NOAA Climate Stewards Book Club


NOAA Climate Stewards Book Club

Join the NOAA Climate Stewards Book Club

During the 2017/2018 academic year NOAA Climate Stewards is hosting a book club - anyone can participate! Scroll down to see the dates and titles of the items to be discussed. 

All meetings will begin at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. To join the discussions dial the following toll free number: 866.662.7513 then enter the passcode: 1170791#   For more details, or if you have questions, contact

Want to receive a free copy of the books we'll be discussing this year? Contact Peg Steffen right now and send her your current mailing address! We have 20 copies of the 3 books we'll be using (the rest are free downloads)

We hope to "see" you there!

-The NOAA Climate Stewards Team

Dates & Details

September 25 - The Teacher Friendly Guide to Climate Change 

(Free Download):

The authors: Don Duggan-Haas, Ingrid Zabel, and Robert Ross will be our special guests for this meeting!

Discussion questions for this meeting are located at the bottom of this post.

About the Book:

The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change by Ingrid Zabel, Don Duggan-Haas and Robert Ross is a comprehensive tool for educators that “focuses on the scientific aspects of climate change: how climate works and why scientists think it’s changing, and the science and engineering behind the steps that would mitigate climate change and enable humans to adapt to climate changes that do occur.” Although the focus is on high school educators, teachers of all ages can find scientifically accurate information and links to highly regarded resources

November 27 - Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer

January 29 - Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction

Edited by Manjana Milkoreit, Meredith Martinez, and Joey Eschrich (Arizona State University 2016, 236 pages

Free download:

March 26 -Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life

Author: Edward O. Wilson

May 21 - Please Don’t Paint our Planet Pink

Author: Gregg Kleiner

Discussion Questions for the September 25 Book Club Meeting - The Teacher Friendly Guide to Climate Change:

  1. The preface indicates that the evidence is not presented as a debate topic but as evidence that climate change is happening now built upon decades of the work of thousands of scientists. There has been a lot of discussion in science education literature about whether (or not) to use debate in the science classroom.  What are your thoughts about this?
  2. A great set of starting questions to consider is found on page 1 of Chapter 1 based on local and personal factors.  Are there additional factors that you would add to this list in your teaching situation?
  3. In Chapter 1, the authors suggest that educators should be careful not to “tread into political advocacy” and to communicate to students that climate change is politically but not scientifically controversial.  What strategies have you used to accomplish this?
  4. Cognitive research provides information about why some people have a hard time accepting the scientific evidence for climate change. Ultimately, we tend to discount data to maintain our conceptions and to maintain our world view.  How would you respond to people that do not accept scientific data?
  5. In chapter 2 (p. 17-22) the authors identified 5 big ideas and 2 questions about climate change that can serve as a course framework and are important aspects of earth system science.  Would this framework fit into your present courses?
  6. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 provide overviews of climate science and climate change through history.  The authors indicate that understanding ancient climate change may help students to see that climate can change and “put the kinds of changes we see today into a historical perspective.” Does your curriculum provide time to delve into proxy date or past climate change?
  7. Understanding time scales is important in understanding earth system science.  What strategies have you found to be successful with your students?
  8. A term that is relatively new (for the discussion leader at least) is critical zone science and the book shares a website (p. 90) of resources.  In areas with little access to natural areas, focusing on critical zone science may provide opportunities for student investigations into geologic processes and time scales.  What is your experience with this aspect of earth science?
  9. Chapter 5 and 6 focuses on recent and regional climate change.  One analogy that might relate to students (at least the boys) is found on p. 110 comparing the climate system to a fancy sports car.  Can you think of another analogy that might help students see the parts and complexity of climate?
  10. Chapter 7 provides a comprehensive look at climate change mitigation strategies and geoengineering was covered in Chapter 8.  There are uncertainties with geoengineering proposals in terms of effectiveness and impacts.  Would you favor using geoengineering?  If so, under what circumstances?  If not, what mitigation strategies would you favor?
  11. Chapter 9 discusses adaptation strategies that may need to be employed as our civilization comes to terms with carbon dioxide that will remain in the Earth system for hundreds or thousands of years.  Pages 196-197 include a comprehensive list of strategies that might be employed but might also be worthy topics of student investigations.  The authors also include a suggestion for classroom discussion around global environmental justice.   Have you included these topics in your climate science units?  Is this something you would consider using in the future?
  12. Finally, Chapters 12 and 13 address obstacles to addressing climate change and general rules for approaching controversial topics.  There are many factors that influence how we think and most people believe things that are false despite information to the contrary.  Dire messaging and warnings “may not lead to the responses we might expect.” What are your thoughts about approaching climate change as an “opportunity?”