California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

North Coast Newsletter -  Summer 2016
Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties

Customizing Climate Change Education: 
A Regional Perspective

Regions around the world will be affected differently by climate change depending on geographical and sociological conditions. Around Humboldt Bay some of the impacts expected are sea level rise, ocean acidification, drought, wildfires, and threat to agriculture.

Climate change is especially important for children to understand because youth will experience the impacts of climate change in their lifetime. Despite this, many teachers and parents are unsure how to teach climate change to their students or children.  In the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), climate change is to be taught in 6th grade. When teaching about climate change, it's helpful to focus on regional impacts, and to focus on solutions to leave children hopeful and action oriented.  Similarly, place-based education is shown to produce more engaged and volunteer minded citizens.

To address the need to prepare for regional climate change impacts, the Coastal Ecosystem Institute of Northern California (CEINC) partnered with the City of Arcata and the State Coastal Conservancy to fund a local climate change education project through CivicSpark-a Governor's Initiative Americorps program that aims to build capacity for local government to prepare for climate change.  Through this project, regional climate change lesson plans were developed for local schools.
CivicSpark member Hanna Nielsen identified gaps and barriers in teaching about climate change in local schools through a comprehensive survey, assessment, and interviews of K-12 teachers around Humboldt Bay.  Using the assessment and gaps identified, Nielsen created four sequential regional climate change lesson plans for 6th grade science. The curriculum was then piloted across two schools, two age groups, and four classrooms. Lesson plans aim to address the regional climate change impact of sea level rise and strive to follow NGSS.  All lesson plans are complete with a teacher background, lesson overview,  and suggested connection to NGSS. These resources are accessible online and free to download.  The lesson plans were developed with the aim to help local environmental educators around Humboldt Bay meet the new California state science standards while serving as a platform to teach about climate change in an accessible way. 

Find additional resources for teaching about climate change here
For further questions or information about the project, feel free to contact Hanna Nielsen at the following address:

Allison Poklemba and Laura Powell, North Coast CREEC Coordinators ,
What's New on the North Coast

$2,500 Fruit and Veggie Grants for schools

Project Produce helps schools increase kids' access to fresh fruits and vegetables and provides nutrition education through fun lunchroom learning activities. The grant program is designed to help create experiential nutrition education when and where students make their food choices: in the cafeteria. The $2,500 one-year grants support food costs to incorporate fruit and vegetable tastings into the school's nutrition program. The goals of Project Produce are to expand students' palates and to increase their consumption of fresh produce.  Apply here

Trinidad Tide Pool Exploration

Do you teach Marine Biology? This a great chance to fine tune your intertidal zone skills. Join Trinidad Coastal Land Trust and Friends of the Dunes for a morning low-tide beach walk guided by ecologist Dr. John DeMartini, HSU Biology Professor Emeritus. This tide pool exploration will take place on Saturday, June 25 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Luffenholtz Beach. There is no fee to attend but pre-registration is required.  Learn more
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Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.
On the North Coast, CREEC is supported by Humboldt State University's Redwood Science Project and Natural History Museum.
Allison Poklemba ( and Laura Powell (

Shannon Gordon, Statewide CREEC Coordinator,
STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

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