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University of Maine, The Maine Question Podcast


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies, History

Resource Type

  • Podcasts, 45 minutes, 1 second

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Maine

What Is the Legacy and Future of the Climate Change Institute?

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  • This interesting podcast describes how our understanding of climate change and the study of climate change has evolved over the last 50+ years, what the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute is working on, and what the institute is looking to do in the future.
  • The interviewees discuss historical perspectives about climate change, the need for strong climate policies, the differences in how climate perception is different in various cultures or locations, and the importance of supply and demand solutions.
Teaching Tips


  • It provides three points of view from individuals involved with the Climate Change Institute.
  • It highlights the benefits of the cooperative and interdisciplinary work of the social and natural sciences at the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute.

Additional Prerequisites

  • You may want to chunk the podcast into sections for implementation in class or as homework.
  • There is a full written transcript available below the podcast.


  • Consider having students get in groups to discuss the last segment of the podcast that talks about climate skeptics and how communities can respond to climate change.
  • History and social studies classes could use this podcast to supplement a lesson about how scientific discoveries and uncertainties in risk affect society and policy decisions.
  • After listening to this podcast, have students explore the Climate Reanalyzer site to visualize the changes in temperature, biomes, ice cover, and precipitation that may occur with continued warming.
  • Science and math classes can use segments of this podcast to connect to lessons about data analysis, confidence intervals, climate model assumptions, and the increase in data now available for models and analysis.
  • Economics classes may want to dive into a deeper conversation about the circular economy.
Scientist Notes
In this podcast, the host interviews three different people from the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. The institute is celebrating its 50th year, so the host and guests spend time discussing how the institute has changed and evolved and what it may focus on in the future. Intertwined in this conversation are discussions on how climate science has evolved. The discussions touch on changes in data collection methods, data availability, and scientists’ priorities and focuses. This podcast is a nice and understandable overview of the history of climate change, climate science, and how scientists came to understand what they do now. The podcast also does a nice job of connecting climate science to society and explaining how climate change research can be quite interdisciplinary. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.2.9-12 Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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