Publications and Presentations

Below are publications and presentations, produced by the PoLAR Partners.

'Climate Change Games as Tools for Education and Engagement'

Abstract: Scientists, educators and policymakers continue to face challenges when it comes to finding effective strategies to engage the public on climate change. We argue that games on the subject of climate change are well-suited to address these challenges because they can serve as effective tools for education and engagement. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the development of such games, many featuring innovative designs that blur traditional boundaries (for example, those that involve social media, alternative reality games, or those that involve direct action upon the real world). Here, we present an overview of the types of climate change game currently available, the benefits and trade-offs of their use, and reasons why they hold such promise for education and engagement regarding climate change.

  • Wu, J.S. and Lee, J.J. (2015). "Climate change games as tools for education and engagement." Nature Climate Change

Ask US - Change Over Time: Investigate Climate Change Impacts in Alaska

Description: The National Climate Assessment, released in May of 2014, summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, touching on many disciplines: earth science, biology, human health, engineering, technology, economics, and policy.  Explore the document with lead NCA author Sarah Trainor, and find out about related educational resources with Jessica Brunacini of the PoLAR Climate Change Education Partnership, Elena Sparrow of the International Arctic Research Center, and Malinda Chase of the Association of Interior Native Educators. Learn more about the rapid changes taking place in Alaska, ask questions about the science behind the report and related learning resources, and discover how to bring the NCA to life for learners of all ages.  Original broadcast: April 13th, 2015.

‘Arctic Warming and Your Weather: Public Belief in the Connection’

Abstract: Will Arctic warming affect mid-latitude weather? Many researchers think so, and have addressed this question through scientific articles and news media. Much of the public accepts such a connection as well. Across three New Hampshire surveys with more than 1500 interviews, 60% of respondents say they think future Arctic warming would have major effects on their weather. Arctic/weather responses changed little after Superstorm Sandy brushed the region, but exhibit consistently strong partisan divisions that grow wider with education. Belief in an Arctic/weather connection also varies, in a nonlinear pattern, with the temperature anomaly around day of interview. Interviewed on unseasonably warm or cool days, respondents are more likely to think that Arctic warming would have major effects on their weather.  This unscientific response seems to mirror the scientific discussion about extremes.

  • Hamilton, L.C. and Lemcke-Stampone, M. (2013). “Arctic warming and your weather: Public belief in the connection.” International Journal of Climatology.

Greenify: Fostering Sustainable Communities via Gamification

Abstract: At Teachers College, Columbia University, the Games Research Lab has created Greenify, an online social platform designed to foster flourishing sustainable communities. Gamification elements facilitated the creation and completion of user-generated missions, encouraging interaction between geographically proximate communities of peers. Three elements were identified as necessary components to achieve sustainable communities: a healthy climate and environment, social well-being, and economic security. This paper describes our approach in addressing these elements through a crowdsourced, gamified system. Implications for human-computer interaction are also discussed.

  • Lee, J. J., Matamoros, E., Kern, R., deLuna, C., Marks, J., Jordan-Cooley, W. (2013).  Greenify: fostering sustainable communities via gamification.  ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2013, Paris, France.

‘Greenify: A Real-World Action Game for Climate Change Education’

Abstract: The literature on climate change education recommends social, accessible action-oriented learning that is specifically designed to resonate with a target audience’s values and worldview. This article discusses Greenify, a real-world action game designed to teach adult learners about climate change and motivate informed action. A pilot study suggests that the game fostered the creation of peer-generated user content, motivated informed action, created positive pressure, and was perceived as a fun and engaging experience.

  • Lee, J. J., Ceyhan, P., Jordan-Cooley, W., & Sung, W. (2013).  "Greenify: A real-world action game for climate change education."  Simulation and Gaming

Gaming Do’s and Don’ts: Lessons Learned from Inside and Outside the Classroom

CAMEL Climate Change Continuing Education Symposium Webinar series, October 23rd, 2012. Presentation led by PI Stephanie Pfirman.

A New Record Low in Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Earth Institute Seminars on Sustainable Development Series, September 19th, 2012. Panel presentation and discussion with PI Stephanie Pfirman, Co-PI Peter Schlosser, Project Lead Ben Orlove, and Project Advisor Anne Siders.