Book Title: Climate Justice in Your Classroom

Subtitle: Weaving Climate, Environmental Justice and Civic Engagement into Your Courses

Author: Affiliates of the UW Program on Climate Change

Book Description: As the inequitable impacts of climate change become more evident and destructive, it is essential for climate and environmental justice, as well as methods of civic engagement, to be taught at a high-level to college-level students. This book provides real examples of how professors at the University of Washington integrated these critical issues into their teachings, both in targeted lessons and as throughlines across an entire course. These samples of how environmental and climate justice have been successfully integrated into higher-level education can serve as both a record of the UW's progress towards centering JEDI at the heart of all students, and as a model for future instructors to use as they work to incorporate more aspects of justice and engagement into their own material.

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Book Information

Book Description

With the increased effect of anthropogenic climate change, the impact of environmental issues on human societies has never been more essential to understand. With science-backed research showcasing that human activities are actively worsening the effect of many environmental issues including severe temperatures, natural disasters, and biodiversity loss, there is severe need for all, whether we are scientists, activists, educators, or policy-makers, to take action.  However, the global nature of both our society and the dangers we are facing necessitates careful consideration in analyzing and combatting environmental issues in a modern world. To properly adapt to and mitigate these issues, which may directly target specific communities or affect societies across the globe, not only do we need a proper grasp of environmental and climate science, but we need to ensure that solutions are mindful of the communities and ecosystems that are affected. We must not be content with climate and environmental solutions that fail to consider diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as key tenets. In short, justice must be at the heart of our climate and environmental work going forward.

Yet, facilitating just solutions cannot be done while the institutions that teach the next generation fail to highlight climate and environmental justice in their teachings. Without a natural and focused inclusion of DEIA values in environmental courses in higher education, there is reduced capacity for students who wish to engage to garner an understanding of what just solutions look like and how to implement them. This book seeks to remedy that gap.

Throughout this book, we synthesize the current efforts towards including climate, environmental justice, and civic engagement in courses taught at the University of Washington – Seattle. These examples range from specific lessons on environmental injustice to course-long integration of climate justice values, and include course details, lesson plans, and other resources provided by course instructors in an easy-to-access format. The chapters in this book each constitute a real method of integrating climate and environmental justice into a course, and thus provide a bounty of instruction for increasing the inclusion of justice in course material for instructors across any discipline. Lessons will be regularly added to the book as they are implemented and adapted. The existence of this book marks not only the history of environmental justice in courses at the UW, but also the emphasis on the topic of justice that the college is placing in the current day, as well as serving as a guide or model for instructors to use as more courses begin to fully integrate justice into their curriculum. Through this work, we can be more reliably assured that the people we are training to practice civic engagement and climate and environmental action can not just protect the planet, but preserve the life of the people, communities, and ecosystems who depend on it.

This book has been created with support from the University of Washington Program on Climate Change, the UW Program on the Environment, and the University of Washington College of the Environment, especially from material created at our annual Climate and Environmental Justice Faculty Institute.


Affiliates of the UW Program on Climate Change


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Climate Justice in Your Classroom Copyright © by UW Program on Climate Change is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


Educational: Environmental science


Climate Justice in Your Classroom
Affiliates of the UW Program on Climate Change
Isaac Olson; Madeline Brooks; and Miriam A. Bertram
Dr. Alex Turner, UW Atmospheric Sciences; Dr. Brittany Johnson, UW Environmental and Forest Sciences; Dr. Heather Price, North Seattle College; Dr. Mikelle Nuwer, UW Oceanography; Dr. Alexandra Anderson-Frey, UW Atmospheric Sciences; and Dr. LuAnne Thompson, UW Oceanography

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Climate Justice in Your Classroom Copyright © by UW Program on Climate Change is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Most of the materials in this compilation are licensed as Creative Commons   Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0.   We encourage reuse and dissemination of individual resources for noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is retained and the material is shared with the same creative commons license.

Attribution should include at a minimum a link to the original material in this compilation.  Authors and creators of content should be cited as indicated on the resource. Educational use of the material is generally ‘noncommercial’ and therefore allowed with the following exceptions:

  1. You may not sell access to the material (or derivatives thereof) with one exception. You are allowed to include the material in a coursepack or similar form as long as:
    • it is intended only for use by students in a specific course or courses at your own educational institution
    • the cost of the coursepack is scaled to cover only the direct cost of reproduction (e.g. actual photocopying page costs)
  2.  Reproduction and distribution of originals or derivative works by for-profit educational institutions is considered commercial and not allowed under this default license.
Primary Subject
Educational: Environmental science
Additional Subject(s)
Climate change, Social impact of environmental issues, Social discrimination and social justice, Higher education, tertiary education
University of Washington, North Seattle College