Assessing Climate Literacy Content in Higher Education Science Courses: Distribution, Challenges and Needs

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of College Science Teaching

Publication Date


Date Added



This study is part of the Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education Assessment and Research (MADE CLEAR project), which aims to improve climate literacy in the K–16 population through systemic, sustainable change in teacher preparation. To begin this effort we surveyed faculty members at four higher education institutions to evaluate preservice teachers’ exposure to climate literacy topics. The survey, completed by 119 faculty members from different science disciplines, reported on course climate literacy content and challenges faced in incorporating this material into their courses. Nearly half of the respondents (55, 46%) reported a scientific background of biology or Earth/environmental science. Most (98, 82%) indicated that they have never received formal training in climate change science. Many (28, 47%) stated interest in obtaining prepared teaching material. This assessment could be used in other institutions to improve the climate change literacy at the K–16 level.


Climate, Education


Environmental Sciences