a need for greater clarity regarding the goals, audiences, and effective practices in climate change education. Consequently, for the first workshop, the roundtable decided to focus on the goals of climate change education for various target audiences and the potential challenges in reaching those goals across the range of these audiences, among both the public and decision makers. The Steering Committee on Climate Change Education Goals and Objectives was thus established by the NRC to conceptualize and conduct a workshop not only to inform the roundtable members, but also to address a broader stakeholder community; attendees of the workshop included climate change education researchers, educational practitioners, government agencies, nonprofit institutions, and information users. This summary will be made available to these communities and can be shared with and distributed throughout their networks.
A second workshop will be held to address climate change education in formal education settings, including grades kindergarten through high school and undergraduate studies.
Workshop Goals and Organization
The overarching goal of the workshop, held in Washington, DC, on October 21 and 22, 2010, was to advance transdisciplinary climate change education efforts undertaken by various climate change educators and stakeholders by developing a common understanding of the range of climate change education goals, the various audiences for climate change education, and strategies that are effective for addressing specific goals with specific audiences. The steering committee—representing expertise spanning behavior and decision science, psychology, sociology, environmental science, climate science, and the learning sciences—planned and implemented the workshop, focusing on two primary topics: public understanding and decision maker support. In an effort to provide a common frame for the workshop participants, the steering committee based the initial assumptions about climate change on the recent NRC report Advancing the Science of Climate Change: that climate change is happening, is based largely on human actions, and is supported by multiple lines of scientific evidence (National Research Council, 2010a). Beyond this initial assumption, the workshop did not discuss, nor intend to explore, the science of climate change or related climate issues but rather to confine the discussions to informing the climate change education community.
To explore these topics, the steering committee structured the workshop to provide ample opportunity for discussion among expert researchers and practitioners in complementary fields that often operate in relative isolation from one another. These fields include decision making and risk analysis, education, learning and cognitive science, behavioral and envi-