of people around us? Explore the connection between climate change and human health with factsheets and a quiz.

Find these EPA climate education resources and more online. (

Need more? Promote climate literacy with education resources from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ( Delve into the carbon cycle, climate monitoring, climate change impacts, and seasonal change with free lesson plans, videos, and activities.

High -Adventure Science Lesson Collection, from NSF/Nat Geo/The Concord Consortium  

This collection of lessons is built around the NSF funded High-Adventure Science project—a set of online curriculum modules for middle and high school science classrooms. The modules integrate computer models and real world data to help students examine contemporary unanswered questions in Earth science—think climate change, the availability of freshwater, land management, and more. Students explore evidence and discuss the issues of certainty—and uncertainty—with the models and data. Each lesson in the collection includes five activities with complete directions for classroom integration, alignment to national standards, and additional resources for student learning. All lessons are designed for 3 hours and 45 minutes and can be scaled as necessary. The modules include:

NOAA GOES-R Satellite Launch - Nov. 4

The launch countdown of the next generation of NOAA’s GOES satellites has begun! This is an exciting time for Earth scientists and educators as these new weather satellites will provide higher resolution images and more spectral coverage than the current generation of GOES satellites. GOES-R is scheduled to launch on Nov 4. Check out the link below to follow the event and to find educational resources that you can use in the classroom:

Global Ice Viewer - Sentinels of Climate Change

NASA's Global Climate Change website dedicates this site to ice, which covers 10 percent of Earth's surface, is disappearing rapidly. Select one of their topics to see how climate change has affected glaciers, sea ice, and continental ice sheets worldwide.

2016 Science Debate: 20 Answers 

The major candidates for United States president have responded to America's Top 20 Presidential Science, Engineering, Technology, Health, and Environmental Questions. The nonprofit advocacy group has posted their responses online, where you can read what they have to say about issues like biodiversity, climate change, and education. Share these responses with your students to see which candidate they would vote for, based upon their statements on science.

From our friends at PAEE  

PAEE Workshop Proposals
Deadline for submissions is November 30th

PAEE is currently seeking proposals for presentations and workshops at the upcoming 2017 PAEE Conference on Monday, March 13th and Tuesday, March 14th. The theme of the conference - Deepening Connections, Inspiring Innovation - celebrates what makes PAEE conferences so special: the connections we form with each other, with nature, and with our profession. Presentations and workshops should be interactive, engaging and fun. In addition to telling a story, workshops should incorporate experiences or activities from community events, summer camps, school programs or staff trainings. Presenters are encouraged to take advantage of McKeever's outdoor teaching areas. For more information, please visit:

NOAA's 2017 Climate Stewardship Community Application Now Open 

Application deadline: November 20, 2016

Do you want to do more than just learn about climate change? Join educators across the United States supporting climate resilience. Apply now to join the NOAA Climate Stewards 2017 Stewardship Community. Selected educators who meet project requirements will be eligible for:
  • Up to $2000 to support the execution of a climate stewardship action project.
  • Travel reimbursements to attend select workshops and/or national conferences - following the successful completion of a climate stewardship project.
  • Special professional development opportunities.
  • Monetary and educational resources.

Applications are being accepted until midnight November 20, 2016. To learn more about this opportunity and apply, go to the NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project Web Site.

NOAA's Teacher at Sea 2017 season 

Application period: November 1 to November 30, 2016 at 5PM ET

The mission of the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program is to give teachers a clearer insight into our ocean planet, a greater understanding of maritime work and studies, and to increase their level of environmental literacy by fostering an interdisciplinary research experience. Teacher at Sea has sent over 700 teachers out on NOAA Research cruises.

Visit the home page, FAQ page, and explore the sample application.

Project Polar Bear: Youth Climate Contest 

Registration period: October 1 to November 25, 2016

Every year, Project Polar Bear challenges student groups across the globe to take action on climate change. With the guidance of an advisor, middle and high school groups compete for a grant by creating a plan for a project that will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and engage their communities. This can be a plan for a new project or a proposal to continue an existing project. The 2016-2017 project categories are Transportation, Energy Savings, Sustainable Food Systems, and Community Engagement Through Art and Advocacy. Students and advisors track their progress throughout the competition through photos, research, and on social media. The culmination of the project is a formal proposal to the PBI judging team. The top three high-scoring teams receive a grant of $1,000, $750, and $300, respectively, to continue their projects. Registration (link) is open October 1- November 25. Teams work on their projects through March 15, 2017 and we'll announce the winners on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.

For additional information, please visit the PPB Website:

National conversations about Earth science and Earth Science education

It is important for teachers across all levels, K-16 and beyond, to be aware of the national conversations and discussions as they relate to our discipline and profession. Here are some interesting reads on Earth science and Earth science education taking place at the national level:

Additional information on the PAESTA website

We have lots of news and notices this month - too many to put in our newsletter! We encourage you to check out these announcements (and more!) on the PAESTA website:

Healing the divide on climate change (from TEDxBozeman)

Karin Kirk dives into a topic that is often discouraging and paralyzing with a hopeful, positive, and actionable message. She shares examples of ways to frame the climate conversation that have been shown to unite disparate audiences. Learn effective communication strategies and how to avoid common traps that lead to contention on this divisive issue.   Here is the direct video link:
From the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication, the six audiences were first identified using a large nationally representative survey of American adults conducted in the fall of 2008. The survey questionnaire included extensive, in-depth measures of the public’s climate change beliefs, attitudes, risk perceptions, motivations, values, policy preferences, behaviors, and underlying barriers to action. The Six Americas are distinguishable on all these dimensions, and display very different levels of engagement with the issue.
NOAA provides timely and authoritative information about climate. They promote public understanding of climate science and climate-related events through videos, stories, images, and data visualizations; they make common data products and services easy to access and use; and they provide tools and resources that help people make informed decisions about climate risks, vulnerability, and resilience.
Do you have any items or announcements to share in News and Notes? Contact us!
News and Notes Editor  --  Laura Guertin
News and Notes Assistant Editor  --  Greg Collins
Copyright © 2016 PAESTA (Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association), All rights reserved.

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