White House highlights CU-Boulder webinar-turned-MOOC in national climate literacy program

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently featured the University of Colorado Boulder’s new massive open online course (MOOC) about water resources as part of its newly launched Climate Education and Literacy Initiative. The initiative is part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to “lift America’s game in climate education, literacy, and training” according to the White House.

The MOOC, “Water in the Western United States,” begins April 2015. The free four-week course will discuss the importance of water to society and the changing physical, climatic, social, and legal aspects of water management in the Western United States. Participants will explore how scientific research on climatic variability of the Colorado River is informing conflicts between water users. They will also hear from leading scientists who are tackling the big issue of what to do if a mega-drought—or a warming climate—were to lead to a reduction in water supply in this critical lifeline for much of the American Southwest.

The MOOC is produced by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences through its Western Water Assessment program, and it features videos from the Learn More About Climate-sponsored video webinar “Water In The West: Challenges for the Colorado River Basin.” The 90-minute webinar featured in the course can be viewed in its entirety or in short selections addressing specific topics on the Learn More About Climate website.

The course will be taught by Dr. Anne Gold and Dr. Eric Gordon and it will consist of short lecture videos between 10 and 15 minutes in length featuring a wide range of experts. Anyone can take the course online through the Coursera platform. It is expected to reach more than 10,000 people.
Dr. Gordon and Dr. Gold describe what students can expect from the MOOC:


About the Instructors

Dr. Anne U. Gold is an Associate Scientist with the Cooperative Institute of Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Anne is part of CIRES’ Education and Outreach group and focuses on science education for educators, students and the general public around climate topics. She is the program manager for the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN), providing educators of all grade levels with peer-reviewed resources to teaching about climate and energy topics.

Dr. Eric Gordon is the Managing Director of the Western Water Assessment, a NOAA-funded RISA program that works to connect climate science to water and other natural resource management in the Intermountain West.

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