Project Name: The Polar Learning and Responding Climate Change Education Partnership (PoLAR CCEP)

Location: Based at Columbia University in the City of New York, with national and international partners and collaborators

Date Established: September 15, 2010

Who We Are: The PoLAR Partnership is an interdisciplinary collaboration that includes experts in polar climate science, formal and informal education, learning theory, game design, and climate change communication.

Mission: The Polar Learning and Responding Climate Change Education Partnership (PoLAR CCEP) seeks to inform public understanding of and response to climate change through the creation of novel educational approaches that utilize fascination with shifting polar environments and are geared towards lifelong learners.

What We Do:

  • Utilize key principles of serious game design to develop innovative approaches for climate change education that promote problem-solving, systems thinking, and community building
  • Capitalize on the iconic imagery of the Arctic and Antarctic to engage in discussions about broader impacts, especially as the changes taking place in the polar regions are increasingly linked to concerns about rising sea levels and extreme weather around the globe
  • Target adult learners, be they community leaders, the general public, pre- and in-service teachers, or college students, who are today’s decision makers and are more likely to make informed decisions if they understand the scientific evidence of climate change and its social, economic, and environmental consequences
  • Provide transformative educational tools and resources that are easy to disseminate and exciting to use in homes, museums, classrooms, and communities

What We Offer:

Audience: Pre- and in-service teachers; professors; college students; Arctic communities; families; climate scientists and researchers

Collaborators/Partners: Polar climate scientists, formal and informal educators, game designers, climate change communication specialists, decision science experts, museums, community-based organizations, NGOs

Whom to Contact: Jessica Brunacini, Program Manager, jbrunacini@ei.columbia.edu

Name & Affiliations of Principal Investigators, Co-Principal Investigators:

PI: Stephanie Pfirman, Barnard College

Co-PIs: Joey Lee, Columbia University’s Teachers College

Peter Schlosser, Columbia University

Elena Sparrow, University of Alaska

Robert Steiner, American Museum of Natural History

Key Project Partners: Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Barnard College, Games Research Lab at Teachers College, University of Alaska Fairbanks, American Museum of Natural History, International Arctic Research Center, University of New Hampshire, Ken Eklund Writerguy LLC, Association of Interior Native Educators, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Center for New Media in Teaching and Learning, Museum of the North, Arctic Institute of North America