Climate Literacy Project

What is Climate Literacy?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), climate literacy means that you understand the influence of climate on yourself and society and your influence on climate. The Gonzaga Climate Literacy Project seeks to help teachers and students develop a foundational scientific understanding of the complex workings of our climate, what has caused it to change in the past, the most likely causes of its present changes, and the likely global, regional, and local impacts of a changing climate. Building on that scientific knowledge, the Climate Literacy Project also invite reflection on the larger cultural, economic, and ethical issues related to climate change and the challenge of engaging the topic. We encourage teachers and students to “make it local and keep it hopeful” and offer concrete pedagogies and lessons for doing so. More...

A climate-literate person:

  • understands the essential principles of all aspects of the Earth systems governing climate patterns and integral human interdependency with Earth systems;
  • knows how to gather information about climate and weather, and how to distinguish credible from non-credible scientific sources on the subject;
  • appreciates that, both within our community and around the world, people of color and the poor have least caused climate change but are disproportionately impacted by its effects and have fewer resources with which to adapt and respond;
  • recognizes the larger economic, social, cultural, political, and ethical contexts that are contributing to climate change and how they affect action to address the climate crisis.

How to talk about climate change with young people

Climate Literacy Fellows 

In partnership with the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the legislature-funded ClimeTime program, the Gonzaga Climate Center has created the Climate Literacy Fellows program, which hires and trains Gonzaga undergraduates to deliver high-impact climate literacy activities in elementary school classrooms (grades 2-5). Learn more about the Climate Literacy Fellows program.

Climate Literacy Project Workshops

  • For university professors: "Cataldo Project: Sustainability and Climate Across the Curriculum"
  • For secondary school teachers (grades 6-12): the Climate Center anticipates hosting another climate literacy workshop for Washington State secondary school teachers in 2022. 
  • For elementary school teachers (grades K-5): the Climate Center is hosting a climate literacy workshop for Washington State elementary school teachers on April 15 and 29 from 3:30-6:30pm via zoom.*
    • *This workshop is fully enrolled and new registrations are not being taken at this time. 
    • Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of future opportunities.
Teaching resources on climate, society, and the environment.

Climate Literacy Project 2020-2021


Middle and High School Students Annually Impacted


Middle and High School Teacher Participants


Professional Development Hours


School Districts Served