Climate Change Education

Field School class © New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance
© New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance

Mass Audubon is working to improve climate literacy in Massachusetts. With an engaged, well-informed voting public, we can find solutions to the challenges of climate change.

Solar array and interpretation panel at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Mass Audubon sanctuaries are beautiful places where visitors can come to understand the local impacts of climate change and how to take action. As individuals, by working in our communities, and by supporting climate policy, we can effect dramatic positive change at the community level. We provide educational information through visitor experience, public programs, and community engagement.

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Museum of American Bird Art Staff teaching a lesson at a local school

As of 2016, the mechanism and effects of climate change are integrated into the Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Frameworks for grades 9-12. Mass Audubon is committed to ensuring that climate change science is taught in our public schools at all grade levels in an age-appropriate way. 

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Climate Change Education

Building Climate Action Communities

Thanks to a grant funded by the EPA, Mass Audubon is working with the Connecticut and Rhode Island Audubon Societies along with other regional partners to integrate climate change concepts into existing environmental education programs. We are evaluating which messages and which programs motivated participants to action on climate change, and are compiling effective messages for a wide range of environmental topics relevant to New England.

Using the Best Available Science

Mass Audubon partners with numerous organizations throughout New England. Our scientists, land managers, educators, and advocates work with or are informed by many world-class research institutions in New England, including the Northeast Climate Science Center, the Northeast Regional Climate Center, Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute, many universities, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Climate Action Grounded in Research & Proven Practice

To better understand how individuals and communities move to action on climate change and what actions are most effective, we work with the National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpreters, regional social scientists, and community leaders. Our approaches are informed largely by research from the Frameworks Institute, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, among others.

Highlighted Programs 

Raising Awareness to Rising Sea Levels

Students using spotting scope © Plum Island Ecosystems LTER
© Plum Island Ecosystems LTER

This lesson shows students how to evaluate a coastal community's vulnerability to Sea Level Rise. Students use a spotting level to investigate coastal ecosystems and raise awareness about how their communities will be affected. Afterword, students discuss ways of reducing and adapting to future sea level rise through individual and collective action. Their findings are presented to an open audience. Developed by Education Coordinator Liz Duff. Learn More >

Life in a Changing Climate

Educator from Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary with students
Arcadia Educator Brittany Gutermuth teaching the Life in a Changing Climate program. Photo © Phil Doyle

In this lesson, students define climate, discover carbon's role in climate change by becoming a carbon molecule, explore the possible outcomes of climate change, and brainstorm ways to positively impact their environment. This program can be a field trip to Arcadia, which includes exploring the nature sanctuary, or it can be an in-class lesson as one session or a series of classes. Developed by Education Coordinator Brittany Gutermuth. Learn More >