Why Global Climate Change Education?
The Global Climate Change and Human Health project supported by NASA’s Global Climate Change in Education program is an opportunity for the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology (IAGT) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) to engage educators in using innovative technologies to explore climate change in the classroom.
This project developed from existing collaborations and missions of both organizations, while continuing to address the need to connect science, research and resources used by scientists to classrooms and educational environments for youth.
Why use GIS to explore climate change and human health?
Since 2002, IAGT and CIESIN have partnered to bring geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning system (GPS) and remote sensing to educational environments by providing training to educators across the country. Over the years, the geospatial educational trainings integrated new technologies and content focus areas, including water resource management, alternative energies and climate science, to meet the interests of educators.
IAGT and CIESIN have internationally recognized experience working with climate change data, geospatial resources and conducting and participating in research studies. Through these experiences and resources, it was envisioned that this project could bring together two climate science geospatial visualization tools, developed with prior funding from NASA, to help students and educators understand how climate change will impact human health. The two geospatial tools were SERVIR-Viz and the Population Estimation Tool.
IAGT Climate Change Projects
In 2004, IAGT has developed the SERVIR-Viz application for the SERVIR project, a regional visualization and monitoring system for Mesoamerica. SERVIR-Viz is a customized NASA World Wind application that provides Earth science observation and predicative modeling capabilities to decision makers in Mesoamerica to have a better understanding of dynamic environmental and ecological issues. To increase the functionality of SERVIR-Viz, plug-in’s were developed to provide environmental ministries additional datasets and tools to make informed decision. One plug-in, used in this project, is the Climate Mapper. The Climate Mapper provides SERVIR-Viz users easy access to modeled climate change projections around the world for the 2030s and 2050s as well as historical temperature and precipitation data.
To support research and communication on climate change topics and dissemination of climate change related data, the Climate 1-Stop geoportal was developed. The Climate 1-Stop provides a “one stop shop” for climate chance science, analysis, assessment and information for decision making. Climate and environmental experts use the Climate 1-Stop to stay informed and share information with researchers, decision makers, and other interested governments and organizations.
CIESIN Climate Change Projects
CIESIN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences focusing on interdisciplinary research related to human interaction in the environment. CIESIN is host to NASA’s Socioeconomic Data Application Center (SEDAC), and information gateway to socioeconomic and earth science data. CIESIN has led and participated in a number of climate change impact studies. Supporting the National Intelligence Council’s National Intelligence Assessment on the security implications of climate change, impact studies developed quantitative indicators of aggregate vulnerability to climate change, of exposure to potential sea-level rise, and of water scarcity. CIESIN is also working with the Consortium for Conservation Medicine on a project aimed at developing spatial models capable of explaining and predicting patterns of emerging infectious disease outbreaks.
The Population Estimation Service, used in this project, is a Web-based application that enables users to draw a polygon over an area of interest to get an estimate of the population residing in the area and other parametric statistics.
IAGT is located on the campus of Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York.
CIESIN is located within the Earth Institute at Columbia University in Palisades, New York.
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