Climate Change Literacy in the U.S. Undergraduate Horticulture Curriculum

Thursday, July 25, 2013: 8:45 AM
Desert Salon 13-14 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Virginia I. Lohr , Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Weather extremes consistent with predictions from climate change and global warming models are already impacting horticulture. Weather extremes will become more frequent and destructive if global temperatures rise as rapidly and as far as the models currently predict. These will force us to change how we live and function. To determine the extent to which higher educational institutions across the United States are preparing students for such a future, a survey was conducted to gather information on the incorporation of climate change literacy in horticultural curricula.  While most programs do not currently offer classes with “climate change” or “global warming” in the formal title or description, a few are beginning to do so.  Nearly all respondents reported including at least some information related to climate change in the specific courses they teach.  Examples of content include discussions related to the revised USDA Cold Hardiness map, carbon sequestration, equipment fuel consumption, effects of increased carbon dioxide, crop scheduling, and environmental stresses, such as drought and heat. Most instructors also said they have been increasing such content over time.  Details from the survey will be presented.
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