order to understand, monitor, and prepare for changes in their environment,
students must develop a deep understanding of the place in which
they live. They must also be able to compare their own contemporary
observations with historic information about that same environoment.
And they must develop a sense of the cyclic, inter-related and non-linear
nature of earth system processes and human interaction. Elders and
other expert observers can often provide just such knowledge because
they have a very detailed and highly refined awareness of their
environment gained from years of living on the land. Such knowledge
has enormous power to enhance environmentnal study in schools. It
also has the potential to connect the often-disparate perspectives
and domains of school and community, and of science and traditional
Teachers are therefore encouraged and guided to work with local
experts on their climate change studies by focusing on locally significant
observations to begin with, and by continued collaboration with
local experts throughout the work.