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Photo by J Surianto via Pexels

Author

American Museum of Natural History

Grades

8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics, Geography

Regional Focus

Oceania

Climate Change in the Marshall Islands

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Synopsis
  • This video looks at how the people of the Marshall Islands are affected by climate change and how they are adapting to these effects through community support.
  • The video follows the work of researchers who traveled to the Marshall Islands to better understand what the communities need and how they can be supported.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This is a great way to introduce students to climate adaptation.
  • The video shows clips of people in the Marshall Islands and interviews with the lead researchers.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The resource includes a transcript of the video.
  • Students should have a general knowledge of climate change's effects on coastal communities (e.g., sea level rise, changing migration patterns of marine fauna, etc.).

Differentiation

  • Have students consider what role communities can play in adapting to and mitigating climate change.
  • As a follow-up activity, students can research the impacts of climate change on specific communities and how they adapt to climate change.
  • Have students reflect on what they (and the international community) can learn from the people of the Marshall Islands.
  • This resource can also be used in health classes during lessons about the impacts of climate change on health, primarily related to access to food, water, and shelter.
Scientist Notes
This video spotlights the impacts of climate change on the Marshall Islands. Anthropologist Jennifer Newell led her team to study how Marshall Islanders respond to the impact of climate change and extreme weather events in order to replicate the solutions in Pacific Islands and other vulnerable communities. From the study, the people of the Marshall Islands have adapted in so many ways but one interesting feature is their concept of "lale doon" - which means to take care of one another. So through this cultural concept, the people have (overtime) developed the ability to unite together as one formidable force to respond to climate change impacts at the local scale. This resource is insightful and is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.9.6-8 Evaluate the influences of long-term human-induced environmental change on spatial patterns of conflict and cooperation.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
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