Climate Change Academy

Come discover Wild Alaska on an immersive and educational journey to The Last Frontier! We are excited to announce our second Climate Change Academy program in collaboration with the National Park Service. Through our partnership with the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program, we are offering a partial group scholarship for this 11-day wilderness adventure focused on gaining an interdisciplinary understanding of climate change. Participants in this program will witness some the most tangible effects of climate change firsthand and learn about the causes and solutions of this intergenerational issue. More than just an amazing trip, the program involves climate-specific curriculum meetings in the spring and follow-up campaign aimed at spreading awareness about climate change in the fall.

The majestic wilderness of Alaska is the perfect location to deeply engage in a study of the environment. Alaska boasts a strong native population whose cultural history is uniquely tied to the land. As the largest and yet least densely populated state in the country, Alaska contains ecosystems and landscapes that are exceptionally sensitive to the changing climate. Hike to the Harding Ice Field at Kenai Fjords National Park, sea kayak past calving glaciers, and marvel at the highest peak in the United States – Mount McKinley. Participants in the Climate Change Academy will get to meet leading climate change scientists from the National Park Service and take part in meaningful climate research in explore Kenai Fjords and Denali National Parks. There is no better place to become a Climate Change Ambassador than in Alaska! Learn more about the program here!

2015 Program Details

Destination:

The program starts and ends in Anchorage, AK.  The first half of the program takes place in Kenai Fjords National Park and the second half will be in Denali National Park.

Dates:

July 14 - 24, 2015

Cost:

Final cost for this program is $1,960 plus airfare to and from Anchorage, AK. (This program fee is deeply discounted from $3,500 thanks to generous scholarship support from the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program.)

Group Make-up and Process

Educators from anywhere in the U.S. are encouraged to apply for the group scholarship online before January 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm MT. One educator will be selected to be the Group Leader. He/she will then work with No Barriers Youth to select 10 students (open to students currently in grades 9-11) to participate in the program. In addition, the group will include a team of guides, facilitators and scientists from No Barriers Youth, the National Park Service, and partnering nonprofits.

Group Scholarship

The group scholarship covers all ground costs once the group arrives in Anchorage (including transportation, food, lodging, tips, expert leaders, guides, entrance fees, etc.), preparatory curriculum lessons, support staff, and materials. The group scholarship DOES NOT cover the program fee, travel expenses to get to and from Anchorage, AK, any personal gear or souvenirs.

Eligilibity

Educators

We seek educators with a passion for travel, a commitment to teaching students about responsible global citizenship, and a proven track record for success as an educator in and out of the classroom. Experience with the subject of climate change is helpful, though not required.

Students

Eligible students are current 9th through 11th grade students who demonstrate leadership potential, have some outdoor experience, a clear affinity the environment and interest in climate change.

How to Apply:

The application is ONLY open to Educators/Group Leaders at this time.  Educators apply on behalf of their school/region to receive the group scholarship. Students apply once an educator at their school or in their region has been selected to participate in the program.  Please be sure to read this helpful Educator Info Packet before applying.

Educators APPLY HERE! Final deadline for the Group Leader Application is January 28, 2015. 

Questions? Please contact Julia Breul at Julia.Breul@nobarriersusa.org

2014 Participants: 

The participants of the first ever Climate Change Academy were educator Mike Sustin and 10 students from West Geauga High School in Chesterland, OH.

Program Summary: 

Participants witnessed the effect of climate change firsthand through their 12-day exploration of Alaska. The program split a majority of the time between Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward, AK and Denali National Park near Healy, AK. Days were spent exploring and taking part in an array of discussions led by National Park Service Rangers and No Barriers Expedition Leaders. In addition to full-day wildlife and glacier cruise, a hike of the Harding IceField trail, and a visit to an 8-mile Lake Permafrost Research Site, participants spent 3 days in Denali's interior with the park's partner non-profit Alaska Geographic, exploring in the wilderness. After leaving Alaska, the participants completed follow-up projects that encompassed the impact the Climate Change Academy had on them.

"So what did I take away, really?  Do any of those ideas [the dance of the spheres, retreating glaciers, permafrost CO2, etc.] make sense together?  To me, they fit together like puzzle piece, snapping crisply into place.  I'll take away all of those concepts, along with many more.  Then maybe I'll make a real change that will shake the ground to be felt across the globe.  Or maybe I'll just share one or two, and someone else will make the change.  I'm living on the hope of change, but someone has to get the ball rolling and it might as well be me." - Katherine, Junior