Teaching Climate Change Essentials

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About this course

Teaching Climate Change Essentials is a nine-week 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.

PGS Marketing Elementary school teacher and students with raised hands

Start Dates and Fees

PD hours/CEU Course: $174

Graduate Credit Course: $384

2021 Start Dates:
September 13 | October 4 | November 1

Course Outcomes

The Teaching Climate Change Essentials course 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.

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 professional development hours, Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Graduate Credit.

Looking for a scholarship for professional development?

We are proud to offer scholarship opportunities for the Teaching Climate Change Essentials course. To apply, please email our K-12 team with the following:

  • Your name, role and school district
  • A 500-word description of your need for the scholarship 
  • A 500-word statement of the benefits you expect from incorporating climate education in your classroom

We hope to see you in class!

Course Overview

  • Duration9 weeks
  • Modules9
  • Live Webinars3
  • 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 45 PD hours, 4.5 CEUs or 3 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.

Scholarship for teacher professional development_badge

Meet the Facilitators & Subject Matter Experts

PGS Marketing Alyson Mike headshot

Alyson Mike

The outdoors has always played a key part in Alyson’s life. During her career as a middle and high school science teacher, Alyson was selected to represent Montana as the state’s Teacher of the Year and received both the Milken Educator Award and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. As a lifelong educator, Alyson is deeply committed to building scientific literacy among youth to help them become true stewards of the environment.

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.

Ken Ard

Ken Ard has always been deeply connected to food and his environment. He grew up in Northern California and learning the basics of cooking from his mother and grandmother, who he feels awed managed to consistently craft nourishing, healthy meals using the fruits and vegetables grown in the family garden. Ken seeks to engage food through the lens of sustainability and believes what and how we eat is a key ingredient in approaching the climate crisis.

PGS Marketing Wilford Welch headshot

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.


Do you offer any scholarship opportunities? How can I apply for financial aid?

Yes! Our vision is to equip teachers with the tools they need to clearly and confidently teach about climate change and global warming, despite financial limitations. Thanks to our funders, we are able to offer generous scholarships for to teachers wishing to take this course for PD hours or CEUs.

If you are looking for financial support to enroll, please email with your name, role, and school district, as well as a 500-word description of your need for the scholarship and a 500-word statement sharing the benefits and outcomes you expect in your classroom and/or community as a result of incorporating climate education in your curriculum. In your description of need, please help the Scholarship Committee understand how this scholarship is essential to your participation in the program, and why it would not be feasible for you to attend without financial support.

We hope to see you in class!

Note: scholarships are not available for those taking the course for Graduate Credits.

As an educator I want to support climate literacy, but I’m not a science teacher! Is the K-12 Climate 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.

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