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Researching climate education

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Becca Nelson
Photo credit: Danielle T. Tucker

Becca Nelson

Biology '20
SESUR Participant

October 24, 2017

“For people who aren't climate scientists, it can be a little unclear as to why climate change is an urgent issue that needs action now,” said Becca Nelson, ‘20. “People come from all around the world every year to see the redwoods, so they can provide a great opportunity for climate education because the fog patterns that the redwoods rely on are shifting due to global warming.” Nelson, a biology major, joined the Stanford Earth Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SESUR) as a rising sophomore in 2017 to learn more about the research process and pursue her interest in ecology. Her project involved investigating human decision-making and observing state park visitors to understand how redwood trees may be used to educate people about climate change.

Because it takes place during the summer, SESUR offers undergraduates the opportunity to fully dive into a research project without the time constraints of a full course load. “These problems are so big and complex, and affect both the natural environment and our social systems and economic systems, so interdisciplinary thinking through programs like SESUR is really important for the world,” she said. “It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun.”