University of Wisconsin–Madison

New UW-Madison MOOC explores ‘Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region’

“Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region” is a Massive Open Online Course that will teach you all about climate change. And not only that—it will give you a chance to do something about it.

Along with exploring rising temperatures and their effect on Great Lakes communities, the course features meetings at 21 public libraries throughout Wisconsin in conjunction with the library association WiLS. The meetings will allow local residents to discuss their concerns and work together on solutions.

photo_climate change 3
Steve Ackerman, UW professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

UW-Madison’s free, four-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) begins on February 23. Anyone can enroll here to watch the videos, participate in the online discussion forums, and take the quizzes. Participants will learn about Great Lakes weather and the social effects of climate change.

“Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region” is taught by Steve Ackerman, UW professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and director of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), and Margaret Mooney, CIMSS’s director of education and public outreach. They’ll incorporate findings from the recent National Climate Assessment and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts.

Taking action

A kickoff event at the Milwaukee Public Library, 2 p.m. on February 21, features environmental groups and a talk by Jeffrey S. Russell, Dean of UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. Attendees can learn about MOOCs and enroll in “Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region.”

The discussions at Wisconsin libraries run throughout late February and March, and are free and open to the public. Stef Morrill, director of WiLS, appreciates the chance to address local issues at these forums.

“By not only focusing on information about climate change, but also by applying it to local concerns and providing ideas for personal action, this MOOC will give residents in the state and beyond the opportunity to have a better understanding of the topic and how they can personally effect change,” she says.

“Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region” is the second of six MOOCs UW-Madison is offering in 2015-16. To learn more, visit moocs.wisc.edu.