An unexpected role that many NCSE Teacher Ambassadors take on is that of expert witness. They are experts on teaching climate change and evolution and on dealing with doubts—and sometimes challenges—in their communities. This makes them perfect targets for reporters who contact NCSE looking for teachers in the trenches they can talk to about climate change and evolution education.
We’ve connected quite a few of our Teacher Ambassadors to local news outlets and national publications. Here’s a roundup of articles that have featured their voices and experiences (click the headlines to jump to the article):
The most recent article to quote our teachers is “A Matter of Facts: Teaching Climate Change” by Leslie Nemo, which appeared in the School Library Journal. Teacher Ambassadors Kim Parfitt and Turtle Haste were quoted extensively in the article, which describes how they have dealt with the challenges of teaching climate change. They explain how they are able to teach the complicated subject in ways that are engaging and relevant.
Teacher Ambassador Jason Carter was featured in his local Asheville, North Carolina, newspaper, Mountain Xpress. We were pleased that one of our teacher ambassadors got such local recognition, and reporter Daniel Walton interviewed me as well as Jason to highlight what we are doing at NCSE with our Teacher Ambassador Program. The article also describes all the amazing things Jason has already done as an environmental educator.
Teacher Ambassador Karen Hibdon was similarly featured in her local paper The Missourian. The article also quoted both Karen and me, which allowed me to brag about Karen and explain the impact she will have on her community by being an NCSE Teacher Ambassador.
Perhaps the lengthiest piece that includes quotes from our teachers is an article by Sean Patrick which appeared in the online magazine Undark. The article quotes Kelly Pipes, Nina Corley, Erin Stutzman, and me extensively; also featured is friend of NCSE Brandon Haught. The article goes into depth about the many challenges to climate change education in Florida and across the country. The NCSE Teacher Ambassadors provide eye witness accounts of these challenges and discuss innovative ways they’ve found to deal with the issue.
NCSE Teacher Ambassador Erin Stutzman was part of the effort to block the elimination of climate change from the Idaho state science standards. Erin was quoted in two New York Times articles. In this piece. Erin was quoted along with some of her students who testified at a state legislature committee hearing.
This follow-up article helped bolster Erin’s students’ case and helped them be heard. Idaho eventually adopted state standards that included climate change thanks in large part to the publicity the students received in the media.
All of this exposure our Teacher Ambassadors are garnering is only the beginning, however. Keep your eyes on the NCSEteach newsletter for updates on articles that could appear soon. I have connected many of our teachers with reporters who are working on articles for publications as varied as PBS Frontline, the Associated Press, and even Asahi Shimbun, the largest daily newspaper in Japan.
We couldn’t be prouder of our teacher ambassadors and the impact they are having, and we wanted to share all of the great news they are making.