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UC Climate Stewards

The UC Climate Stewards Program

The UC California Naturalist Climate Stewards Course introduces Californians to how climate is changing both natural and social systems; it also empowers them to discover ways to improve ecosystem and community resilience. UCR Palm Desert launched a 10-week pilot program in fall 2020, and a second cohort in July 2021. The course uses an interdisciplinary curriculum that consists of online and hands-on learning in the field, experience sharing, and community service to build community connections and instill agency.
UCR's Dr. Cameron Barrows is the lead instructor, covering topics including: climate and earth science; interpretation, communication, and education skills; and tools for engaging communities in action.
We understand that when people have the chance to engage in hands-on discovery of the world around them, they develop a greater sense of science identity. This is true of inquiry into the natural world (e.g., recording temperature measurements) and into the social systems that surround us (e.g., assessing accessibility of cooling centers during extreme heat events). Additionally, professional scientists are increasingly using data gathered by community scientists to aid in local research. Our belief is that community science plays an important role as a research technique, providing teaching and learning opportunities, and applied participation in community problem solving.

Dates for the 2022 cohort will be announced in November. Please contact Amy O’Neil at palmdesert@ucr.edu for more information.