Goal: Empower a generation of Climate Champions across California, Mexico, and beyond with climate solutions education to transform society, fast track solutions and protect the vulnerable.

Climate change has morphed into climate disruption and is the existential crisis of our time. It is the most serious challenge that society is facing in this century. 

We have to bend the global warming curve before it is too late.

Education for our generation is the most powerful tool for transforming society, to overcome climate inaction and empower a generation of scientifically-minded and civically-engaged Climate Champions.

We are an alliance of pioneering climate and social scientists, educators, digital platform creators, artists, and religious scholars in California and Mexico to lead a hemispheric cultural shift. We will adapt and massively scale California’s peer-reviewed, field-tested education protocol, Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions.  

We will empower One Million Climate Champions from kindergarten to college level students, professionals working in city and state governments and climate nongovernmental organizations, and the general public. Our education tools combine the flipped classroom concept with experiential learning laboratories. Digital platforms, dedicated UC-TV Channel, summer immersive teacher training programs and MOOC certification will deliver education to millions. The focus will be climate solutions, adaptation and public health. As a gesture of urgent binational cooperation, and climate justice, we include migrant-dense communities at the US-Mexico border.

 Together we can spark a cultural-shift across the Americas and the world.

WHO WE ARE



CO-LEADERS

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V. Ram Ramanathan

Co-chair

Edward A Frieman Presidential Chair in Climate Sustainability,
SIO-UCSD

UN Environment Program’s 2013 Champion of Earth

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Fonna Forman

Co-chair

Associate Professor of Political Science

Director, UCSD Center on Global Justice

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Mario Molina

Co-chair

President, Centro Mario Molina


1995 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry


The effort is led by the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and Centro Mario Molina, with a major contribution from the School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Partners include the John Muir Institute at UC Davis, the Department of Religious Studies at UC Irvine, the Evangelical Environmental Network, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, Bethel University, and the UCSF Public Health Institute. At UC San Diego, 9 divisions and departments are working together: the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO-UCSD); the Center on Global Justice; CREATE (Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment & Teaching Excellence); the UCSD School of Medicine, UCSD Extension and the UC-TV; The UCSD Community Stations, CalIT2 (California Institute For Telecommunications and Information / Qualcomm Institute), the Department of Anthropology, the Global Health Program; COSMOS, the Department of Visual Arts and the Department of Music. 

The dedicated team includes a Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize author, Pope Francis' main advisor for Global Education Compact, two UN Champion of Earth awardees; Pulitzer Composer, MacArthur Fellow, a science advisor to Pope Francis’s Holy See delegation to the 2015 Paris summit, and Council members of the Pontifical Academy of sciences. Across our team, we have trained thousands of K-12 and college teachers and reached nearly a million students in dozens of major school districts and colleges across California and Mexico, and beyond. Centro Mario Molina in Mexico city has trained 17,000 teachers, and reached half a million students, with a goal to triple these numbers in expanded sites over the next 5 years. UC San Diego's CREATE has extensive experience in STEM-based K-12 curricular design, teacher professional development, research and evaluation, with a focus on educational innovation and equity in districts and schools that serve low-income communities of color. Birch Aquarium at Scripps engages K-12 students and the general public through experiential learning that connects scientific understanding with actions to protect our planet. UCLA’s School of Education and Information Studies is a global visionary focused on diversity and social equity in 21st century K-12 education. They have unmatched capacity for equitable educational innovation, and vast networks to disseminate these innovations across the world.

UC San Diego is also host to the UCSD Community Stations, a network of sites located in diverse, underserved communities across the border region, designed for cross-sector educational partnerships between universities, school districts, and community-based nonprofits. Embracing a mentorship model that pairs undergraduate students with local youth, the Community Stations promote access to higher education, and active hands-on learning beyond the four-walls of the school, with an emphasis on climate change and related environmental challenges across the border region. They are an ideal cross-border infrastructure for developing learning laboratories, where K-12 and college students can apply classroom knowledge about climate solutions in real-world contexts. Engaging the local communities, students can learn to address critical issues, including problems of human health, disability and equity that may arise in the context of current and pending climate crises.

We bring our experiences, partners and networks with us, to propel change. Our team is the best in the world at what we do. This includes expertise in rigorous monitoring and iterative evaluation of our immersive programs within the communities we serve. Within this monitoring and evaluation, we emphasize a health focus especially mental health and wellbeing, sampled both quantitatively and using qualitative ethnography. That we can empower the mindsets of the communities we work with to generate sustainable & effective climate change solutions, is an important metric of success for our project, signifying societal transformation. We have public and private relationships, local and global, from the top-down to the bottom-up. We work at the highest levels of educational decision-making in California, Mexico and beyond. And we work with grass-roots networks to mobilize change on the ground.

ONGOING INITIATIVES


EMPOWERING ONE MILLION CLIMATE CHAMPIONS

Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions™ is a multifaceted education project initiated by the University of California with participation by all ten campuses of the UC system at: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Santa Cruz, San Francisco. The education is centered around a curriculum designed to empower a million climate warriors across the world to solve the climate change problem.

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PROVIDING CLIMATE LITERACY TO PRE-K TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

The University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems are partnering with key stakeholders to advance PK–12 environmental and climate change literacy.

The Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Project and Summit (ECCLPS, pronounced "eclipse") is a collaborative effort helping to prepare current and future teachers to respond to climate change issues, with the goal to educate 500,000 graduating high school students per year in California to become literate in environmental and climate change issues and solutions.

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INSPIRING THE YOUTH TO DISCOVER, APPRECIATE AND PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT

The only way to transform society is through education, which is why the Mario Molina Center is constantly working on educational programs that develop knowledge and skills, change attitudes and inspire young people to discover science and environmental protection. We inform society in order to promote responsible decision-making towards the environment.

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ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE OF DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION'S POTENTIAL

Center For Research On Educational Equity, Assessment & Teaching Excellence (CREATE) houses an innovative team of researchers, youth mentors, and professional development experts. We leverage the power of UC San Diego and a regional network of K-20 partners to cultivate the full potential of teachers and all students through rich opportunities to learn.

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A CATALYST FOR ECONOMIC, INTELLECTUAL, AND CULTURAL GROWTH

UC San Diego Extension serves the critical lifelong learning and skill development needs of individuals, organizations and the community. They do this through continuing education, certificate and degree-related programs; community initiatives that support economic and social development; and a wide array of public-service lectures, forums and special events delivered both on and off campus and through print, internet, radio and television all strengthened by extensive work on program evaluation, data collection and community research.

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AN EXPERIENTIAL MODEL OF OUTDOOR EDUCATION IN THE SAN DIEGO-TIJUANA BORDER REGION

The UCSD Community Stations, are a network of field hubs located in disadvantaged neighborhoods across the border region, designed for collaborative research, teaching and advocacy among university researchers, school districts, and community-based non profit partners.

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NEW INITIATIVES

MacArthur Principal Investigators Marcelo Suarez and V. Ram Ramanathan co-organized a UC-CSU wide summit titled the Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Summit. This summit seeded a collaborative effort to prepare current and future teachers to respond to climate change issues and solutions. Strategic planning and discussions came from educators from the University of California and California State University systems, California and other global decision-makers, representatives from the public K-12 school systems, representatives of the indigenous communities, and more. Together, they discussed how to best prepare teachers for facilitating climate dialogue with their students before teaching, while teaching, and for teaching at different ages. At the summit ECCLPS issued a new report by Ramanathan et al., titled Achieving Climate Stability and Environmental Sustainability: PK-12 Education as Part of the Solution for Bending the Curve. Find more information here.

EVENTS


IN THE NEWS

PARTNERS–EDUCATORS




 

INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS