Teaching Climate Change Essentials

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Teaching Climate Change

Learn the essentials for teaching about climate change.

Teaching Climate Change Essentials is a six-week teacher professional development program designed to engage and equip elementary, middle, and high schools teachers with the tools needed to successfully incorporate climate change into their classrooms, regardless of grade level, subject, or state standards. This empowering, facilitated, online program has been spearheaded by the K-12 instructional design team at Presidio Graduate School and addresses the questions and challenges around teaching climate change.

Climate education course; teaching climate change class with students with raised hands

Course Start Dates:

March 20 | May 15

Free Enrollment Thanks To Generous Funding

Thanks to generous funding we are pleased to be able to offer free enrollment to any teachers enrolling in the Teaching Climate Change Essentials course for PD hours or CEUs. 


PD hours/CEU Course: $0
Graduate Credit Course: $384

Teaching Climate Change Essentials

Course Outcomes

The Teaching Climate Change Essentials professional development moves teachers through a scaffolded exploration of climate change and global warming. By the end of this course, teachers will be able to:

  • Explain the fundamentals of climate science literacy;
  • Analyze how climate change  human impacts the planet and people, especially people in marginalized communities;
  • Design entry points to include these fundamentals in a variety of existing K-12 curricula;
  • Discover and adapt curricula and resources for use in classrooms; and
  • Compare and contrast climate change solutions that teachers and students might participate in personally, locally and globally.

These course outcomes are achieved as a result of an intentional course design and a  comprehensive course syllabus that includes nine, scaffolded weekly learning modules.

Course Overview

  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Modules 6
  • Live Webinars 3
  • Time3-5 hrs/week
  • FormatOnline
  • Class SizeMax 35

PD hours | CEUs | Graduate Credit

Course participants have the option to receive Professional Development (PD) hours, Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Graduate Credits. Participants who complete the course can claim 30 PD hours, 3 CEUs or 2 Graduate Credits.

Note: participants will need to confirm acceptance of the professional development hours or CEUs by your district or state agency. Download this pre-made email template and instructions for use to get PD hours or CEUs approved through your district.

What teachers are saying

Climate Change Essentials provided me with the valuable resources to be a better teacher of climate change. I have already used some of those resources in the classroom and my students find them engaging and motivating. Thank you!

Monica V. Pinewood School, 11th and 12th Grade Teacher, Marine and Marine Biology

I just love this course. I am constantly thinking of ways to add something to my class discussion and also linking many articles/videos to my symbaloo so I can share them with my students.

Catherine Blee, 9th Grade Earth Sciences Teacher

I think the course presented new information really well. I thought I knew a fair amount about teaching climate change, but this course really opened my eyes to the wide variety of effects of climate change that I did not know about.

Meet the Facilitators & Subject Matter Experts

Photo of facilitator Jenny Combs

Jenny Combs

Jenny was raised in rural Montana, and has always enjoyed outdoor recreational activities with her family. She has been working professionally in education for over 25 years teaching grades 7-12 math and English. Jenny earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Montana State University. She was also a finalist for the Montana Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics. Jenny transitioned to the non-profit sector to support teachers and school leaders through mentoring, instructional coaching, online facilitation, and standards-based classroom professional development. Jenny is currently the executive director of a consortium of 37 schools in Montana focused on high quality professional development and curriculum support in all content areas.

Kate Briemann

Kate Briemann grew up in in the heart of Appalachia on the oldest family-run beef farm in North America, so her love of farming was instilled early. Starting in college, she began to learn about industrial agriculture, concentrated animal feeding operations, and the policies that disincentivize small, sustainable farming—and became determined to find a better way. She has spent her career working with farm operations to drive forward and sustainable farming practices.

Photo of webinar speaker Nancy Metzger-Carter

Nancy Metzger-Carter

Nancy Metzger-Carter is the Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator at Sonoma Academy (SA) in Santa Rosa, CA and the Education Leader with Schools for Climate Action. She uses the climate resolution process as a teaching tool for high school students. Her SA students run day-to-day operations for Schools for Climate Action and have participated in over 60 meetings with congressional offices urging bold climate action. Nancy completed her Masters in Education at Prescott College where her research focused on effective sustainability education. She has been recognized as an Educator of Distinction and received recognition from the National Association of Independent Schools for her program work.

Wilford Welch Climate Education Author and Advocate

Wilford Welch

Wilford Welch has been exploring the driving forces impacting our world for more than five decades as a U.S. diplomat, business consultant, publisher, and author. Welch has written two books, one of which, In Our Hands a Handbook for Intergenerational Actions to Solve the Climate Crisis, serves as a key text in our course. Part of his lifetime commitment to sustainability has included serving as board chair of NatureBridge and National Outdoor Leadership School.

Climate Change Teaching

Participation in the Teaching Climate Change Essentials course gives K-12 educators the competencies and confidence to teach climate change within their own local context as well as recognition through teacher professional development hours, Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Graduate Credit


As an educator I want to support climate literacy, but I’m not a science teacher! Is the Teaching Climate Change Essentials course relevant for me?

Definitely! Climate Change Essentials for All Educators is built to engage, support, and equip educators with the tools they need to advance climate literacy in their classroom, regardless of grade level, subject, or state requirements.

What background knowledge is necessary to take the course?

None! We designed the course to have a small class size so that we can meet you wherever you are in terms of your climate change knowledge.

What is the time commitment for the program? Can I complete coursework on weekends?

The course is administered completely online and takes 3 to 5 hours per week. We’ve designed it to fit into teachers’ busy schedules. Related coursework can be completed during any window within each week-long module.