History of PCC Community Engagement
PCC Graduate Certificate Capstone Projects
High School Teacher/Climate Scientist Partnerships
Community Requests
Beyond PCC Outreach


History of PCC Community Engagement

When the PCC began in 2001 one of our goals was to create a strong community of graduate students, staff, and faculty engaged in interdisciplinary climate education and research. This climate community includes many passionate about bringing climate science to the general public. When public demand for global climate change information became apparent, Jim Murray, PCC Founding Director, engaged a PCC-fellow (Roel Hammerschlag) to organize ongoing outreach efforts and develop our first slide library. In 2006 Murray also organized our first training event where Philip Mote (then Washington State Climatologist), Mike Wallace (Professor, Atmospheric Sciences) and Marcia Baker (now emeritus UW faculty in Earth and Space Science and Atmospheric Science), all experienced outreach speakers, discussed the intricacies of presenting climate change issues to the general public. Since then PCC outreach has grown to include formal training in science communication and the thoughtful partnering of students participating in the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science with appropriate community need. We are also now funded to work with high school teachers to develop climate-related curriculum. Our outreach efforts continue to evolve, responding to opportunity and demand.

PCC Graduate Certificate Capstone Projects

A majority of current climate research is motivated by the need to better advise society about likely consequences of greenhouse warming and how they might depend on our actions. PCC faculty have designed core courses that aim to give students the holistic appreciation of the earth system required to scientifically contribute to this discussion, including an appreciation of uncertainties. However, as scientists we also need to translate this perspective, to find better ways to communicate new climate science findings to other scientists and professionals, policy-makers and advocates, the public and to students of all levels. Many PCC students are currently already informally involved in outreach or peer-communication activities, but the capstone allows these activities to be structured into a formal training with a stronger and more systematic educational element. Please visit our GCeCS theme page for examples of recent capstone projects.

High School Teacher/Climate Scientist Partnerships

Currently the centerpiece of this program is the creation of a new high school course on climate change offered through the UW in the High School Program whereby students will receive UW credit. The course will be taught by high school teachers, but inspired by NASA education and data resources. Funded by 2010 NASA GCCE grant to LuAnne Thompson, Professor of Oceanography. Please visit our GCCE home page for more information (coming soon).

Community Requests

We are committed to bringing the public up-to-date on the background and issues related to global warming and climate variability, on a global and regional scale. Our graduate students, scientists and staff fill requests from elementary, middle and high schools, community colleges, rotary clubs, church groups, and more; we man booths at fairs, and provide expertise at conferences and panel discussions. We work closely with the PNW Climate Impacts Group, who focuses on the impacts of climate change to the Pacific Northwest, to bring the most appropriate speakers to your event and continue to welcome new opportunities to talk with the public about climate related issues.


To request a speaker, please submit an on-line request through this link.

Beyond PCC Outreach

Outreach takes many forms and many organizations within the UW College of the Environment work with the community to convey information and the excitement of scientific inquiry. To find out more, visit our listing of environmental science outreach groups at UW and beyond.


For more information about any of the UW PCC outreach and education projects please contact Miriam in the PCC Office (206-543-6521 or uwpcc@u.washington.edu)