About: Our People Our Climate

Abstract

This project began with creation of a curriculum for a synchronous online course on the visualization of climate change in Arctic, mid-latitude as well as tropical locations, namely Canada (Nunavut), Honduras, Mexico, Colombia and the United States (Duluth, MN). Local partner organizations include the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative/Dorset Fine Arts (WBEC) (Toronto and Kinngait, Canada), and GRULAC Junior (The Latin American and Caribbean Regional Youth Group).

The program will engage high-school students and young adults in learning about two interrelated components: a) climate change evidence and visualization, utilizing and contributing to the Climate Visuals framework (https://climatevisuals.org/), and b) professional photography/videography. Students will learn about existing evidence for climate change in different biomes across the globe, utilize the key principles of visualizing climate change, and practice how to use photography and documentary filmmaking to collect evidence of climate change in their communities, ultimately creating professional photography and short 3-minute documentary films.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

The program engaged Inuit students in Nunavut, and students at schools across Central/South America in learning about two interrelated components: a) climate change evidence and visualization (Hirji 2017, Moser 1016), utilizing and contributing to the Climate Visuals framework (https://climatevisuals.org/), and b) professional photography/videography. Students will learn about existing evidence for climate change in different biomes across the globe (Slovic 2016), utilize the key principles of visualizing climate change, and practice how to use photography and documentary filmmaking to collect evidence of climate change in their communities, ultimately creating professional photography and short 3-minute documentary films.

The photography/videography components of this class have been piloted and tested over the course of three years with Canadian youth as a part of a 2018-2021 National Science Foundation grant (Award #1758814), and the purpose of this project is to extend the original Arctic focus of climate change visualization work across hemispheres.

The project lead, Dr. Olaf Kuhlke, connected with two schools in Central/South America that are the headquarters for GRULAC Junior through the existing Canadian partnership with WBEC, and the purpose of this grant is to expand, revise, translate and build a curriculum made for Arctic students to equatorial regions and the Southern hemisphere.

This hemispheric dialogue was piloted through synchronous Zoom meetings with a small group of Indigenous, Honduran and Colombian students from January-March 2021, the design and testing of an incubator for arts entrepreneurship started in November 2021.