The Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research (ACER) group is a public outreach initiative operating out of Vancouver Island University under the guidance of faculty advisors. Our goals include:
- Raising awareness of the science and social implications of climate change through presentations, public discourse, and hands-on activities
- Improving educational and professional development opportunities of participating secondary and post-secondary students
- Informing public policy to support socially and politically responsible solutions
The ACER program includes an interactive presentation, the development of hands-on activities and educational materials, and an annual symposium with workshops and guest speakers. The presentation provides information on the physical basis of global warming, presents up-to-date information on greenhouse gases and global average temperatures, introduces the concept of risk assessment, and provides a starting point for discussions on technical, social, and political solutions. The presentation and associated activities promote scientific literacy with an emphasis on Earth observation, data evaluation and visualization, problem solving, and critical thinking. It provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of this pressing environmental issue, promote relevant post-secondary programs, and encourage careers in the sciences, engineering, and humanities.
Our mandate is to raise awareness, promote a sense of urgency, and discuss a range of solutions and innovative ideas to develop renewable energy sources. Most importantly, we aspire to motivate our audiences to take action in their own lives that contribute to the sustainability of our planet! ACER aspires to motivate our audiences, because we ourselves have been inspired and motivated to take action. We wish to share our education with the public, with a particular emphasis on youth, in order to raise the scientific literacy on the single most important environmental issue of our time, climate change.