climate communication resources

for naturalists, teachers and community leaders

climate change in chicago graphic

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 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 Chicago and the Great Lakes region.

regional climate engagement resources

Several engagement toolkits can help make community connections and develop climate action plans that are based on community assets and concerns in the Chicago region.

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.

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.

regional climate education resources

There are many sources of excellent teaching resources; here are two that focus on climate change in the Chicago region and the Great Lakes.

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.

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.

climate communication resources
climate change is real _ graphic

Climate Wisconsin

A collection of stories and videos about how people in Wisconsin are affected by climate change.

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 climate 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 in thee greater Chicago region.

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.

local climate workshops

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 nature centers, schools, and communities.  The focus is on issues and resources in the Chicago Wilderness region (which includes northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana and southeastern Wisconsin).

Check back for details about future climate clinics in Winter and Spring 2019.

other workshops

Check our events calendar for upcoming workshops.

the latest climate science

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an important resource for understanding the global scale and impacts of climate change, as well as the scientific consensus on climate change.

Climate Impacts, Risks and Adapation in the US are described in Volume II of the National Climate Assessment, published in November 2018.  Volume I of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, published in 2017, focuses on the science of climate change.  The previous assessment, in 2014, is still useful and includes chapters that focus on themes and sectors, including agriculture, water, transportation, forests, etc. There are also chapters on each region of the country, including the Midwest.

last updated December 2018