resources from the climate clinic at Indiana Dunes National Park 2019

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
10 am – 4 pm
Douglas Center
Indiana Dunes National Park
100 N. Lake Street, Miller*, Indian
*some maps will put the location in Gary– that’s correct, too.

climate clinic at indiana dunes

We’ll be posting more resources from the climate clinic here. Check back again soon! Susan will send an email to the whole group when the resource list is fully updated.

resources shared during the clinic

with Kim Swift, Indiana Dunes National Park

We introduced ourselves and each of us shared 5 words about climate change that were important to us. Kim put these together to create this wordcloud; the words in biggest type were shared most often. You can create your own wordcloud.

climate change word cloud
word cloud based on our thoughts about climate change at the beginning of the clinic.

This lesson plan includes the wordcloud exercise and several other activities that will draw out what people know about climate change:

Photo voice
with Kim Swift, Indiana Dunes National Park

Everyone created beautiful photos and meaningful short essays during the photo hike.

During the hike, we spent some time walking through the habitat of the extirpated Karner Blue Butterfly. You can learn more in this video about the Karner Blue Butterfly.

Here is a lesson plan to help you lead this activity with your visitors, friends and students.


Climate Change in 2019
with Susan Ask, animalia project

National Climate Assessment and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are the authoritative sources for data about climate change. Find more reports and resources here. A recent report focused on the Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes.

Local climate information is available from the Illinois State Climatologist.

97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening because of human activity. And– most Americans recognize that climate change is happening now and that it is caused by people, according to many surveys and polls.

We explored the ripple effects of climate action, using the More or Less activity from the Connect! project.

There’s lots of interesting data in the slides from this session, though we didn’t get to explore all of it at the clinic. You might want to look at some of the data here, in the presentation slides.

Climate Watch
with Joe Gruzalski, Indiana Dunes National Park

Climate Watch is a community science project that uses data about birds to understand how birds respond to climate change. You can get involved with this program from Audubon and start collecting next winter and summer.

A picture leads to a thousand words
with Joe Mazza, animalia project

Collages are useful tools for getting people talking about climate change. The collages originated at the Field Museum in their Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit, which has dozens of tools for teaching and engagement. You can find the collages at the top of this page. More collages are available from the Connect project.

climate collage
climate collage from the Connect! project at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

You can make your own collages or work with your students or community to make new ones, using the templates provided by Connect!

Monarchs and Climate Change
with Johanna Nifosi, US Geological Survey

Johanna shared information about the decline in monarch populations, which have dropped 80% since 2005, and the additional stress caused by climate change and disease.

One way to help monarchs is to collect data about their migration. Contribute data through Journey North. You can find educational tools, maps and updates on their website. Share your monarch sightings here.

You can also participate in monarch counts through the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network (in Illinois and Indiana) during June, July and August

Another way to help is to plant native milkweed. Free milweed seeds are available from Monarch Watch.

Indiana Dunes Climate Change Backpack
with Kim Swift, Indiana Dunes

For your next trip to the Indiana Dunes National Park, check out the climate change backpack, which has lesson plans (including the two shared on this page), activities and materials for exploring climate change at the Park.

Find out more about climate change in the National Parks. The Park Service website has information about climate science and research related to the parks, along with things you can do.

The Climate Literacy Principles, from NOAA, provide a solid foundation for understanding climate change.

Climate Action
with Susan Ask, animalia project

There is a lot of support for climate action, as seen in survey results. The Yale Program on Climate Change Communications has survey data on public attitudes about climate change. You can comb through the data, and look at local attitudes; the local attitudes are estimated based on an ongoing analysis of surveys and population characteristics, as described here.

Drawdown is a research project, published as a book and website, that offers 100 climate solutions that have been evaluated and ranked by impact. It is a valuable resource for information about scaling up climate action to have global impact.

Find a place to start cutting emissions on your own by calculating your climate footprint. Identify priority themes– for yourself, your students or your community– by using collages, like these and these.

You can review Susan’s presentation:

additional resources

Check out these resources for climate education and engagement; you’ll find links to lesson plans, communication strategies, activities, research reports, free school supplies and more.