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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Public Policy Leadership Receives Grant from the National Science Foundation

The Department of Public Policy Leadership (PPL) and the Mississippi Geographic Alliance (MGA), both at the University of Mississippi, collaborated with Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama-Huntsville to receive a $1 million grant through the National Science Foundation’s Climate Change Education Partnership program. The overall goal of the program is to establish a coordinated national network of regionally- or thematically-based partnerships devoted to increasing the adoption of effective, high quality educational programs and resources related to the science of climate change and its impacts.

Dr. David Rutherford

Titled the Climate Literacy Partnership in the Southeast United States (CLiPSE), this two-year, Phase 1 project will develop the foundation of a partnership that will work across the Mid South to increase and improve climate change education for children and adults through formal and informal learning environments (K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, professional development providers, museums, nature centers, community organizations, and churches). CLiPSE involves climate scientists, learning scientists, and partnership development practitioners, and David Rutherford, PPL Assistant Professor and Co-PI on the project, will lead the partnership development team. Rutherford is also MGA Executive Director and will work with the National Geographic Society and its nationwide network of Geography Alliances to build the CLiPSE partnership.

The main purposes that NSF specifies for the Phase I program are (1) to establish a strong network of individuals and organizations mobilized to increase and improve climate change literacy, and (2) develop, first, a strategic plan for Phase I that will guide development of the partnership, and then, a second strategic plan for a five-year, Phase II grant that builds on lessons learned in Phase I and will guide an extensive implementation of climate literacy. The CLiPSE project, by working with six states in the Southeast during Phase I, will be extremely well-positioned to compete successfully for a Phase II award in 2012 and expand the project across the entire Southeast region.

On July 25th of 2010, The Clarion Ledger published an article interviewing Dr. Rutherford about the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. You can read a copy of the interview on the PPL department home page.