Against the backdrop of last week's Clinton Global Initiative and Climate Week NYC, and on the heels of the University of Colorado at Boulder last month being named the No. 1 "green" university in the nation by Sierra Magazine, CU-Boulder today launched a new online tool that localizes climate change for Colorado through a series of educational videos and resources.
LearnMoreAboutClimate.colorado.edu explains how climate change is affecting Colorado and offers ways residents can contribute to solutions. The initiative involves CU-Boulder faculty and national institute scientists and is coordinated by the Office for University Outreach in the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies.
"The University of Colorado is home to some of the world's leading climate scientists," said Anne Heinz, dean of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. "LearnMoreAboutClimate.colorado.edu pairs these scientists with citizens to tell compelling stories about how climate change is affecting our state. It is an excellent public education tool that presents the facts in an accessible, localized manner."
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall commended the university for the unique effort to localize and promote better understanding of climate change in Colorado. "I would encourage all Westerners to take action to address this critical issue by using this new tool to discover ways to conserve our region's valuable and limited resources," Udall said. "I hope this Web site will open many minds -- not only to the enormous challenge climate change poses for our communities -- but also to the opportunities we can pursue to strengthen our economy and promote a more sustainable energy future."
The videos on LearnMoreAboutClimate.colorado.edu lead viewers through the science of climate change, exploring how it is affecting the state's water supply and ecosystems, and how individuals and organizations are addressing these challenges. Stories from the Denver Zoo to the eastern plains and the mountain forests, illustrate how the issue affects the entire state.
One of the videos focuses on Colorado's role in the new energy economy and features an interview with Alice Madden, Gov. Bill Ritter's climate change adviser. The site also provides resources to help teachers bring climate change education into their classrooms and to aid policymakers.
"CU-Boulder is a global leader in energy and climate change research and environmental stewardship," said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. "This initiative puts the research and expertise from our laboratories into the hands of citizens, enabling them to participate in public policy discussions at the local, state and federal levels."
CU-Boulder contributors to the project include the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Department of Geography, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies.