The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) has been awarded a 2019 Friend of the Planet award by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). NCSE Executive Director Ann Reid explained that PRI was a leader in informal climate evolution education and they deserve praise for the book, "The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change," which Reid deems is the single best available resource for teachers on climate change. Dr. Warren D. Allmon, director of PRI, and Hunter R. Rawlings III, professor of paleontology at Cornell University, felt this was a great honor for PRI to receive.
“There is no more important work in science education that helping people understand and act on climate change, and we are proud and humbled to be honored for our part within the larger climate change educator community,” they said. “We are especially thrilled to receive the Friend of the Planet Award from The National Center for Science Education, which itself has done so much to promote science education, particularly climate change education.”
The NCSE’s Friend of the Planet awards are presented annually to a few institutions whose efforts support NCSE’s goal of defending the teaching of climate change. Previous recipients include Kerry Emanuel, MIT climate scientist; Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University; and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Along with PRI, the two other winners were Climate Parents, a national movement mobilizing clean energy and climate solutions directed by Lisa Hoyos, and Heidi Cullen from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Dr. Ingrid H. H. Zabel, climate change education Manager at PRI, and one of the co-authors of "The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change," noted the book is easy for teachers to use.
“It's not easy being a teacher, especially one trying to teach about climate change—a vast, complex, interdisciplinary topic,” Zabel said. “With our book, we're trying to make it easier, by providing the essentials of climate change science, regional climate perspectives, examples of solutions, communication strategies, and answers to frequently asked questions.”
"The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change" has been well-received by educators across the country. Dr. Don Haas, Director of Teacher Programming at PRI, and another one of the authors of the book noted it includes clear descriptions of the physical science but addresses the social science issues that make teaching climate change a unique challenge.
Dr. Alexandra Moore, a senior education associate at PRI, has led the effort to make the book available for high school science teachers across the country. Dr. Moore said that climate change is real and should be taken with the utmost seriousness. In addition to the book, PRI continues to develop an extensive range of climate science related programs.