About the PLC

Our Mission

We are creating a professional learning community (PLC) on climate education in Colorado -- including the topics of energy, water, weather, ecology, biodiversity, and climate change.  Our aim is to share resources and best practices so that Colorado area teachers may work together as a group, to improve our collective expertise in climate and related sciences, as well as effective teaching strategies.  Our aim is to both inform and inspire Colorado teachers in teaching these challenging but important topics.

We believe that a PLC is an effective means to accomplish these goals because (a) social connections are important in our own learning, (b) climate science spans multiple disciplines and thus we can glean from each others’ expertise, (c) sustained opportunities for collaboration, mentoring, and active learning are important for us as teachers as we experiment in our teaching.

We plan to achieve these goals through in-person and virtual meetings, events, professional development opportunities, online discussion forums, and a group editable website. 

What are the PLC goals?

  • One PLC meeting per month (in-person or virtual)
  • Four in-person PLC meetings per year at various locations (Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs)
  • A minimum of 20 participants
  • An online discussion list
  • Virtual meeting space

Who are the PLC Leaders?

  • David Swartz, a classroom teacher at Rocky Mountain High
  • Stephanie Chasteen, the K12 outreach coordinator for Learn More About Climate
  • More information here.

What are the PLC member requirements (to obtain $200 stipend)?

  • First 20 teachers to meet the requirements are guaranteed a $200 stipend.  Subsequent teachers may be given a reduced stipend.
  • Yearly commitment (up to two years)
  • Attend 6 or more PLC meetings per year (or equivalent in contributions to website)
  • Share resources and experiences with the PLC, including posting any course or activity outlines you have created on the website.  You can contribute these to the Lifelines Course Outlines site directly (ask us for site permissions).
    Sharing a course outline (or analysis/commentary on a resource) will be required for members wanting to receive stipends.
  • Provide feedback for program evaluation through online surveys
  • Casual members are welcome -- if you want to be kept apprised of our activities but aren't sure you will be able to meet the requirements, sign up anyway and we'll keep you informed.

Who is supporting this?

This project is part of the Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education project out of the Global Systems Science project at Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley.  That project is funded through the NASA Global Climate Change Education (GCCE) program.  The national PLC leaders' website for that project can be found here.

Funding is also supported through the Learn More About Climate project of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who are helping to additionally subsidize participant stipends and provide infrastructure and personnel for the project.

How do we meet?

When we are not meeting in person, we will use conferencing software to share our desktops and chat in real time.  For those unable to attend the in-person meetings, we hope to provide the ability to hear the speakers and view their slides in real time.  We might use ReadyTalk, but are open for other suggestions!