Author: Outreach Office
Do you know a young person looking for a great summer job making a difference?
Mile High Youth Corps-Colorado Springs is a regional, non-profit, AmeriCorps affiliated organization that provides employment, education and leadership opportunities for young adults ages 18-24. MHYC offers summer opportunities from May through August/October. Youth work on environment conservation projects. Various positions have the opportunities to camp, use a chainsaw and work in the office, learning about non-profit practices. Benefits include weekly stipends and scholarships for Crewmembers and a weekly salary for Crew Leaders. The position is open until filled, but interviews are currently starting to take place, so apply ASAP.
Learn more at www.milehighyouthcorps.org
The Rocky Mountain Middle School Math & Science Partnership is offering great opportunities for continuing education this summer, including “Earth Science in Context: National Park Service Views of Earth Science Resources."
Learn about the natural resources found within America's national parks, and delve into the decisions resource managers make to preserve those resources. Natural resources explored in this course include: air quality, water quality, caves and karst, fossils, stratigraphy, volcanism, glaciers, coastal geology, and global climate change.
Click here to learn more and to register.
Join 4th-12th grade educators at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado to learn how to teach about “hot topics” and “burning issues”!
June 13-17, 2011
Registration deadline is April 29th.
For more information, visit http://fireecologyinstitute.blogspot.com/
The Kent Mountain Adventure Center and the Colorado State University Environmental Learning Center present "Environmental Education in the Rockies"
Learn skills and techniques to effectively teach and engage others about the environment while earning credit for NRRT365-Environmental Education.
Participants will spend one day in the classroom in Fort Collins followed by five days of field work at the KMAC campus in Estes Park. This course requires participants to: Live in a group camp environment with shared responsibilities, camp on hard surfaces, hike daily, hike 8 miles with a one-way elevation gain of 2,500 feet, be willing to try rock climbing in an outdoor setting, and have fun!
College credit (optional): $210 additional for 3 credits of Environmental Education (NRRT 365) from Colorado State University
To register, click here.
March 23, 2011
The 2011 Arctic sea ice extent maximum that marks the beginning of the melt season appears to be tied for the lowest ever measured by satellites, say scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center.
The CU-Boulder research team believes the lowest annual maximum ice extent of 5,650,000 square miles occurred on March 7. The maximum ice extent was 463,000 square miles below the 1979-2000 average, an area slightly larger than the states of Texas and California combined. The 2011 measurements were tied with those from 2006 as the lowest maximum sea ice extents measured since satellite record keeping began in 1979.
Virtually all climate scientists believe shrinking Arctic sea ice is tied to warming temperatures in the region caused by an increase in human-produced greenhouse gases being pumped into Earth's atmosphere. Because of the spiraling downward trend of Arctic sea ice extent in the last decade, some CU scientists are predicting the Arctic Ocean may be ice free in the summers within the next several decades.
The seven lowest maximum Arctic sea ice extents measured by satellites all have occurred in the last seven years, said CU-Boulder Research Scientist Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, who participated the latest study. "I'm not surprised by the new data because we've seen a downward trend in winter sea ice extent for some time now."
Scientists believe Arctic sea ice functions like an air conditioner for the global climate system by naturally cooling air and water masses, playing a key role in ocean circulation and reflecting solar radiation back into space, said Meier. In the Arctic summer months, sunlight is absorbed by the growing amounts of open water, raising surface temperatures and causing more ice to melt.
"I think one of the reasons the Arctic sea ice maximum extent is declining is that the autumn ice growth is delayed by warmer temperatures and the ice extent is not able to ‘catch up' through the winter," said Meier. "In addition, the clock runs out on the annual ice growth season as temperatures start to rise along with the sun during the spring months."
Since satellite record keeping began in 1979, the maximum Arctic sea ice extent has occurred as early as Feb. 18 and as late as March 31, with an average date of March 6. Since the CU-Boulder researchers determine the maximum sea ice extent using a five-day running average, there is small chance the data could change.
In early April CU-Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center will issue a formal announcement on the 2011 maximum sea ice extent with a full analysis of the winter ice growth season, including graphics comparing 2011 to the long-term record.
For more information visit nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews.
GreenTeacher.com offers free, one hour webinars led by innovative and experienced educators. Topics cover a range of environmental issues such as sustainability, inclusive science education, and energy education. Each session features a 20-30 minute presentation, and 30-40 minutes for you to ask a question of the presenter. Previous webinars are available at http://greenteacher.com/webinararchive. There has been a great response to the first four environmental webinars offered. If you missed them, here is information on the four upcoming webinars.
To view the current schedule, please visit http://greenteacher.com/webinars.
We'd like to inform you about a potentially useful video resource for your classroom titled, "Changing Planet." It is funded and carried out by NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, in partnership with NBC Learn.
The project includes 13 videos with associated lesson plans, being posted online over 13 weeks.
Videos: Changing Planet
Lesson Plans: Windows to the Universe
These videos could be useful to screen in your classroom, and even come with lesson plans about coral reefs, warming in the Arctic, drought, and more.
NSF will be hosting three town halls with NBC TV personalities at US universities: Yale in January with Tom Brokaw, George Washington University in April, and an Arizona university in August. These panel discussions, at which the high school and college students making up the live audience can ask questions, focus on various aspects of climate change and are taped for later airing on TV. The Yale event focused on the impacts of climate change on lives; GWU will focus on clean energy; and Arizona on water resources.
Rocky Mountain Middle School Math and Science Partnership presents the 2011 Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program
JUNE 20 - July 22 | Monday - Friday
Middle level math and/or science teachers are encouraged to apply for these intense professional development content courses. Selected teachers will be part of a 5-week research experience where they will work along side of their peers and professionals in their field conducting research and analyzing data.
Participating teachers will raise their level of understanding of relevant mathematics by engaging important topics in a “hands on” way in the workshop. They will be able to transform what they have learned into new curricular materials that will improve the mathematics and science capabilities of their students and hopefully stimulate students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
A $5,000 stipend will be rewarded to participants who successfully complete the program. Graduate credit hours (1-6) are available for these programs.
1) Participate in a six hour, five day a week, hands on workshop.
2) Meet weekly with RET teachers studying other topics in the mathematical sciences
3) Meet weekly with RET teachers from biology, chemistry, and physics in a interdisciplinary math/science consortium
4) Develop at least one inquiry based module for use in the classroom in the upcoming academic year
Anyone can apply for these programs. However, priority will be given to those who are already active participants in the RMMSMSP and have taken courses through the partnership before. Previous RET participants are encouraged to reapply, however, priority will be given to those in the RMMSMSP who have not yet done one of these experiences. Applications will be taken until all spaces are filled.
Please see our website for more information or to apply for the program.
Exploring Climate Connections between the Global Oceans and Colorado's Weather, Ecosystems & Economy
Exploring Climate Connections between the Global Oceans and Colorado's Weather, Ecosystems & Economy
COSEE West - Colorado Collaborative presents a teacher professional development course spring and summer, 2011
Saturday, April 9th, from 9am to 12 pm at the University of Colorado***
Saturday, May 7th, from 9am to 12 pm at the University of Colorado***
June 27 – July 1, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily at Boulder High School
***Teachers can attend these workshops via videoconferencing. Please contact Lesley Smith if you are interested in participating via videoconference for the two spring sessions.
Participation is limited to 25 middle and high school teachers who wish to teach about the connections between the global oceans, weather, climate and the local economy. You will also make connections to five Southern California teachers, who will be participating in our exchange program.
Information and application available online at: http://cires.colorado.edu/education/outreach/cosee/
Application deadline: Monday, March 21, 2011 at 5pm
This year’s focus will be Water in The West, and we will explore the link between the global oceans and water resources in the Western U.S. Colorado’s State Climatologist, along with members of the Western Water Assessment and CU’s law school, will be featured speakers.
* Scientists will present talks on their cutting edge research
* Lessons that can be used in the classroom will be tied to the themes (both in science and computer labs)
* The nature and process of science will be explored
Participants will be paid a $250 stipend upon completion of the full course. Graduate credit will be available through the University of Colorado and paid for by participants ($60/credit). Two semester hours of credit will be awarded and one additional credit can be earned during 2011/2012 for completion of classroom materials.
For those traveling greater than 60 miles one way, room and board will be provided at no cost. Participants will share rooms.
Colorado teachers can apply for the teacher exchange program to attend COSEE West’s Ocean Observatories Workshop August 1-5, 2011. All travel expenses are covered. For more information visit http://www.usc.edu/org/cosee-west/workshops.html
For questions about this course, contact Lesley Smith, Program Director
Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
February 16, 2011
Up to two-thirds of Earth's permafrost likely will disappear by 2200 as a result of warming temperatures, unleashing vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.
The carbon resides in permanently frozen ground that is beginning to thaw in high latitudes from warming temperatures, which will impact not only the climate but also international strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, said CU-Boulder's Kevin Schaefer, lead study author. "If we want to hit a target carbon dioxide concentration, then we have to reduce fossil fuel emissions that much lower than previously thought to account for this additional carbon from the permafrost," he said. "Otherwise we will end up with a warmer Earth than we want."
The escaping carbon comes from plant material, primarily roots trapped and frozen in soil during the last glacial period that ended roughly 12,000 years ago, he said. Schaefer, a research associate at CU-Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center, an arm of CIRES, likened the mechanism to storing broccoli in a home freezer. "As long as it stays frozen, it stays stable for many years," he said. "But if you take it out of the freezer it will thaw out and decay."
While other studies have shown carbon has begun to leak out of permafrost in Alaska and Siberia, the study by Schaefer and his colleagues is the first to make actual estimates of future carbon release from permafrost. "This gives us a starting point, and something more solid to work from in future studies," he said. "We now have some estimated numbers and dates to work with."
The new study was published online Feb. 14 in the scientific journal Tellus. Co-authors include CIRES Fellow and Senior Research Scientist Tingjun Zhang from NSIDC, Lori Bruhwiler of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Andrew Barrett from NSIDC. Funding for the project came from NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation.
Schaefer and his team ran multiple Arctic simulations assuming different rates of temperature increases to forecast how much carbon may be released globally from permafrost in the next two centuries. They estimate a release of roughly 190 billion tons of carbon, most of it in the next 100 years. The team used Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios and land-surface models for the study.
"The amount we expect to be released by permafrost is equivalent to half of the amount of carbon released since the dawn of the Industrial Age," said Schaefer. The amount of carbon predicted for release between now and 2200 is about one-fifth of the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere today, according to the study.
While there were about 280 parts per million of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere prior to the Industrial Age beginning about 1820, there are more than 380 parts per million of carbon now in the atmosphere and the figure is rising. The increase, equivalent to about 435 billion tons of carbon, resulted primarily from human activities like the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.
Using data from all climate simulations, the team estimated that about 30 to 60 percent of Earth's permafrost will disappear by 2200. The study took into account all of the permanently frozen ground at high latitudes around the globe.
The consensus of the vast majority of climate scientists is that the buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere is the primary reason for increasingly warm temperatures on Earth. According to NOAA, 2010 was tied for the hottest year on record. The hottest decade on record occurred from 2000 to 2010.
Greater reductions in fossil fuel emissions to account for carbon released by the permafrost will be a daunting global challenge, Schaefer said. "The problem is getting more and more difficult all the time," he said. "It is hard enough to reduce the emissions in any case, but now we have to reduce emissions even more. We think it is important to get that message out now."
CIRES is a joint institute of CU-Boulder and NOAA.
To view a short video of Schaefer talking about thawing permafrost visit www.colorado.edu/news and click on the story headline.