G-WOW Institute Archives 2012-2016

DSCN7213Since 2012, G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institutes have been changing the way classroom and informal educators teach about climate change. These intensive four-day professional development institute increased educators’ climate change core competencies. Educators developed their ability to teach about climate change based on the G-WOW Climate Literacy Model that integrates place-based evidence of climate impacts with the latest scientific research. These summer institutes are offered without charge to up to 30 participants.
 What’s Happens After A G-WOW Institute?  What happens at a G-WOW Institute doesn’t stay at the Institute!  As part of their training, educators completing the G-WOW Institute develop and complete climate service learning projects with their students or in their communities. Projects are posted at www.g-wow.org under the “Talking Circle” icon.  We provide follow-up support for teachers and community educators!
Here some highlights and resources from our G-WOW Institute Archives.

2012 & 2013 Apostle Island National Lakeshore Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institutes

Bad River-Kakagon Wild Rice Climate Investigation

Bad River-Kakagon Wild Rice Climate Investigation

These summer professional development opportunities were selected for support by the nationwide Parks Climate Change Challenge Grant Institutes to train teachers to help students answer the questions, based on the G-WOW model for climate literacy:

✿Does climate change exist?
✿How does it impact our world and us?
✿What can we do about climate change?

Click here to see an Institute agenda and learn more about what we learned at these cool summer climate change professional development opportunities.

A special “thank you” and “miigwech” to the National Parks Foundation-Parks Climate Challenge for providing funding for this Institute!

2014 G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institute


2014 G-WOW Institute participants

Funded through a Wisconsin Coastal Management grant to outreach education on how climate change may affect coastal communities the 2014 G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institute expanded on experiential climate change learning in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Apostle Islands, and neighboring tribal communities of Bad River and Red Cliff.  Explore the agenda

Guest instructors include Michael Notaro- Scientist with the Center for Climatic Research and WI Initiative on Climate Change (WICCI) on applying climate research at a community level; Stephen Handler-Climate Change Specialist, US Forest Service’s Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science demonstrating climate change impacts on northern forests and economies; and Bob Krumenaker-Superintendent Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on climate impacts on Lake Superior and national parks.  Field experiences include climate change investigations on Stockton Island, the Kakagon Sloughs wild rice beds with the Bad River Natural Resource Department, and Lake Superior fisheries impacts at the Red Cliff Tribal Fish Hatchery.  Presentations from resource and cultural specialists from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and UW-Extension are featured.

2015 G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institute


2015 G-WOW Institute participants and directors Cathy Techtmann-UW Extension and Neil Howk-Apostle Islands National Lakeshore after a day investigating place-based climate impacts on Lake Superior’s Stockton Island.

The 2015 G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institute was held July 13-16 with a bonus day for NASA Climate Change Tools Training at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College on July 17. Twenty-eight educators participated in this culturally relevant climate change professional development program.  They returned to their classrooms and communities to conduct climate change service learning projects that will be posted on the G-WOW website’s Talking Circle.

The goals of the 2015 Institute were to train educators to:

  • Integrate place-based evidence of climate change with the latest climate research
  • Evaluate the impacts of climate change on the environment, cultures, and  communities
  • Guide students and community learners in developing climate change service learning projects
  • Develop and share climate change curriculum with other educators
  • Integrate Ojibwe cultural perspectives, traditional ecological knowledge, and language component
  • Apply new classroom and community ready ideas for climate service learning projects

In addition to classroom training, field experiences include:  Bad River-Kakagon Wild Rice & Climate Change Tour, Stockton Island Climate Walk, and the Climate Impacts on Forests Investigation. 

Featured 2015 G-WOW presenters included:

Dr. Dan Vimont

Dr. Dan Vimont

  • Dr. Dan Vimont-Assoc. Professor Center for Climatic Research-UW Madison.
  • Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission specialists in traditional ecological knowledge, language, and natural resources.
  • Bob Kruemenaker, Neil Howk, Damon Panek, -Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
  • Naomi Tillison-Bad River Natural Resources Department
  • Eric Oliphant-Forester, Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Stephen Handler-Northern Institute on Applied Climate Change
  • Janet Moore-Artist on Phenology Wheels for Climate Change Education
  • Cathy Techtmann-Environmental Outreach Specialist UW-Extension
  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, US Forest Service,Tribal specialists.. and more!

NEW FOR 2015:  A free BONUS DAY was offered on Friday, July 17th. G-WOW Institute educators participated in a trip to the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to take part in an interactive NASA Climate-Change-In-The-Classroom training session and received classroom ready-tools for teaching about climate change. The College shared some of the great cultural and climate change programs they have developed.

Here are the learning experiences highlighted in this Institute: 2015 G-WOW Changing Climate Institute Agenda

How effective is the G-WOW model in increasing educators skills and confidence in teaching about climate change?  How user friendly is the model in different communities and cultures?  Review a power point presentation of an Evaluation-of-the-effectiveness-of-the-g-wow-evaluation-model research conducted by Patty Carpenter-University of Minnesota-Duluth Master of Education candidate and presented at the 2015 G-WOW Institute.

 IMG_20140525_1211519952016 G-WOW “Hear the Water Speak” Institute

In 2016 funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provided a special focus on climate change and water. Click here to learn more.



The G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institutes are offered by these partners:  the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore-National Park Service, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest-US Forest Service, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

With assistance from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, Bad River and Red Cliff Bands of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, and many others who volunteer their help.

Special thanks to Northland College in Ashland, WI  for offering credit for teachers attending these Institutes.

Funding for these G-WOW Institutes provided by a grants from the National Park Foundation, Wisconsin Coastal Management-NOAA, and the National Park Service.