High School Class Builds Snow Depth Sensor: How You Can Too

Snow Sensor

Students at Pagosa Springs High School have great opportunities to collect authentic environmental data in their classes, and they have recently expanded their capacity to monitor snow depth thanks to a resourceful peer, Connor Burkesmith. With support from Learn More About Climate and technical support from Andrew Wickert, an alumnus of the CU-Boulder Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Burkesmith built a snow sensor as part of his independent study project to collect low-elevation snow depth data near downtown Pagosa Springs. Wickert developed the sensor, called an ALog Data Logger, … [Read more...]

Behind the Ozone Garden: Ozone, Climate Change, and Our Health

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Ground-level ozone (a.k.a “bad” ozone) is harmful to humans and plants. Ozone can make it difficult to breath, especially for those with asthma or other respiratory infections. High levels of ground-level ozone are hazardous for all people, but the young and elderly are often most affected. When an Ozone Action Alert is issued because of high ozone levels, the young and elderly are encouraged to stay inside and plan outdoor exercise early in the morning when ozone levels are lowest. While people can go inside on Ozone Action Alert days, plants cannot. Spikes in ozone levels are dangerous to … [Read more...]

The Future of Our Forests: Join Scott Ferrenberg and RMBL on July 23

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Join the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory for “A Science Affair: An evening benefiting the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory” featuring Speaker Scott Ferrenberg on July 23. Ferrenberg is a U.S. Geological Survey ecologist who recently earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Colorado Boulder. He will discuss “Colorado’s Trees and the Bark Beetles — What Will Our Future Forests Look Like?” as part the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory event on Thursday, July 23 from 6-9 p.m. at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Community Center in … [Read more...]

Teachers Invited to Power of Water Workshops

Water workshops

Teachers are invited to join the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences for workshops in July and August that address the power of water. Learn how water impacted stream ecosystems and geomorphology as a result of the great flood of 2013 and the ways in which water and invasive species can affect stream flows and stream structure. Hear from CU-Boulder scientists and learn about activities your students can do related to their research. These workshops are geared toward secondary science teachers but are open to all K-12 teachers. Sign up for one or both workshops, but … [Read more...]

Teachers Wanted for Learn More About Climate Advisory Board

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Teachers, please consider offering your vital input to Learn More About Climate as we work to strengthen and improve the website’s educational resources. We are establishing an advisory board comprised of Colorado teachers to aid in guiding the priorities for the Learn More About Climate initiative, sharing best practices with other educators, inspiring climate science resources for the classroom, and participating in an ongoing community of practice for Colorado and regional climate education. As a Learn More About Climate advisor, you will be: invited to our high-country teacher retreat … [Read more...]

Teacher Scholarships Available for Water Conservation Tour June 11-12

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Want to learn firsthand about water conservation and reuse along the Front Range? Learn More About Climate will sponsor two FREE scholarships for educators to attend the Colorado Foundation for Water Education’s Annual Water Efficiency Tour on June 11-12 in Denver. These much-anticipated, informative tours draw educators, citizens, lawmakers, water managers, and others from across the state. You will gain an understanding of the challenges and successes of water conservation in Colorado. Current conservation practices are being incorporated into the Colorado Water Plan, which will shape the … [Read more...]

Mountains Warming Faster than Expected as Climate Changes, Scientists Report

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An international team of scientists is calling for urgent and rigorous monitoring of temperature patterns in mountain regions after compiling evidence that high elevations could be warming faster than previously thought. Without substantially better information, people risk underestimating the severity of a number of already looming environmental challenges, including water shortages and the possible extinction of some alpine flora and fauna, according to the research team, which includes Henry Diaz and Imtiaz Rangwala from CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental … [Read more...]

Join the Colorado Biology Teachers’ Association Symposium at CU-Boulder on April 11

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Wondering how to teach the science of climate change? Need new ways to engage students in the effects of climate change? Register now for the Colorado Biology Teachers’ Association’s Spring Symposium on Climate Change and spend a day with some of the leading climate scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder. Open to educators in every discipline, this day-long workshop offers opportunities to: talk with climate scientists; practice hands-on, classroom-ready lessons; view online lessons; and earn recertification or graduate credit. Date:  Saturday, April 11 Time:  8 a.m. – 4 … [Read more...]

Study: Western Forests Decimated by Pine Beetles Not More Likely to Burn

High Park Fire, Colorado 2012, Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

Western U.S. forests killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic are no more at risk to burn than healthy Western forests, according to new findings by the University of Colorado Boulder that fly in the face of both public perception and policy. The CU-Boulder study authors looked at the three peak years of Western wildfires since 2002, using maps produced by federal land management agencies. The researchers superimposed maps of areas burned in the West in 2006, 2007 and 2012 on maps of areas identified as infested by mountain pine beetles, according to a CU-Boulder news release. The … [Read more...]

Free Online Course Offers in Depth Look at Water in the West

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Why is water at the heart of so much conflict in the American West? How have major cities and extensive agricultural systems been able to thrive despite most of the region being either a desert or semi-desert environment? How will a warming climate affect the availability and use of water in a region populated by tens of millions of people? Join “Water in the Western United States,” a free, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) featuring leading University of Colorado Boulder scientists who will provide an overview of the science behind water and climate. In addition, they will discuss the … [Read more...]