ESS Internal Login
Broader Impact - CLEAN Boilerplate
Sample text is included below, and attached as a Word document
The project will support the efforts of CLEAN education (http://www.cleaneducation.org) to teach the science of [the water cycle] in Southern California classrooms in a grade-level appropriate way. CLEAN Education is a non-profit organization founded and run by former and current ESS graduate students who realize that education is an essential foundation for global climate change solutions. Through a program designed by active climate science researchers to supplement existing science education, CLEAN provides children with the fundamental scientific background, tools and support they need to take positive action. To facilitate public outreach of scientific research conducted within the UCI’s ESS department, the project will fund  graduate students to incorporate their scientific findings into active lessons for elementary classrooms based on current curriculum standards. These lessons will be presented by graduate students in at least  local classrooms over the two-year funding period, and will also be made available for public use via the web at www.cleaneducation.org.
For example, a current CLEAN lesson focused on California water sources for 5th grade students contains information on the current major sources of water for Southern California, including Owens Valley. The Pataki lab studies the relations between water availability, nutrient cycling and plant species function and distribution in Owens Valley. This information can be incorporated into this CLEAN lesson to give students a real-life understanding of the ecological effects of water redistribution and climate change in California. Additionally, plant species have been shown to vary in water usage, which can influence urban water needs, especially in arid and semi-arid regions such as Southern California. The Pataki lab makes sap flux and water use efficiency measurements of many Southern California trees and shrub species, which can also be incorporated into the California water sources lesson as an example of ways to take positive action to reduce water usage in Southern California. Finally, Pataki lab measurements of greenhouse gas nitrous oxide emissions from urban turf grass ecosystems in Southern California can be incorporated into another CLEAN lesson, which focuses on greenhouse gases.
Benefits to local community
A goal of the UCI Department of Earth System Science is to inform and educate the public at-large. CLEAN Education will assist in this by working with graduate students to incorporate their research into lessons presented to elementary school classrooms. Research from most departmental labs can be easily incorporated into current and future CLEAN presentations as a means of public outreach. CLEAN presentations reach thousands of elementary students and teachers each year (2009: 1100 and 62, 2010: 1500 and 75), multiplying the broader impact of a typical research grant by an order of magnitude.
Benefits to graduate student participants
There are documented professional development benefits to graduate students. Professional development benefits to graduate students who participate in K-12 teaching are well-documented (e.g., Trautmann and Krasny,
Bioscience 2006), and include improved teaching and communication skills, ability to integrate teaching with research, and a broadened perspective on their disciplines. Moreover, teaching with CLEAN education provides a valuable opportunity for ESS students to hone their teaching skills. The National Academy of Science recommends that graduate programs provide opportunities for students to gain a variety of academic and other career skills, with a special emphasis on the ability to communicate complex ideas to nonspecialists (National Academy of Science Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy Study on Graduate Education, 1995). The experience of translating research results to various audiences is valuable for all graduate students, regardless of whether they continue with research, teaching, or other career fields after completion of their PhDs.