Ben Champion, D.Phil.* - Kansas State University
An NSF-funded Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) effort based at Kansas State University is currently studying the sources of climate change skepticism among agricultural and rural communities in this Central Great Plains region of the US. The focus of this research is to work with local stakeholders to outline new educational programs that can empower agricultural and rural communities toward decision-making informed by regional climate science as well as adaptation and mitigation sciences. Through a series of focus groups with agricultural producers, rural community members, and agricultural and science teachers of the region, the project is investigating the triggers of climate skepticism among the general public as well as these stakeholders' needs for climate information. Through inventories of existing climate education resources and delivery models, the project has investigated potential education programs to address these needs. This presentation will describe the early findings of the Central Great Plains Climate Education Partnership and the challenges identified for empowering healthy public discourse and decision-making informed by climate, adaptation, and mitigation sciences.