- Author: Joy Shindler Rafey
The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs (ANROSP) conducted the ANROSP Annual Awards Ceremony as part of the organization's 2021 Annual National Conference.
The UC California Naturalist Program was recognized with the 2021 ANROSP Outstanding Educational Materials Award for their UC Climate Stewards curriculum. This award recognizes ANROSP member programs for their development and use of educational materials including print, video, online technology, or other program materials/applications.
Shelly Johnson, ANROSP President with the Florida Master Naturalist Program, said "ANROSP provides member programs an opportunity to share their best work in the areas of Outstanding Educational Materials, Outstanding Volunteer Project, Outstanding Team, Outstanding Program Evaluation and Program of the Year. Each year ANROSP is proud to highlight programs from across the United States in each of these categories." Award applications are peer reviewed and selection is made by the ANROSP Awards Committee, chaired by an ANROSP Board Member.
The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs is an international network of natural resource programs with the mission of promoting awareness and stewardship of natural resources through science-based education and service programs.
For more information on the UC California Naturalist Program's UC Climate Stewards curriculum, please contact Sarah-Mae Nelson, UC Climate Stewards Academic Coordinator, California Naturalist Program, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-482-4633.
Climate Stewardship focuses on regenerative approaches to energy, agriculture, and land and water use across forested, agricultural, and urban landscapes. Climate science that justifies these approaches is woven throughout the book, making it easy to learn about Earth's complex systems. “It's science in a narrative form to share what can be done and why,” says Merenlender.
The shared experiences of climate stewards featured in the book, including volunteers, Indigenous leaders and community members of color addressing climate justice, reveal that connecting with others to prevent climate disruption transcends self and provides a path to joy and hope for a better future.
Become a certified UC Climate Steward and discuss the stories with others interested in climate action.
- Author: Brook Gamble
A new certification course needs a course emblem fit for a beautiful pin and certificate! We're pleased to announce the new design, a lupine (Lupinus sp.). After passionate debate and multiple rounds of votes for different flora and fauna by course instructors, staff, and our Strategic Planning Committee, we finally settled on the lupine, without designating a specific species. Lupine are found throughout California and are a flower familiar to many people. Lupine are in the pea family, they are nitrogen fixers, and they help sequester carbon in the soil. Furthermore, many species are threatened by climate change. By CalFlora estimates, there are 138 species of lupine in California. Check out CalFlora to learn about the astonishing diversity across the state.
- Author: Sarah-Mae Nelson
On July 7, 2020, we launched the first UC Climate Stewards Instructor Training with 17 instructors from 11 pilot partner organizations across the state. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on meeting in person, we turned our planned 3-day, in-person training into a virtual venture. We chose to spread our 24 hours of training out over 8 days to best accommodate our trainers' schedules and offer the breaks and timing needed in the virtual environment.
Our first day of training focused on the key principles that make UC Climate Stewards unique from other climate change courses currently being offered. These core concepts include exploring cognitive, psychological, and social science of communication; the social-emotional labor of climate change and environmental education; how trauma-aware practices in education and communication support community resilience; and the importance of building relationships in the formation of community. Our second meeting was a full-day workshop on the evidence-based, climate change communication training from the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). Subsequent sessions were each two-hours long and covered topics ranging from course administration to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Environmental Justice in the Climate Context.
It is wonderful to finally be setting off on this journey that has been more than three years in the planning. Our instructors are engaged, excited, and enthusiastic about our pilot course offerings that begin at the end of August and extend into early next year. We couldn't have accomplished this milestone without these program partners and the help of our Strategic Planning Committee, Climate Science Reviewers, and Core Team. Special thanks to California Naturalist Kate Greswold who has spent countless hours helping us achieve our vision and improve the course, and Adina Merenlender who spearheaded, researched, and co-authored our text (Merenlender, A. & Buhler, B. (2020). Climate Stewardship: Collective Action Across California. Manuscript submitted for publication).
We are working diligently to produce more materials about UC Climate Stewards to help spread the word. If you or your organization is interested in finding out more about UC Climate Stewards courses, check out our webpage.
- Author: Sarah-Mae Nelson
We've been working hard behind the scenes this year to launch the new UC Climate Stewards course in fall 2020. The 40-hour certification course from UC ANR's UC California Naturalist Program, empowers individuals to become leaders within their communities on climate solutions. Courses are delivered throughout California by trained partner organizations with expertise in science education. Many UC Climate Stewards partners will already be familiar to certified California Naturalists! Our fall partners include Pasadena City College, Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Community Environmental Council, and UC Riverside Palm Dessert Center.
The UC Climate Stewards course addresses the growing demand for training on the skills needed to effectively communicate and advance community and ecosystem resilience. Instructors combine in-person, online, and field experiences to achieve this goal. The course's five units are designed to help participants connect with each other through their personal experiences with climate change; communicate with a wide range of audiences and leverage their community connections; understand the science behind climate and earth systems along with observed and expected climate changes; develop the skills to engage in community and ecosystem resilience efforts; and demonstrate their own ability through a service oriented capstone project. A focus on the importance of social and emotional support for climate educators and learners, using systems thinking to address root causes, emphasizing community-level solutions, and the role of community and citizen science help set the course apart from other climate change education efforts.
Building on the success of the UC California Naturalist network, UC Climate Stewards will establish and support inclusive communities of practice that develop and share knowledge, as well as build statewide support and capacity to advance local and state climate goals. Our vision is for a California with engaged communities and functioning ecosystems that are resilient in a changing climate.