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Climate in the Classroom

PROJECT LEADER – Kathy Conway (Interim)

Project Description

  1. To explore with regional educators ways that we can contribute to finding and developing curricular materials which promote student awareness and understanding of the science of climate change, together with its causes, consequences, and actions we can take. These curricula could be used in schools, for home schooling, and in extra-curricular situations, such as youth groups, after school clubs, nature centers, summer camps, etc.
  2. To develop and give one-time presentations about climate change to elementary-age and middle-school-age children as an introduction to the subject. Give the teacher, parent, or group leader follow-up curriculum materials.
  3. To connect and work with high school and middle-school students who:
    1. might help develop curriculum and present in lower-age classrooms
    2. wish to use education in climate change as their senior project, capstone project, or to fulfill another class requirement.

Goals

Curriculum development and dissemination of information to teachers.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

One of SOCAN’s main mission objectives is to educate the public about climate science. One of the most effective ways of doing this is reaching students at all levels.

Accomplishments

  • Lessons Plans developed for teachers of different grade levels by local Teachers in collaboration with SOCAN or by SOCAN volunteers (listed under Curriculum Materials Developed by Local Educators on Education Resouces page).
  • Participation in SOREEL August Institute Resource Fairs 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
  • SOREEL August Institute Workshops on Climate Science 2013, 2015, 2016.
  • Presentations at area schools.
  • Program on climate change at Hedrick Middle School Summer Camp, 2016.
  • Climate Science Workshop at Environmental Education Association of Oregon Conference, Suttle Lake, September 2016

How to Join

Please send an email expresing interest to info@socan.info.

Background Information

Unlike their predecesor, the Next Generation Science Standards, adopted by Oregon, explicitly include the expectation that students will understand climate science.

Education Resources

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Master Climate Protector

Administrative Coordinator – Eric Dittmer. Modeled on the extremely popular Jackson County Master Gardener and Master Recycler programs, our Master Climate Protector (MCP) program incorporates both a training component and a service component…

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Media Corps

PROJECT LEADER – ALAN JOURNET

Project Description

The Media Corps (formerly the Writing Corps) Project comprises individuals who are interested in contacting print and broadcast media to promote public awareness about climate change issues and SOCAN activities and projects.   This involves such activities as writing letters to the editor (LTEs), feature stories, or opinion columns (op-eds), writing and circulating Press Releases, submitting entries to regional community calendars,  and being available for radio and TV interviews on these issues. The benefit of joining the project team is that we can help one another identify items to address, refine drafts for content and clarity, and minimize unnecessary duplication while enhancing coverage of the critical issues.

The Writing Corps particularly helps individual interested in writing Letters to the Editor or Guest Columns to the local print media. We help individuals by helping find information sources and data upon request, and reviewing drafts to offer suggestions on content accuracy, organization, and clarity.

Goals

The Goal of the Media Corps is to promote regional awareness of climate change causes, consequences, implications, and solutions throughout Southern Oregon, and similarly promote SOCAN activities and projects throughout the region.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

This project addresses the Mission of promoting awareness and understanding on climate change, its causes and consequences.

Accomplishments

From our inauguration in 2012, to the end of 2013 we scored 85 media appearances. Since then, our annual appearances score has been: 2014 – 238; 2015 – 252; 2016 to end of April – 92.

How to Join

Please contact Alan Journet at alan@socan.info.

Background Information

We are constantly confronted with news or scientific reports on issues related to climate change that gain wide circulation.  Local media frequently carry reports, opinions or letters that address climate change issues, some of which deserve rapid response by way of endorsement or rebuttal. Similarly, activities and events organized by Southern Oregon Climate Action Now or related organizations often can benefit from attention in the local media.

Resources

Contains tips on writing letters and guest columns, URLs and/or email addresses for regional target print media with word counts and publication frequencies permitted by newspapers.

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Oregon Legislative Districts

Project Leader – Alan Journet

Project Description

One of the most effective ways of communicating the importance of acting to address climate change is to show individuals what is happening in people’s own backyards.  This project follows that principle by providing Oregonians with a brief summary of what the trends and projections are for their locality – using the Senate Districts as the geographic regional boundaries.

Goals

The Goal was to produce summaries for each House District. We now plan to produce one parallel summary for each of Oregon’s Federal Congressional House Districts.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

This project addresses the SOCAN mission statements of promoting awareness and understanding about the consequences of climate change AND motivating concerned citizens to take action.

Accomplishments

The project has produced one climate change projection summary (with a one page of bullet list) for each of Oregon’s 30 Senate Districts. These Oregon (60 House, 30 Senate) that identify likely climate trends and projections with their local consequences and implications.  These summaries have been used by environmental groups across the state to develop regional Guest Opinion (op – ed) columns for local newspapers and to submit to representatives during advocacy visits.

How to Join

Please contact Alan Journet at alan@socan.info.

Background Information

Shortly after SOCAN was inaugurated, it occurred to us that a brief summary of climate trends and projections for each region in Oregon could be helpful in communicating the problem to local residents and representatives.   Given this premise, a reasonable way to divide the state seemed to be on the basis of Legislative Districts – a format that could have real meaning for representatives.  After offering this suggestion to statewide environmental / climate organizations and receiving positive responses but no interest in assuming responsibility for organizing the project, SOCAN thus engaged student interns from SOU to work with us on developing the summaries and bullet lists.

Resources

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Presentations

Project Leader – Alan Journet

Project Description

The purpose of the project is to develop a set of presenters and presentations that can be offered to regional audiences.  It is anticipated that these presentations will be adjusted to suit the interests and understanding of the audience, and be tailored to meet the desired goals and needs of the audience.

Goals

To present scientifically based information on climate change to promote understanding and awareness of the problem and how we can address it.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

It is anticipated that this project will promote awareness and understanding about the causes and consequences of climate change through delivery of informed presentations employing the most current science on various aspects of climate change, its causes, consequences, and counters.

Accomplishments

Since SOCAN’s beginning, we have delivered multiple SOU OLLI 10-week courses, several 3-week mini courses at Coyote Trails and North Mountain Park Nature Centers plus many stand-alone presentations to Southern Oregon churches, service groups, and schools.

How to Join

Please contact Alan Journet at alan@socan.info.

Background Information

Delivering presentations on various aspects of climate change is a critically important activity offered by SOCAN. We have developed presentation slide sets that can be shared.

By offering schools, educational institutions, community and service groups informed presentations and programs on Climate Change, SOCAN can promote among area residents; a greater understanding of the basic science of climate change; its causes and consequences, regionally, nationally, and globally; and what we can do to address the problem.  Addressing climate change involves both preparing for the consequences that are inevitable and reducing its causes so as to reduce the severity of future impacts.

Resources

List of speakers & topics

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Water Management and Conservation

PROJECT LEADER – ERIC DITTMER

Project Description

This is an Ad Hoc group available to support water conservation promotion through presentations, seminars and contributions to classroom education. We live in an area where there is a real potential for serious drought and a large magnitude earthquake.  In the event this happens, adequate clean water will be a critical resource.
We should be practicing water conservation now both for improved management of this important resource and in anticipation of a future crisis.

Tasks

  1. Promote storm water retention and management by cities and at individual residences
  2. Promote water conservation at home by listing various ways to conserve water including use of low-flow devices, improving irrigation practices adopting low water need landscaping and reusing gray water.

Goals

Conserve water by promoting public awareness and action implementing more storm water projects within the Rogue Basin.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

Part of addressing the regional implications of climate change is to adapt to the apparent impacts. It logically follows that water conservation is key to addressing the trend toward reduced water resources.

Accomplishments

How to Join

Please contact Eric Dittmer at eric@socan.info.

Background Information

The Rogue Basin Watershed has experience over 4 years of drought conditions with a trend toward decreasing rainfall and lowering snow pack leading to reduced stream flows and irrigation limitations. Past storm water management practices have relied mostly on collecting and piping runoff to natural riparian drainages, especially during winter heavy rainfall. As cities grow pipes must be enlarged to handle the increased runoff (Typically a 50% increase over undeveloped land).

Resources

SOCAN at Mountain Meadows

Project Leader – Louise Shawkat

Project Description

This group is made up primarily of people who live in the Ashland area and generally focuses on issues related to Ashland. A wide variety of climate change actions are undertaken.

Goals

Stimulate actions in the local community to reduce the impacts of climate change.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

Educate others about a variety of aspects of climate change as well as help others take action are paramount with this group.

Accomplishments

  • SOCAN Forest – Phase I: Coordinated collection and donation of $1,114 for 1,114 trees to be planted in the US by American Forests in SOCAN’s name
  • Representative on Climate and Energy Action Plan ad hoc Committee
  • Active representation at Ashland City Council. Conservation Commission, Transportation Commission, Downtown Parking Management and Circulation Ad Hoc Advisory Committee
  • Ashland Ciy Council unanimously passed a Resolution in Support of Fossil Fuel Divestment (October 21, 2014)

How to Join

Please contact Louise Shawkat at louise@socan.info.

Background Information

This group was initiated because a number of concerned citizens living in Ashland find it difficult to attend evening meetings that require driving a distance. This group’s acitivites were initiated concurrently with SOCAN in September 2012. One of the first projects was collaborating with Ashland City Council to facilitate their passage of the Resolution in Support of Fossil Fuel Divestment. Subsequently, this goup has continued to work with Ashland City Council and various commissions to encourage action to address climate change.

Resources

Health & Psychological Impacts

Project Leaders – Ken Deveney

Goals

To raise awareness of health and psychological impac ts of Climate Change for individuals, our communities,and relevant public agencies.

Project Description

  • Prepare, arrange and offer public presentations on Climate Change and health, and Climate Change and stress.
  • Develop a multimedia narrative project (Voices of the Valley) that will present people from our own Rogue Valley communities, especially the most vulnerable populations, sharing their stories of how extreme weather and climate change is affecting their physical and mental health, their work and home life. A series of mini-documentary interviews will be featured on SOCAN’s website as well as at public screenings, and human-sized photo displays will tour our public libraries.
  • Increase personal health preparedness as well as psychological resilience.
  • Facilitate communication among those who are concerned.
  • Maintain a selection of relevant online resources

Connection to SOCAN Mission

This project addresses the Mission of promoting awareness and understanding of climate change, its causes and consequences.

Accomplishments

Ken Deveney has given presentations on “Climate Change and Stress” at Southern Oregon Friends Meeting House, Ashland Public Library, Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and the Ashland Congregational United Church of Christ.  He has done trainings in Re-Evaluation Counseling (RC), and will do another in the spring of 2017.  This Project also arranged presentations at SOCAN’s monthly public meeting at the Medford Public Library: Dr. Bryan Sohl and Ken Deveney on Health and Psychological Impacts of Climate Change (Link) as well as Bob Doppelt, Executive Director, The Resource Innovation Group, and adjunct instructor in the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon and author of Transformational Resilience: How building human resilience to climate disruption can safeguard society and increase wellbeing.

How to Join

Please contact Ken Deveney at ken@socan.info.

Background Information

The April 2016 federal study “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States” discusses seven key areas of health concerns: temperature-related death and illness; air quality impacts; extreme events; vector-borne diseases; water-related illness; food safety, nutrition, and distribution; and mental health and well-being. Health officials are also mapping the specific vulnerable population groups of each region and community, such as the elderly, children, and low-income families.

Resources

Government

PROJECT LEADER – ALAN JOURNET

2017 Jordan Cove LNG Export Proposal

Oregon Legislative Action  2017-2018

Project Description

In order to stimulate appropriate action at all levels, SOCAN is committed to reaching out to our elected representatives and their staffs both to express our concerns about climate change and its consequences, and advocate for or against positions held by these individuals and proposals that are under discussion. Our hope is to serve as a resource for technical knowledge and expertise on climate change and to support governments in taking action to address the problem.

Goals

Connection to SOCAN Mission

This project serves all three prongs of the Mission since it is clear we need bold federal, state, and local action to address the problem, we need to promote awareness and understanding about the causes and consequences of climate change among many of our representatives, and we wish to promote reducing the severity of climate change by both decreasing the causes of it and by preparing for its inevitable changes.

Accomplishments

To date, this team has organized successful visits of a delegation to the regional offices of Congressman Greg Walden, Senator Ron Wyden, and Senator Jeff Merkley as well as local city council members. Plans are underway to increase our contact with local representatives and city department staff.

How to Join

Please contact Alan Journet at alan@socan.info.

Background Information

While we are all individually responsible for doing the best we can do to address climate change through modification of our personal behaviors, the unfortunate reality is that this is a necessary but insufficient condition. Addressing this global crisis will take more than that; it will require the collective action of peoples throughout the world taking steps to curtail the greenhouse gas pollution that is increasing the global temperature and imposing havoc on our weather patterns. This global problem will take global collaboration. Beyond personal and corporate efforts, we want our local, state, and national governments to address climate change in a manner consistent with their authority and responsibility.

Resources

Contact information for elected officials will be linked after November elections.

Federal Representative Contacts

Forests & Fire

Project Leader –

Project Description

Working in cooperation with the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative, we have initiated plans to develop a stakeholder workshop to be held in late summer/fall 2016. These efforts include the support of federal agencies (USFS, BLM) and the Nature Conservancy.

Goals

Develop recommendations for incorporating climate considerations into forest management strategies in Southern Oregon.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

Accomplishments

Initial meetings have taken place to plan the workshop. Funds have been secured to pay some expenses.

How to Join

Please contact Alan Journet at alan@socan.info.

Background Information

Not only does climate have a profound impact on forest health, but also, through their ability to sequester carbon, forests can have a substantial impact on climate. During the 2015 Rogue Basin Climate Summit, the Forests and Fire breakout group recommended the organization of a stakeholder workshop to explore ways of incorporating climate considerations into regional forest management.

Resources