The Climate Masters program was developed at the University of Oregon Climate Leadership Initiative and is modeled after the Master Gardeners program. The purpose of a Climate Masters course is to provide approximately 30 hours of in-class programming to participants over a 10 week time frame. The programming is designed to provide ideas of how we can reduce our carbon footprints through a variety of ways including transportation, energy conservation, waste, consumption, food, and water issues. Upon completion of the program, participants create and implement a 30 hour service project in the community. This project has two objectives for the participants: 1) Serve as a positive messenger of how we as individuals and a community can reduce our carbon footprint. 2) Incorporate the learned material into a small-scale, community service effort.
The New Mexico Climate Masters program was initiated in 2008 and in three and a half years has graduated 150 students. In fall 2011, the New Mexico Environment Department cancelled the program and the Santa Fe Watershed Association began a fundraising effort to keep this successful program going.
The curriculum is designed to focus on climate change and water issues, specifically how recent and current forest management in the Upper Santa Fe Watershed, including prescribed burns, forest thinning, and reservoir management have increased the health of forests and will help protect our watershed from catastrophic wildfires. Weekly, expert guest speakers will provide an in-depth presentation in one of the topic areas. Participants in this program will also be taken on a field trip into the Upper Santa Fe Watershed to witness first-hand the efforts already undertaken to protect the watershed.
Once participants complete the 10 sessions and field trip, they will be required to complete at least 30 hours of community service before they receive the title of “Climate Master.” The community service can be a combination of planned activities offered by the Santa Fe Watershed Association including river cleanups and tree plantings, and self-created outreach projects approved by the Education Director.
The next session of NM Climate Masters will probably occur in either Fall 2013 or Winter 2014. Please contact Eileen at email@example.com or call 505-820-1696 for more information for more information.