for educators

apple tree climate change education engagement animalia project susan ask

Many tools are available to build climate literacy through education and engagement. animalia project photo by susan ask

Climate change has local and global impacts.  We are already seeing changes in the climate here in the Chicago region– and we’re seeing changes in the natural systems and urban infrastructure, too.  When talking to people about climate change, it’s helpful to talk about familiar, local examples.  The resources listed below will help you focus your education and engagement efforts in the Chicago region.

You can learn more about climate education through the Chicago Wilderness Climate Clinics.

Chicago Wilderness Climate Clinics

Climate clinics are full-day workshops that help non-formal and formal educators learn the science of climate change and strategies for teaching climate change in schools and communities.  The focus is on issues and resources in the Chicago Wilderness region (which includes northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana and southeastern Wisconsin).

climate clinic social pic 10_14_14 animalia project morton arboretum

Check back for details about future climate clinics.

regional educational resources

Several toolkits and curricula have been developed for education and engagement in the Chicago region.

Climate Action Toolkit from the Field Museum

The Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit includes climate science and action tools for community engagement. Explore case studies of climate action that is improving residents’ quality of life in four Chicago communities.

Climate Change Curriculum from the Chicago Botanic Garden

This curriculum for grades 5-12 draws on student-collected data (with Project Budburst) and NASA data to help students understand climate change with personal, local and global context.

Connect! community + climate + action

This toolkit includes tools that help community groups incorporate climate action into their work.  Tools helps communities identify assets and take take action on climate change, locally, with a focus on the Great Lakes region.

Great Lakes Climate Change Curriculum from Ohio State University Sea Grant

The Great Lakes Climate Change Curriculum includes basic climate science and activities that connect climate change to aquatic invasive species, shifting forest communities and the Great Lakes.  Look at the right-hand column of the website for the lessons.

communication resourcess

Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication

Conducts research and provides excellent resources for engaging with different audiences about climate change.

George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication

The Center uses social science to guide informed decision-making.  One excellent research project investigates public perception of climate change; look for their report on the Six Americas.

online networks

Climate Access

This online network is a forum for sharing resources for community engagement and climate action.

Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKEx)

This online exchange features case studies, tools and discussions about adapting to climate change.

Chicago Wilderness resources

Chicago Wilderness

A regional alliance dedicated to protecting nature and enriching life through 4 initiatives:

    • climate action
    • leave no child inside
    • restoring nature to health
    • greening infrastructure

CW Climate Action

Read about the Climate Action Plan for Nature and a climate change update to the biodiversity recovery plan.


climate plans in the region

Planners have developed climate action plans for the region; find them here.