Sign up for the Dynamics of Climate Workshop
2-Day Professional Development Workshop for
Middle and High School Science Teachers.

Dates:  June 20-21, 2017
Times:  10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location:  Noblesville East Middle School, 1625 Field Dr. Noblesville, 46060  (map)
Room: 1231
Workshop is limited.
  • Work in small groups on activities you can use in your classroom.
  • Bring your laptop to review new lesson plans and discuss with group.
  • Earn Professional Development Points!
  • Limited assistance is available to qualifying teachers to help offset expenses such as travel and daycare expenses.  To qualify, you must be a middle or high school science teacher present for both days of the workshop. Assistance will be assigned in the order in which you register.
Participants will learn activities and lesson plans for -
  • Climate Systems
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Carbon Cycle
  • The Earth’s Energy Budget
  • Climate Data, Variability and Change
  • Changes in the Climate System
  • Adaptations and Mitigation
  • Wedge Game
  • Action and Impacts
  • Leslie Webb, Carmel Green Initiative president, trained at Purdue to facilitate this program
  • Brandy Yost, High School Biology Teacher, trained at Purdue to facilitate this program
  • Natalie Webb, Middle School Science Teacher
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) has concluded that global warming is unequivocal and that human activity is likely the main cause. The National Research Council’s Grand Challenges in Environmental Sciences (NRC, 2000a) identified four "grand challenges" that are directly linked to climate and climate change.  Additionally, the National Science Foundation has identified climate prediction and variability as a core study area.  Hence, it is vital that adults/teachers and students learn about climate and climate change.

The workshop will address four general questions: What is a climate system and its components?  What are causes and effects of component change?  What are the impacts of these changes?  What can we do about it?  The workshop will actively engage participants in learning through a combination of large and small group activity and discussion that is driven by climate data and visualizations. Participants will gain an understanding of climate variability, the interactions of natural and human systems, and the role of climate data and modeling in decision-making.

The workshop is designed to prepare middle and high school science teachers to both understand the science of climate and climate change and the methods for effectively teaching about climate and climate change.  The workshop consists of rich data sets and visualization activities that are model learning experiences and that address the major misconceptions students and adults hold about climate, global warming and climate change. The workshop was designed to align with a conceptual framework and are: 1) grounded in the research on students’ and adults’ conceptions of climate and climate change, 2) based on instructional activities and experiences that engage participants in analyzing and interpreting climatic data sets and visualizations and that require the application of scientific concepts, and 3) designed in accordance with the research on effective teacher professional development. The workshop promotes active learning and collaboration.  Participating teachers will qualify to earn Professional Development Points.

Here's how some science teachers are planning to use the information learned at the workshops...

"I plan to incorporate this into my ecology unit. We are also practicing problem based learning, so I am interested to see what is going on at a community level."  8th grade science teacher.

"I need the best and latest data to help students understand that climate change is real."  9th grade biology teacher.

"I would like to use this information to improve the Global Climate Change unit of my Environmental Science course."  11-12th grade AP Environmental Science / Physical Geology teacher


Past participants include teachers from Boone, Grant, Hamilton, Johnson, Marion, Miami, and Vanderburgh counties:
  • Carmel High School (8)
  • University High School
  • Guerin Catholic High School
  • Noblesville High School (2)
  • Hamilton Southeastern High School  (2)
  • Fishers High School  (3)
  • Zionsville Community High School
  • Pike High School
  • Brebeuf Jesuit
  • Excel Center
  • Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet H. S.
  • Southwood Jr/Sr High School
  • Mississinewa High School (2)
  • William Henry Harrison HS
    (West Lafayette)
  • Herron High School (2)
  • Greenwood Community HS
  • Lebanon High School
  • Bosse High School
  • Peru Junior High School
  • Bedford-North Lawrence HS
  • William Henry Harrison HS (Evansville)
  • New Tech Institute High School
  • F.J. Reitz High School
  • Carmel Middle School
  • Creekside Middle School
  • Noblesville West Middle School
  • Noblesville East Middle School (2)
  • Emma Donnan Middle School
  • Franklin Township Middle School East  (3)
  • Franklin Township Middle School West  (2)
  • Edgewood Junior High School (2)
  • Doe Creek Middle School
  • IUPUI (9)
  • Oaklanden Elementary
  • Sense Elementary Charter School
  • Paramount Elementary
  • Butler University










Click here to see photos from our workshops!



Many thanks to our Partners, Sponsors and Facilitators!

This workshop is offered by Carmel Green Initiative in partnership with Noblesville East Middle School, the City of Carmel, and Purdue University.

This program was developed at Purdue University by the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, and Agronomy  with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Geoscience Education program.  The project directors are Dan Shepardson(PI), Professor of Geoenvironmental and Science Education, Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University and Dev Niyogi (CoPI), Indiana State Climatologist and Associate Professor, Departments of Agronomy and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University.














CHS Carmel Earth Fair
Saturday, May 23, 2015CHSEarthFairLogo4
Noon - 4 p.m.
Community Garden by Carmel Middle School
300 S Guilford Road Carmel, IN 46032


This family event is organized by the CHS Environmental Action Club. The purpose is to educate the public on how to go green at home while also raising awareness about local, national, and global environmental issues.
  • Booths will include Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Spring Green Garden Club, Earth Charter Indiana, CCS Green Team, Carmel Green Initiative, and Clay Township Regional Waste District, Carmel Green Teens, and the University High School Ecoblazers, as well as giveaways from Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation and Carmel Household Hazardous Waste Disposal.
  • For entertainment, guests will enjoy Jim Poyser, a renowned speaker from Earth Charter Indiana and youth speakers from Poyser’s organization Youth Power Indiana, as well as talents from CHS students. There will be a variety of singers including Mimi Carnes (sophomore), Emily Worrell (freshman), and Joseph Bloom (sophomore). There will also be a juggler (Vince Carter, senior), and an art display. All of our volunteers are students, as well.
  • Kids activities will include carnival-style games with an environmental twist such as: face-painting featuring  recycling symbols, earths, etc.; guess-how-many jelly beans are in the jar (hint: it's the same number as the tons of trash produced every month in Carmel); recycling toss (test your three-point skills by tossing recyclables into a bin "hoop"), and more!
  • There will also be tours of the Plots to Plates community garden and fresh food from local Carmel Farmer's Market vendors.

Congrats to CHS student Andrew Glesing winner of the Earth Fair logo art contest!

Sustainable Living Seminar: Water...Connecting the Drops

Wednesday, May 18, 2016      CityWaterTower
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032

Waterthe most precious of life’s commodities.  Something we can’t live without and all take for granted.   It is our right to have clean drinking water to sustain us.  We need to cherish and conserve this precious necessity for all life.   Find out where our drinking water comes from and what Carmel and each individual can do to protect it.  See what the impact of climate change is having on our water system.   Learn aboutCityWaterBluePumps the state of our ground water and its impact of economic development.  Learn about how to save water and money with your sprinkler system.  Find out what happens when we have a heavy rain and how it impacts your storm drainage system.  Learn about the state of the water in Indiana from our expert panel and what you can do to help.  CityWaterHoosierWaterGardian




These topics will be addressed by our expert panel:

Sue Maki, Carmel Utilities Manager of Environmental Initiatives and Education

John Thomas, Carmel Storm Water Administrator

Jill Hoffman, White River Alliance Executive Director.

Claire Lane, Urban conservationist from the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, will talk about free programs offered to help Hamilton County residents improve their property.  Financial assistance is also available for some of their programs.

Free raffle giveaways including a rain barrel (value $99). Thanks to a donation by City of Carmel.



State of the Waters

  • Water cycle basics
  • Threats, current conditions, changing future conditions

Carmel’s surface water resources & connections

  • Major streams & how ponds, ditches & infrastructure connect
  • How drainage is managed & regulated
  • What the city does to reduce non point pollution & flooding

Carmel treated water & embedded energy

  • Source of Carmel drinking water & well head protection efforts
  • Carmel water treatment facility
  • Embedded energy on water

Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District

  • Free Programs
  • Financial Assistance

Other things you can do to protect water supplies & quality

  • Clear Choices clean water campaign
  • White River Festival & volunteer opportunities


Ensuring the Resilience of our future Water and Energy Systems, EPA, 2014

Rain Gardens with Native Plantings
Detention Pond with Native Plantings
Pervious Pavers

Oppose HB 1320 Anti-Solar
2015 Legislative Session
House Bill 1320 - anti-solar bill
Bill Origin: Indiana Energy Association
Authored by: Rep. Eric Koch

HB 1320 would have made rooftop solar cost prohibitive, would have stifled the free market solar economy, killed jobs in this growing industry, monopolized solar, and limited our energy choices.

2/26/15 - HB 1320 was pulled from the House calendar for 2nd and 3rd reading before the end of the first half of the session.  House Speaker Brian Bosma halted the bill saying it wasn't the right time for the measure. “There were a whole variety of issues that have arisen around it and it just seemed to me to be a little weighty,” Bosma said.  Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition, a ratepayer advocacy group against the bill, said the solar coalition will remain watchful for language in the bill that might be inserted into a bill that is moving. Both Bosma and Olson say they think a General Assembly study committee on the topic is unnecessary.  Read this Indy Star, Tim Evans article: Solar bill appears to be in trouble, 2/24/15

2/19/15 - Despite overwhelming opposition, the anti-solar bill, HB 1320, passed out of the House Utilities committee last Wednesday with a 9-4 vote along party lines.  See votes below.  Click here to listen to the hearing.  Click here to view the archived video of the hearing.

Rep. Koch submitted a 15-page amendment just 2 hours before the Feb. 18th hearing making it difficult for committee members and those testifying to fully digest. However, the core provisions of the bill adversely affecting rooftop solar remain unchanged.

Over 100 citizens turned out to oppose HB 1320.

Speakers in "opposition" to the bill included Brad Morton, owner Morton Solar, Inc; Jesse Kharbanda executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council; Sue Maki, City of Carmel; Kerwin Olson, executive director Citizens Action Coalition; Denise Abdul- Rahman, Indiana NAACP; Rev. Wyatt Watkins, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, East-Side Creation Care Network; Pastor Brian Flory, Beacon Heights Church; and Les Zimmerman farmer Vermillion county.  An additional 28 citizens who signed up to testify against the bill were denied a chance to speak by Acting Chair Van Natter.  Public trust in the integrity of our democratic processes and institution are called into question.

Of the 4 speakers who were "neutral," three asked the committee to table the bill for further study.  The other allegedly neutral speaker was Professor Michael Hicks of Ball State University who had just that morning released a study on net metering. The study was commissioned by the Indiana Energy Association(IEA), the lobby group for the investor-owned electric utilities behind this bill.

There was only one supporter of the bill, Mark Maassel, president of the Indiana Energy Association (IEA) testified in support of the bill.  The other supporter, a representative for INDIAC took no position on the rooftop solar/net metering provisions of the bill, and only spoke in favor of new provisions in the amendment which would help manufacturing.

In all, 39 witnesses urged the committee to reject or table the bill for further study of its impact on the solar industry in Indiana.  Only one witness, the Utility monopoly lobby, supported the bill. Given this testimony, it is remarkably ironic that conservative Republicans voted for a bill that favors big government monopoly over individual freedom, free market and jobs.

This article does a great job of explaining why the Utilities are fighting energy efficiency and rooftop solar, and why we need to hold our legislators and regulators accountable. The weak energy efficiency bill, SB 412, passed out of the Senate.

HB 1320 is technically dead for the session.  However language from the bill could be inserted into another bill that is moving. We will remain on the lookout for such an underhanded tactic.  Stay tuned!!!

1) Please take a minute to thank House Speaker Brian Bosma for tabling the bill and his leadership to protect Indiana's net metering policy.

2) Thank Representatives Hale, Pierce, Pryor and Forestal for their NO vote on HB 1320 at the House Utilities committee hearing.  Their emails are shown below.

3) Very important - It's still not too late to let your state representative know how you feel about this bill.  HB 1320 would squash Indiana's growing free market solar industry, monopolize rooftop solar, and restrict our energy choices. Let them know why this is important to you and be sure to include your name and address.  Click here for additional information about the bill.  Click here to find your state representative.

House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications
February 18, 2015 Committee Hearing

Dist/Party Name Statehouse email Vote
65-R Koch , Eric 317-232-9674 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
38-R VanNatter , Heath 317-232-9647 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
91-R Behning , Robert 317-232-9643 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
5-R DeVon , Dale 317-232-9678 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
93-R Frizzell , David 317-232-9981 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
67-R Frye , Randall 317-234-9380 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
42-R Morrison , Alan 317-234-2993 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
4-R Soliday , Edmond 317-232-9603 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
90-R Speedy , Mike 317-232-9833 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
87-D Hale , Christina 317-232-9987 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
100-D Forestal , Dan 317-232-9987 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
61-D Pierce , Matt 317-232-9794 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
94-D Pryor , Cherrish 317-232-9794 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No



HB 1320 would squash Indiana's free market solar industry, monopolize rooftop solar, and restrict our energy choices.

  • HB 1320 is designed to kill the free market solar industry by making rooftop solar ownership cost prohibitive.
  • The Utilities want to kill free market competition and grab the solar market for its own electric monopoly.
  • 44 states have Net Metering polices to ensure solar owners are compensated fairly for the power and benefits they provide to the grid. This bill would kill net metering and set Indiana back compared to the rest of the country.
  • This bill would drive a growing number of solar businesses out of Indiana, kill jobs, and result in higher solar prices for Hoosiers.
  • This bill kills energy choice, energy freedom and energy independence for in Indiana.
  • Electric utilities are seeking to pay below market rates for rooftop solar power, add additional charges, and change the interconnection rules, but they have not shown any evidence to justify this.  It's not fair to pass legislation that is so disruptive to a growing free market industry with no evidence that it's needed or justified.
  • The IURC needs to conduct an independent and impartial study of the costs and benefits of rooftop solar to determine its true value. The study should also quantify the real fixed costs for generation, transmission and distribution.  According to an Arizona study, the true market value meets or exceeds the retail rate from benefits that come from avoiding "expensive and polluting conventional power and power plants; reduced investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure; reduced electricity lost during transportation over power lines ... and savings on the cost of meeting renewable energy requirements."



Sustainable Living Seminar - The Burden

The_Burden_FilmWedndesday, Feb. 17, 2016     
6:30 - 8:45 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032

Did you know that the U.S, military is currently the world's single largest institutional consumer of energy, and the United States alone uses 20% of the total global oil supply?  The Burden highlights how heavy reliance upon oil and other fossil fuels poses a variety of national security concerns, including:

  • The vulnerability of troops and loss of lives and money resulting from the need to protect and defend fuel convoys in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq,
  • The strategic and economic costs of keeping oil rich areas of the world open,
  • How climate change will increae the need for the military to respond to natural disasters, and other emerging global security challenges.

The Burden presents the determined voices of advocates for breaking America's addiction to fossil fuels as essential to improving our national security. Featuring high-level active duty and retired military leaders, elected officials and others, the film illustrates a tale of energy innovation.  Some of our country's most vital consumer technologies emerged out of military needs, such as the Internet and GPS, and the military is poised to play the same role again with energy.

However, as the film highlights, the fossil fuel industry's powerful political influence poses major challenges to successfully developing renewable energy alternatives. But the resolute advocates featured in The Burden are determined to break the energy impasse in order to improve American security and prosperity. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is featured in the documentary.

You will hear from veterans Mayor Greg Ballard and Dan Martin about their experience transporting oil in a war zone, and thoughts on what we can do to break our addiction and improve national security.  Martin is a veteran representative of Operation Free, a campaign of the Truman National Security Project. Mayor Jim Brainard will speak to some of the Carmel's green initiatives.








IUPUI Office of Sustainabiltiy

St. Luke's United Methodist Church

Central Indiana OFA

Citizen's Climate Lobby

Ask Renee, Indiana Living Green

St. Thomas Aquinas Creation Care Ministry

Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light












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