The National Science Foundation's Climate Change Education Partnership-Phase II (CCEP-II) program will provide $5.6 million in funding over the next five years to the Polar Learning and Responding: PoLAR Climate Change Education Partnership led by Barnard Environmental Science Prof. Stephanie Pfirman and the Columbia Climate Center with partners from Teachers College, The American Museum of Natural History, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of New Hampshire, and World Without Oil creator Ken Eklund.  Pfirman will serve as the Principal Investigator alongside co-Principal Investigator Peter Schlosser, Associate Director and Director of Research of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, Vinton Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. 

PoLAR had previously been awarded a $1.2M grant from NSF as part of CCEP Phase I funding to build partnerships and engage in strategic planning for Phase II. With the funding provided by the Phase II award, PoLAR will initiate full-scale implementation of a suite of activities that focus on the public’s fascination with the changing poles to engage adult learners in interactive and game-like educational approaches to climate change education.

Click here to read more about the Partnership.

Pfirman is the Alena Wels Hirschorn '58 and Martin Hirschorn Professor of Environmental and Applied Sciences.  She serves as co-Chair of the Department of Environmental Science.  She holds a joint appointment with Columbia University where she is a member of the faculties of the Earth Institute and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Adjunct Research Scientist the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

Prior to joining Barnard, Pfirman was a senior scientist at Environmental Defense Fund and co-developer of the award-winning exhibition, "Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast," produced jointly with the American Museum of Natural History. Her scientific research focuses on the Arctic environment, in particular on the nature and dynamics of Arctic sea ice under changing climate.  Her previous research activities have included melting and surging glaciers and pollution transported by sea ice.