Indian rice paddies

The Climate Change and Human Health project is designed to provide educators with the resources to engage high school students in critical thinking about climate change and the potential impact on human health across the planet. Activities developed for this project all use an interactive geospatial globe called CHANGE Viewer, to view and access climate and human related datasets. This tool is a customized and enhanced NASA World Wind portal that can be launched from any computer with an internet connection and Adobe Flash. Using geospatial visualization tools in the classroom offers experiences that provide a deeper understanding of the impacts of global climate change on humans. CHANGE Viewer allows examining climate data at a global scale and zooming down to any location on the Earth’s surface.

The activity themes explored in this project include: Disease, Migration, Natural Disasters, Food Security, Desertification, Rising Sea Levels and Water Resources. Each activity allows users to examine climate data trends, both historic and predictive, while estimating how many people might be impacted through the changes. Estimating populations is made possible through the Population Estimation Tool developed by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). Activities will start becoming available in summer of 2012.

In addition to developing activities that examine various impacts of climate change on human health, hands-on teacher training workshops will be conducted for teachers to learn how to use the resources in their classrooms. During the summers of 2012 and 2013, teachers from across the country will have the opportunity to take part in these workshops.

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