Climate-friendly park employees: The Intermountain Region's climate change training assessment

Gregg Garfin, Holly Hartmann, Mabel Crescioni-Benitez, Theresa Ely, John Keck, James W. Kendrick, Kristin Legg, Janet Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The National Park Service Intermountain Region (IMR) partnered with the University of Arizona to assess climate change training needs for more than 5,000 IMR employees. We identified baseline climate knowledge characteristics: ability to discern between climate variability and trends, understanding of key phenomena (e.g., El Niño), correct identification of observed impacts, but little knowledge of climate projections for the region. Employees identified challenges for implementing a training program: adequate communication technology, adequate funding, clear guidance on actions and policy changes, and communicating with climate change skeptics. Employees recommended that training connect global changes to regional impacts and local solutions and demonstrate relevance to job duties. Interviewees preferred interactive, hands-on learning experiences, but agreed to use electronic media given budget constraints. They identified information overload as a problem, suggesting information be packaged in frequently asked questions, briefs, and videos. We recommend a modular program, leveraging existing, well-vetted information resources. We evaluated more than 150 Web sites and found online training for climate change literacy, but a lack of training on mitigation and adaptation. We present a training decision tree and sample curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPark Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Climate change literacy
  • Communication
  • Intermountain Region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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