The Office of Faculty Development

Teaching Climate Change & Resilience

Climate anxiety among students, faculty, and staff is real, and how we teach about climate change could be making it worse. We’ve seen ecological impacts in our communities and throughout the world in recent years and we know that action on climate change is vital to our future.

We provide resources focused on solutions that inspire teachers to integrate climate change and resilience into their course materials to advocate for actionable change in our classrooms.

"Historically, the central role of education has been to socialize the young and to ensure continuity in society, whether indigenous, pre-modern, or modern. In stable conditions, this reproduction function is sufficient. But not in volatile and uncertain times, when the future will not be a linear extension of the past and when social innovation, creativity, and experimentation is critically important. The contradiction now is that the more we try to ensure continuity by doing more of the same, the greater the prospects for a discontinuous and chaotic future become." -Stephen Sterling - Educating for the Future We Want(opens in new window), May 2021

In the News 

Featured Book

a cityscape in the background and octopus tentacles intertwined with text

The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience by Rob Verchick(opens in new window)

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  • Books on Climate Change & Resilience

    A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety(opens in new window) 
    Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice. A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the essential guidebook for the climate generation—and perhaps the rest of us—as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time.

    Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators(opens in new window)
    Starting with the basics of climate science and climate change public opinion, Armstrong, Krasny, and Schuldt synthesize research from environmental psychology and climate change communication, weaving in examples of environmental education applications throughout this practical book. Each chapter covers a separate topic, from how environmental psychology explains the complex ways in which people interact with climate change information to communication strategies with a focus on framing, metaphors, and messengers .

    Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming(opens in new window)
    One hundred techniques and practices are described in Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming--some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination.

    Facing the Climate Emergency(opens in new window)
    Drawing on facts about the climate, tenets of psychological theory, information about the climate emergency movement and elements of memoir, Facing the Climate Emergency includes:  

    • How to face the climate crisis and accept your fears, anger, grief, guilt, and other emotions
    • Turning negative feelings into tangible action to respond to the crisis
    • Rising to heroism, becoming a "climate warrior," and maximizing your impact by joining the Climate Emergency Movement
    • Support, including further reading, questions for self-reflection, and exercises to complete with like-minded groups

    Making Climate Change History(opens in new window) 
    This collection pulls together key documents from the scientific and political history of climate change, including congressional testimony, scientific papers, newspaper editorials, court cases, and international declarations.

    Resilience for All: Striving for Equity Through Community-Driven Design(opens in new window)
    In an effort to overcome power imbalances and ensure local knowledge informs decision-making, a new approach to community engagement is essential. In Resilience for All, Barbara Brown Wilson looks at less conventional, but often more effective methods to make communities more resilient.

    Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World(opens in new window)
    Increasingly, cracks are appearing in the capacity of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes to provide the goods and services that sustain our planet's well-being. The response from most quarters has been for "more of the same" that created the situation in the first place: more control, more intensification, and greater efficiency. "Resilience thinking" offers a different way of understanding the world and a new approach to managing resources.

    Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities(opens in new window)
    This book highlights how humanities disciplines can mobilize the creative and critical power of students, teachers, and communities to confront climate change. The book is divided into four clear sections to help readers integrate climate change into the classes and topics they are already teaching as well as engage with interdisciplinary methods and techniques. Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities constitutes a map and toolkit for anyone who wishes to draw upon the strengths of literary and cultural studies to teach valuable lessons that engage with climate change.

    Teaching Climate Change in the United States(opens in new window)
    This book highlights best practices in climate change education through the analysis of a rich collection of case studies that showcase educational programs across the United States.   Framed against the political backdrop of a country in which climate change denial presents a significant threat to global action for mitigation and adaptation, each case study examines the various strategies employed by those working in this increasingly challenging sociopolitical environment.

    Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents(opens in new window)
    The book illustrates climate change fitting into existing courses using already available materials and gives teachers tools and teaching ideas to support building this into their own classrooms. A variety of teacher and student voices makes for an appealing, fast-paced, and inspiring read. Visit the website for this book for additional information and links.

    Teaching When the World Is on Fire (opens in new window)
    A timely collection of advice and strategies for creating a just classroom from educators across the country, handpicked by MacArthur Genius and bestselling author Lisa Delpit'A favorite education book of the year.'—Greater Good magazine Is it okay to discuss politics in class? What are constructive ways to help young people process the daily news coverage of sexual assault? How can educators engage students around Black Lives Matter? Climate change? Confederate statue controversies? Immigration? Hate speech? In Teaching When the World Is on Fire, Delpit turns to a host of crucial issues facing teachers in these tumultuous times.

    Teaching climate change for grades 6-12 : empowering science teachers to take on the climate crisis through NGSS(opens in new window)
    Looking to tackle climate change and climate science in your classroom? This timely and insightful book supports and enables secondary science teachers to develop effective curricula ready to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by grounding their instruction on the climate crisis.

    The Climate Change Playbook(opens in new window)
    The simple, interactive exercises in The Climate Change Playbook can help citizens better understand climate change, diagnose its causes, anticipate its future consequences, and effect constructive change. Adapted from The Systems Thinking Playbook, the twenty-two games are now specifically relevant to climate-change communications and crafted for use by experts, advocates, and educators. Illustrated guidelines walk leaders through setting each game up, facilitating it, and debriefing participants. Users will find games that are suitable for a variety of audiences―whether large and seated, as in a conference room, or smaller and mobile, as in a workshop, seminar, or meeting.

    The Community Resilience Reader(opens in new window)
    The  Community Resi lience Reader offers a new vision for creating resilience, through essays by leaders in such varied fields as science, policy, community building, and urban design. The Community Resi lience Reader combines a fresh look at the challenges humanity faces in the 21st century, the essential tools of resilience science, and the wisdom of activists, scholars, and analysts working with community issues on the ground.

    The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels(opens in new window)
    For decades, environmentalists have told us that using fossil fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better.   How can this be?   The explanation, energy expert Alex Epstein argues in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, is that we usually hear only one side of the story. We’re taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives—their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable  energy, Epstein argues, is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental.  

    What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming(opens in new window)
    In What We Think About When We Try Not to  Think About Global Warming, Stoknes not only masterfully identifies the five main psychological barriers to climate action, but addresses them with five strategies for how to talk about global warming in a way that creates action and solutions, not further inaction and despair.

    Farming While Black : Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land (opens in new window)
    In 1920, 14 percent of all land-owning US farmers were black. Today less than 2 percent of farms are controlled by black people--a loss of over 14 million acres and the result of discrimination and dispossession. While farm management is among the whitest of professions, farm labor is predominantly brown and exploited, and people of color disproportionately live in "food apartheid" neighborhoods and suffer from diet-related illness. The system is built on stolen land and stolen labor and needs a redesign. Farming While Black is the first comprehensive "how to" guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists and for all farmers to understand the distinct, technical contributions of African-heritage people to sustainable agriculture.

    All We Can Save : Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis(opens in new window)
    Provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward. There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it's clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial table. More than a problem of bias, it's a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone. All We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States--scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and race--and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis.

    Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability(opens in new window)
    Reframing the Curriculum is a practical, hands-on guide to weaving the concepts of healthy communities, democratic societies, and social justice into academic disciplines. Developed for future and practicing teachers, this volume is perfect for teacher education courses in instructional design, social foundations, and general education, as well as for study in professional learning communities. The author outlines the philosophies, movements, and narratives shaping the future, both in and out of classrooms, and then challenges readers to consider the larger story and respond with curriculum makeovers that engage students in solving problems in their schools, communities, and the larger world.

  • Resources on Curriculum Design and Instruction

    Project Drawdown(opens in new window)
    Founded in 2014, Project Drawdown® is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “drawdown”—the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. 

    Cities, universities, corporations, philanthropies, policymakers, communities, educators, activists, and more turn to Project Drawdown as they look to advance effective climate action.

    Climate Solutions 101(opens in new window)
    Climate Solutions 101 is the world’s first major educational effort focused solely on solutions. Rather than rehashing well-known climate challenges, Project Drawdown centers game-changing climate action based on its own rigorous scientific research and analysis. This course, presented in video units and in-depth conversations, combines Project Drawdown’s trusted resources with the expertise of several inspiring voices from around the world.  

    Climate Solutions at Work(opens in new window)
    Climate Solutions at Work, presented by Drawdown Labs, is a how-to guide for employees looking to make every job a climate job. The all-encompassing climate crisis demands an equally expansive system of solutions, calling on everyone, everywhere to find their inroad—especially in the workplace.  

    Project Drawdown Dialogues(opens in new window)
    Project Drawdown Dialogues—a brand-new series hosted by Matt Scott—brings climate solutions to vibrant life. Dive into the best solutions we have in-hand today through conversations with people focused on a safer climate future. Join youth and climate-focused professionals as they share their stories and perspectives—inspiring others who want to follow in their footsteps or carve their own path.

    Drawdown Learn™(opens in new window)
    Drawdown Learn™ is a broad initiative to encourage education and learning about climate solutions based on Project Drawdown’s research, analysis, and insights. 

    Through our programs and partnerships, we engage people of all ages in climate solutions and create new ways of teaching and learning about how the world can reach Drawdown. 

    Project Drawdown’s Linktree from CCR-FLC(opens in new window) 
    Find your climate solutions role by exploring these resources.

    U.S. Career Institute Guide to Green Careers(opens in new window)
    As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, businesses and organizations are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. As part of this effort, careers in sustainability and green jobs are becoming more prevalent. Sustainability professionals work on identifying how a company's operations can be made more environmentally friendly. Green career options exist across numerous fields, from energy extraction to building design to landscaping. With the right education, a world of job options focused on environmentally conscious practices can open up to you.

    All We Can Save Resources and Curriculum 

    All We Can Save Project(opens in new window)
    Nurturing a welcoming, connected, and leaderful climate community, rooted in the work and wisdom of women, to grow a life-giving future. Welcome to the feminist climate renaissance. We’re glad you’re here. 

    All We Can Save Project for Educators(opens in new window)
    The All We Can Save Project is on a mission to embed climate truth, courage, and just solutions in education — and to make it exceedingly easy to use the anthology within classrooms and beyond.  We’re so glad you’re here for the journey. 

    Resources for Working with Climate Emotions(opens in new window)
    The All We Can Save Project teamed up with Britt Wray of Gen Dread to develop this shortlist of resources created specifically for navigating the emotional terrain of climate. For people who have completed an All We Can Save Circle and are looking for more support in this area, you may find fruitful next steps here — to take individually or as a group. 

    Solutions Journalism Network and Solutions U Resources and Curriculum 

    Solutions Journalism(opens in new window)
    Our mission is to transform journalism so that all people have access to news that helps them envision and build a more equitable and sustainable world. We believe that journalism needs a major disruption. Around the globe, societies are reeling from inequality, conflict, racism, political dysfunction and environmental crises.  

    Teaching Climate Change Resilience Landing Page(opens in new window)
    This is a special landing page for the California State University educators who joined the Teaching Climate Change & Resilience faculty learning community in Spring 2022.   

    Integrate Resources and Curriculum  

    InTeGrate(opens in new window)
    InTeGrate supports faculty in bringing sustainability education -- helping students learn about Earth through the lens of grand societal challenges -- to their classrooms and campuses. This website provides concrete materials you can download and use in your classroom, with hundreds of detailed examples of how educators across the country are bringing sustainability education to their classrooms, departments, and institutions. 

    Integrate Matrix (Google Doc)
    Integrate matrix created by Rachel Teasdale for the CSU Faculty Learning Community on Teaching Climate Change and Resilience displaying which modules are best for which classes. 
    Climate Anxiety and Emotions  

    Climate Change Teaching Materials(opens in new window)
    In this two-to-three-week module, students explore short-term climate variability resulting from atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions. The module promotes awareness of past and contemporary cultures and regions strongly affected by permanently altered or increasingly uncertain climates as students consider human adaptation to climate fluctuations.  

    Climate Change Enters the Therapy Room(opens in new window)
    Ten years ago, psychologists proposed that a wide range of people would suffer anxiety and grief over climate. Skepticism about that idea is gone. 

    Climate Anxiety is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon(opens in new window)
    The climate movement is ascendant, and it has become common to see climate change as a social justice issue. Climate change and its effects—pandemics, pollution, natural disasters—are not universally or uniformly felt: the people and communities suffering most are disproportionately Black, Indigenous and people of color.   

    The Coming Age of Climate Trauma(opens in new window)
    Story about Paradise - Three years after a devastating wildfire, a California community faces another crisis: PTSD. Is what’s happening there a warning to the rest of us? 

    Young People's Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon (opens in new window)
    Climate change has significant implications for the health and futures of children and young people, yet they have little power to limit its harm, making them vulnerable to increased climate anxiety. Qualitative studies show climate anxiety is associated with perceptions of inadequate action by adults and governments, feelings of betrayal, abandonment and moral injury. This study offers the first large-scale investigation of climate anxiety in children and young people globally and its relationship to government response. 

    Don’t Look Up - The First Climate Psych film?(opens in new window)
    Director Adam McKay took the invitation to create the first climate comedy (something climate communicators have been begging someone to try for a while) and managed to avoid the “hyperobject” of the climate crisis, by not mentioning the climate at all. Philosopher Timothy Morton describes hyperobjects as things that are so overwhelming and all-encompassing that we can’t see where they start or stop, and therefore can’t assess where to even engage with them honestly, let alone intervene.  

    A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety; How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet (opens in new window)
    A youth movement is reenergizing global environmental activism. The “climate generation”—late millennials and iGen, or Generation Z—is demanding that policy makers and government leaders take immediate action to address the dire outcomes predicted by climate science.  

    Welcome to the Existential Toolkit - A Growing Hub of Resources for Climate Justice Educators(opens in new window)
    With feelings of climate anxiety and eco-grief on the rise, educators across disciplines need resources to help students develop the emotional resilience to stay engaged in the work of climate justice. This toolkit helps educators and students navigate the long emergency ahead without becoming overwhelmed by despair. The resources in this project have been crowdsourced from an international community of scholars, educators, and climate justice leaders focused on addressing the emotional impact of climate disruption.

  • Climate Café

    Hosted by Kim Michl on December 2nd, 2022.

    Climate Café is a safe, non-judgemental, action and commitment-free space to explore thoughts and feelings around the climate crisis. Kim provided natural objects that were used as facilitation tools, information on local organizations that are doing regenerative work, suggestions on literature, also a directory of climate-aware clinicians partnered with the Climate Psychology Alliance.

    Read more(opens in new window) about Climate Café gatherings and Kim's work at the South Chico Community Assistance Center.

  • Generation Dread by Britt Wray

    Dr. Britt Wray(opens in new window) is a Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health. Her research focuses on the mental health impacts of the ecological crisis. Britt is the creator of the weekly newsletter about “staying sane in the climate crisis” Gen Dread(opens in new window)  and author of   Generation Dread: FindingPurpose in an Age of Climate Crisis  (Knopf 2022).  Britt has a PhD in Science Communication from the University of Copenhagen. Her first book is Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction (Greystone Books 2017). She has hosted several podcasts, radio & TV programs with the BBC and CBC, and is a TED speaker.  

    Profile in Macleans(opens in new window)

    Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis

    book cover titled generation dread britt wray   Britt Wray info poster

    An impassioned generational perspective on how to stay sane amid climate disruption. 
    Climate and environment-related fears and anxieties are on the rise everywhere. As with any type of stress, eco-anxiety can lead to lead to burnout, avoidance, or a disturbance of daily functioning.  
    In Generation Dread, Britt Wray seamlessly merges scientific knowledge with emotional insight to show how these intense feelings are a healthy response to the troubled state of the world. The first crucial step toward becoming an engaged steward of the planet is connecting with our climate emotions, seeing them as a sign of humanity, and learning how to live with them.  

    “A rare look at the internal work required to meaningfully confront the existential threats climate change poses to our institutions, our futures, and our selves. If you are ready to feel through eco-anxiety, grieve what’s lost, and imagine what comes next, read this courageous book.” — Naomi Klein, author of On Fire                                                                                                                                                             

    Can We Turn Climate Anxiety into Purpose? | The Agenda (opens in new window)
  • Miseducation by Katie Worth

    Investigator  Katie Worth(opens in new window) grew up in Chico, California, just a few miles from Paradise, site of the most damaging wildfire in California history. Katie wrote the book  Miseducation: How Climate Change is Taught in America(opens in new window), the alarming story of how climate denialism was implanted in millions of school children. During her reporting for  Miseducation, she returned to her old middle school to find that climate change is being taught there as the subject of a scientific dispute, not a proven reality.

    "I'd like for people to read [this book] and be surprised and start asking questions about what's happening in their kids' schools and their state legislature." -Katie Worth

    Press Release (PDF) |  Video Recording(opens in new window)

  • This Way to Sustainability Conference

    This Way to Sustainability (TWTS) Conference  is a nationally recognized, student-run conference focusing on challenges, ideas, and solutions to the climate crisis. Our goal is to raise awareness, build community, and plan for a more resilient/sustainable future. The conference hosts 1,400 participants each year with a variety of respected students and professionals speaking on the many aspects of sustainability. 

  • 2021-2022 Faculty Learning Community

    In Spring 2022, Faculty Development supported a Teaching Climate Change & Resilience (TCCR) Faculty Learning Community (FLC) led by Dr. Mark Stemen. This was the first multi-campus faculty learning community in the history of the California State University system. Participants were invited to think about teaching and learning with a focus on climate change and resilience.  

    Interested in offering a Teaching Climate Change faculty learning community? Read these guidelines (PDF) (PDF). 

    TCCR poster

    View an accessible version of the Teaching Climate Change & Resilience Poster (PDF).

    View a comprehensive list of resources (Google Doc) (Google Doc) compiled from the Spring 2022 FLC. 

    A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety(opens in new window) 
    Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice. A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the essential guidebook for the climate generation—and perhaps the rest of us—as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time.  

    Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators(opens in new window)
    Starting with the basics of climate science and climate change public opinion, Armstrong, Krasny, and Schuldt synthesize research from environmental psychology and climate change communication, weaving in examples of environmental education applications throughout this practical book. Each chapter covers a separate topic, from how environmental psychology explains the complex ways in which people interact with climate change information to communication strategies with a focus on framing, metaphors, and messengers .

  • 2020-2021 Workshops

    In Spring 2021, faculty from all disciplines were encouraged to attend the workshops, network with peers, and be inspired to integrate climate change and resilience into their course materials.  The workshops were facilitated by Dr. Richard Widick (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Dr. Mark Stemen (California State University, Chico) and were held via Zoom. 

    Climate Change and Resilience in GE Courses
    Wednesday, February 10 - 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Video Recording(opens in new window)

    Climate Change & Resilience Research and Instruction
    Friday, February 26 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Video Recording(opens in new window) 

    Climate Change Locally and Abroad
    Tuesday, March 9 - 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. | Video Recording(opens in new window)

    Workshop Reflection and Networking
    Friday, March 26 at This Way To Sustainability Conference(opens in new window)

    Guide: "A Teacher's Guide to UC-CSU NXTerra" by Richard Widick (UCSB) (PDF)

    Discussion: Watch a video playlist(opens in new window) of faculty who discuss incorporating climate change and/or resilience into course content by describing the change they made and the impact it had on students.