College of Education

Impact on Science Education

Home Teacher Education Opportunities Research Our Projects

Ecosystem Ecology Workshop: Insights into Climate Change


Status: Completed (July 2008–May 2012)


The Ecosystem Ecology Workshop: Insights into Climate Change is an opportunity for junior high and high school teachers to interact with nationally and internationally acclaimed ecologists involved in cutting-edge research at the University of Illinois. The workshop includes scientific presentations, discussions, and original lesson plans all aimed at helping teachers incorporate ecosystem science and paleoecological concepts into their classrooms. The emphasis is on current climate change topics, ongoing research, and “real data.” The goals of this project are to provide an introduction to core concepts related to climate change, ecosystems, and paleoecology; develop a framework for engaging students in critical thinking about ecology; provide dynamic tools and lesson plans for teachers; and build bridges between educators, scientists, and students.

Outcomes and Opportunities

The Ecosystem Ecology Workshop produced free curriculum materials available online at the website above. The curriculum materials include a series of seven modules (lessons) that support the teaching of the science behind climate change. Materials, lesson plans, and more details are available on the project's website above.

Partners and Funding

Education experts at Impact on Science Education partnered with members of Dr. Feng Sheng Hu's lab in ecosystem ecology and paleoecology to create the curriculum materials and teacher workshops for the Ecosystem Ecology Workshops. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation through Award No. DEB0816610.