Living with Climate Change in the Rogue Valley

Project Leader – Alan Journet

Project Description

SOCAN’s community course on climate science entitled ‘Master Climate Protector – A Primer for Action’ was developed for an initial presentation in early 2017; it has been taught 8 times. The course was modeled on the extremely popular Jackson County Master Gardener and Master Recycler programs, the Master Climate Protector  (MCP) program incorporated both a training component and a service component.  It was designed for individuals who want to know more about the science of Climate Change and what we can do to address this critical problem.

As a result of collaborations with the Environmental Science, Policy and Sustainability Department at Southern Oregon University, in 2023 students of the program were able to take the course add an assignment and earn Independent Studies credit. In 2024, the course will be modified and offered again via the SOU department as ES 199 – Special Studies, and then will subsequently become an SOU course titled ‘Living with Climate Change in the Rogue Valley.’  The course will, however, still be available to community members at a minimal cost. (Information for community members)

It is our hope that participants completing the course will emerge as climate savvy and climate conscious community members who work to inform and educate the public about the science of climate change and its consequences. We hope they will work within their communities and local governments to promote personal and collective actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also offer educational outreach for climate literacy.

Participants will complete a 10-week course that covers climate change science and the impacts on key sectors of energy, construction, humanity, terrestrial natural systems, weather, water, agriculture and transportation. Within each sector is a focus on global and local impacts, personal and collective mitigating actions and measurements on how to reduce your greenhouse gas footprint. The course includes discussion-based classes, and presentations from local and regional expert guest speakers.


Participants will:

  • Increase their understanding of the science of global warming and its climate change consequences.
  • Become motivated and learn how to take relevant individual and collective action to address it.
  • Develop the skills and confidence to inform others about the science of global warming and its climate change consequences including how to address the problem.
  • Develop a personal carbon (GreenHouse Gas – GHG) footprint to help them reduce their own emissions.
  • Develop a personal action plan.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

This project addresses the Mission of promoting awareness and understanding of climate change, its causes and consequences. It also is designed to help individuals adopt personal solutions, promote collective solutions, and motivate others to act.


The Pilot began April 2017 and subsequent courses were held beginning September 2017 and then February 2018 – 2023. As we move forward, the course will be held annually in the SOU Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Sustainability beginning in April each year.

Background Information

Although abundant information exists about climate change, its causes and consequences, sometimes it is difficult to understand the science and evaluate what evidence is scientifically credible and what lacks such credibility. This course is designed to develop sufficient background knowledge to increase individual knowledge of this critical topic.