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 now offers the program annually each fall quarter. The course uses an interdisciplinary curriculum that consists of online and hands-on learning in the field, experience sharing, and volunteer service to build community connections and instill agency.
Instructors Katie Barrows and Tamara Hedges lead the class, along with a panel of experts, including Dr. Cameron Barrows, Conservation Ecologist, Emeritus, UCR Center for Conservation Biology, covering topics that include: 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.

Interested? The Fall 2023 program runs 10 weeks from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays starting on Sept. 23, 2023 through Dec. 9. The course will consist of a combination of remote lectures held via Zoom with in-person field trips. Registration is open, and you are encouraged to register early as space is limited. Register here.

Need more info? An online information session will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 19. Register for the info session here