Conditions of Use
This lab manual does a great job of walking students through many aspects of climate change including climate science, past climates, projected climate changes and implications, and options for mitigation. The index is laid out well and make... read more
This lab manual does a great job of walking students through many aspects of climate change including climate science, past climates, projected climate changes and implications, and options for mitigation. The index is laid out well and make navigation between exercises easy. Each exercise works students up from a simple activity to one that is more complex and includes more data synthesis and critical thinking.
This book links to lots of external websites, so assuming the data on these websites (many of them government owned) is correct, than the available data is correct as well.
This book is extremely relevant as, in my opinion, climate change is the most urgent threat that our planet is currently facing. It's also nice that these labs link out to other websites, so assuming the websites continue to be updated, the data used for these exercises will as well. The author may need to go back in for minor adjustments to keep things relevant, but my guess is that this toolkit will be useful for many years to come.
Yes, the writing is clear to read and technical terms are defined. The term anomaly is used (and explained), but I think that explanation could be a little more detailed (maybe with an example) as students will use anomalies quite a bit and the concept will likely be new for many of them. Additionally, in some cases, I would suggest that the "background" sections could be expanded just a tiny bit. At times, the author talks about parameters of certain models, and mentions a small piece about them, but I think a little more information could be useful at times. But I also understand there is a fine line between enough information and too much information! Overall, the text was easy to read and the instructions were easy to follow.
Yes, it is consistent. The way it is set up, each section is tackling a slightly new topic. Because of this, new vocab is constantly being introduced, but that is just the way it goes. No problems here!
This text is set up in lab-length modules, so yes, highly modular!
The toolkit is very well organized, starting with weather basics and moving into climate and climate change, and then into implications for communities and finally, some potential preparations and solutions, Each activity builds up itself and the entire text builds up as well. Great job with the organization!
The interface is mostly good. I read this in the books app on my Mac. The one slightly annoying thing was that if I wanted to click on an external website, it would leave the book, but if I copied and pasted the website into a browser, it attached the citation to it, so I would then have to go back and remove that part. It wasn't a big deal, but instead of being able to click through, it involved several steps. Not sure if there is a way to remove attributions from hyperlinks? Maybe this would have been better viewed in a PDF format. I am giving it a 5 still, as I think using a different format for the book would have eliminated some of these problems. Aside from that, it was easy to navigate between sections and very user friendly.
No issues with grammar that I saw!
For the most part, culture doesn't show up a whole lot in this text. Although different places around the globe are discussed, cultural impacts only really show up in Chapters 16 and 21. Part of this makes sense as culture isn't necessary to talk about the science behind climate change, however, I do think there are more sections where a cultural component could be added if that is an area that the instructor wanted to highlight. It would be easy to add another a few extra questions to allow for some critical thinking in that area. That said, nothing cultural inappropriate or insensitive is in this text.
I thought this text was great. I learned about so many great websites that I am excited to use with my classes. I love the modular format, already in lab-length activities that build upon themselves. This is a book that you could use all of over the course of a term, but you could also pull out 1-2 activities for a specific class. I think this is really well done. Great data, well thought out activities, and a good job of showing students how connected different parts of our environment are.
The Climate Toolkit is a much needed, hands-on approach to understand past, current, and future climate dynamics and interactions. The book is incredibly comprehensive, covering most of the major components of the climate system, but showcasing... read more
The Climate Toolkit is a much needed, hands-on approach to understand past, current, and future climate dynamics and interactions. The book is incredibly comprehensive, covering most of the major components of the climate system, but showcasing hands-on examples across the board. The table of contents makes it easy to find relevant topics and the accompanying exercises.
With ample links to outside sources, this is a very accurate and unbiased example of how to explore these topics on your own.
This book focuses more on the processes, even when it comes to the mitigation and adaptation sections, making it super relevant now and well into the future. Given that every exercise relies upon an external website, updates will certainly be needed to maintain all of the rich content. However, all links have worked so far!
There is no excessive jargon used in this at all. I refer to it as our "plain-language" resource, as it gets to the point very quickly, and then allows students to explore on their own the data behind the concepts.
This text is highly consistent from one section to another, and the questions at the end are written consistently (i.e. they build in complexity from Activity A - D) throughout the sections.
Given the focus on activities, each section is highly modular. There is not a lot of text in any section, as the focus is interacting with data and visualizations, meaning readers can easily hop from one section to another.
I found this text to be organized very close to other climate texts; it starts with a focus on the basic principles, then moves into current and future impacts, and finally into mitigation and adaptation exercises.
PDF has large white space gaps and some of the images/figures were cut off. But, the web-version is very well designed. Weblinks work very well from both. I really appreciate the appendices at the end, but found myself wanting some of the "further resources" to be referenced in each of the sections.
I have not found any noticeable spelling or grammatical errors.
This text certainly showcases primarily US examples (especially Oregon), but I was heartened to see one of the exercises focusing in on the Quinault Indian Nation. More examples from other regions of the world (like that in Section 7) would certainly help others localize these concepts. But, given that most resources are globally available, it is not hard to cater the exercises to a different region. Some website require really fast internet to work, so there could be some accessibility challenges for communities without reliable internet access.
The Climate Toolbox is an excellent resource for undergraduate-level assignments/exercises that explore the components of our climate, the reality of our past, current and future climate, and what to do about it all. Thank you to the author for curating the equivalent of a GIS exercises book for climatology.
Table of Contents
- Part I. Weather / Climate Basics
- Part II. Present Impacts
- Part III. Past Climate Change
- Part IV. Potential Climate Change
- Part V. Going forward - Mitigation, adaptation, and action
About the Book
The Climate Toolkit is a resource manual designed to help the reader navigate the complex and perplexing issue of climate change by providing tools and strategies to explore the underlying science. As such it contains a collection of activities that make use of readily available on-line resources developed by research groups and public agencies. These include web-based climate models, climate data archives, interactive atlases, policy papers, and “solution” catalogs. Unlike a standard textbook, it is designed to help readers do their own climate research and devise their own perspective rather than providing them with a script to assimilate and repeat.
The activities in the manual are divided into five sections that include weather and climate basics, present climate impacts, past climate change, future change and impacts, and strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation. These are followed by three appendices which contain information about the on-line tools used in the activities in this manual; a catalog of on-line and print resources produced by research groups, government agencies, and community groups involved in climate and sustainability work; and background on the history and key players in the international climate negotiation process.
Though originally aimed at undergraduate non-science majors, the manual has been broadened for a wider audience in non-academic settings like community groups, service organizations, workplace study groups, and faith communities.
About the Contributors
Frank Granshaw, Portland State University