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Period 4 - Christina Chkarboul
Thank you for participating in TIRP service-learning outreach!

Your reports are the basis for academic credit.  Whether or not you are seeking a credit option, reports are required as a university record of service-learning efforts and impact in local schools.

Required Format:
Session 1 materials: [The first line of your report is the session number and full title of the database item(s).]
Focus Q: [On a new line, list your focus question from your TAP form. If you changed the question then add the new version after the TAP version.]
*** For the minimum of 3 student specifics, do not refer to students by name; instead call them Student A, B or C.
*** For the minimum of 500 words, guiding questions are here:

Use clear paragraph structure. If you include too much focus on the step-by-step process of the lesson rather than substance, you may be asked to revise your report.
*** The webboard is public. If you include names, commentary or observations, you will need to revise your post.

To Post:
1. For each report, select Post Reply.  (Do not select New Topic)
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3. Before pasting, confirm that you have met the minimum of at least 500 words.
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Session 1
On-time: 3/3
Substantive: 6/6
Student specific 6/6
Total: 15/15
Comments: Thank you for the substantive and student specific report! Love your material about California drought. Keep it up! -- OL 11/20

Session 2
On-time: 0/3
Substantive: 6/6
Student specific: 6/6
Total: 12/15
Comments: Great substantive report about your introduction of climate change and packed with student specific comments! -- OL 11/28

Session 3
On-time: 0/3
Substantive: 2/6
Student specific 5/6
Total: 7/15
Comments: Thanks for turning in the report! I love how your session went, though I'd like to know more about the specific content/ideas that was brought out in class. I would also like to see a bit more details to make it 500 words. LY 12/1

Session 4
On-time: 0/3
Substantive: 6/6
Student specific 6/6
Total: 12/15
Comments: Thank you for the substantive report, I really enjoy reading your introduction of the activist and it is very student specific! -- 11/28 OL
Materials: California drought and climate change handout, slideshow:

Christina Chkarboul
TIRP - Gloria Hernandez Period 4 - Session 1
Climate Change Policy
October 28, 2023

The focus question for our first Climate Change Policy session in Gloria Hernandez’s class was: “What are the causes of the California drought, what challenges exist to solving the drought, and what policies have been proposed?” Our lesson explored the causes and impacts of the severe drought that California has faced in the past several years in the context of Tropical Storm Hilary and the last wet winter, as well as the policies that Californian officials have proposed for state-wide water management.

Ben, Nour and I began the class by asking students to raise their hands if they had heard of the fact that California is presently experiencing a drought; Most students did not raise their hands, but after some prodding from Ms Hernandez, we got a couple of hands. We realized that the class was either very shy or we had to explain very many key terms and define very thoroughly what drought is — which we did do in the next few slides. I believe starting with an interactive question for the group helped engage students from the start and encouraged them to think about their own scope of knowledge about California’s water scarcity.

We led into a discussion about what drought is and what it means for California. We asked whether students knew the causes of the California drought: Student A said heat was a key contributor to drought. We emphasized in the class that global warming is one aspect of climate change, but that it’s more correct to refer to it as climate change in general when referring to the phenomenon as a whole — because climate change is not only felt through warming temperatures. We discussed how climate change and its symptoms can result in water scarcity and water surplus — what we called “weather whiplash” — as it causes unpredictable weather, as well as extended periods of rising temperatures and dry climate.

We viewed a video from National Geographic that showed two climate experts flying over a desert-like area in California and the main reservoir in the state. We had students react to the video and share what they found most striking or surprising: Student D said they were shocked to see the entire reservoir was dried out. The visual depiction of California’s drought from the video was really important, in my view, to show students what the drought’s effect really looks like on the state’s landscape. We did emphasize, however, that the video was from 2021 and that the reservoir being shown had refilled a bit after Hilary. Living in the center of L.A., there are scarce reminders about the true toll of drought on the land, apart from drying lawns and the arid L.A. River.

We then popcorn-read an article from TIME about the hazards Hilary brought about in terms of flooding and mudslides, but also about how the storm gave L.A. enough water to last one dry year. Students were surprised to hear about the fact that the storms themselves are symptoms of climate change, which causes unseasonal and extreme weather. We explained the importance of snowpack, L.A.’s challenge in storing water in reservoirs and the concept of groundwater basins and aquifers. 

We finished the lesson off with a discussion of different policy options that legislators consider when combating the state’s drought. As we were running short on time, we asked students to pick one of the options given as their top choice for an effective water management policy. Student E and D said they would prefer stormwater capture and injection into groundwater basins because it seemed logical and would not harm marine life like desalination does. Overall, the class was a good introduction into our subject matter, I thought, though we will aim to manage our time better in future sessions to have enough class time for more interactive group activities.
Christina Chkarboul
TIRP - Gloria Hernandez Period 4 - Session 4
Climate Change Policy
November 26, 2023

Slideshow link: 

The focus question for our fourth Climate Change Policy session in Gloria Hernandez’s class was: “How do young climate activists make a difference through legal action and NGO involvement?”

Our aim with this session was to show the students the power that young people have to affect change for the better, specifically when it comes to climate change and environmental conservation.

We started by asking students what they thought of when they heard the words “climate activism.” We were hoping to get them thinking about depictions of climate activism in the media and in their curricula, and to have them think about who is most often shown. Student A said they thought of protests. No other students had any answers, which was a bit surprising as I was expecting at least someone to say Greta Thunberg. We showed the students a photo of Thunberg at a march and a photo of an Indigenous activist with a protest sign that read “Colonialism caused climate change.” We asked the students to recall what we had already discussed with inequities between the Global South and North, between historic polluters and the populations most vulnerable to climate change today, and explained how inequities in historic emissions and vulnerability exist within nations as well. 

We then discussed a young, Indigenous, Los Angeles-based housing and climate activist named Atlakatl Ce Tochtli Orozco. We talked about their work and how they have tied the homelessness crisis in the city to climate, drawing the connection between exposure to the elements and being the most affected by severe weather caused by climate change. We wanted to give the students a concrete example of someone not too much older than them who is working locally to improve conditions for unhoused and vulnerable people in L.A.

Our main focus for the session was a case study about the group of teens in Montana who successfully sued the state government for failing to protect citizens’ right to a clean and healthy environment. We showed a 9-minute video from ABC that illustrated the topic very well and included interviews with two of the youth – two brothers. The video was a bit long, though, and students began to visibly lose interest or attention, so we cut it at about the 7-minute mark. 

After the video was finished, we broke the class into small groups and had them discuss comprehension and thinking questions about the video and the case. In response to one of the questions, Student B told me that the lawsuit’s success means that future legal action where constituents want to sue their government for failing to protect them against climate change might be successful. In response to another question, Student C told me that the case technically doesn’t stop the fossil fuel industry in the state but might make it harder for permits for future projects to be approved.

We then showed students a list of local environmental NGOs that they can join or contribute to depending on what they’re interested or passionate about. We also provided social media links for students who weren’t sure about committing to volunteering but wanted to follow the organizations online. 

We ended the session with a 20-minute question and answer period during which students and Ms Hernandez asked Ben and I questions about college, paying for college, Greek life and more. Overall, it was a fruitful session but I would choose a shorter video in the future to ensure students remain engaged throughout.
Christina Chkarboul
TIRP - Gloria Hernandez Period 4 - Session 2
Climate Change Policy
November 26, 2023

Slideshow link: 

The focus questions for our second Climate Change Policy session in Gloria Hernandez’s class were: “Who pays for the toll of the climate crisis? What strategies and challenges exist for vulnerable nations to adapt to the effects of climate change?”

For this session, we wanted to ensure students were grounded in the definition of climate change and introduced to the ways in which climate change impacts people around the world. The main takeaway we hoped students would have was that some populations and nations are more vulnerable to climate change and are in the process of adapting to its effects. We also wanted to get students thinking about who should be held responsible for the effects of climate change caused by emissions in the past.

We began by reviewing what climate change is. Student A said it is when it gets hot, and Student B added that it causes severe climate events like floods and storms. We were glad students brought both of these points up as they related to our drought session and to the topic we would be discussing that day, which was floods. 

We introduced students to the Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and said that based on current emissions and consumption trends, the world is slated to warm to 3 degrees if more action isn’t taken soon. 

The topic of the day, we said, was adaptation. This means adapting to climate change that has already been created, such as by relocating or building up infrastructure to increase resilience against extreme climate events. To demonstrate the concept, we used the case study of the recent floods in Libya. We used an article that explained how climate change made the catastrophic floods worse. Students popcorn read the article and we discussed the text questions in small groups. 

In response to one of the questions, Student C said that heat made it more likely that a storm would come and dump eight months worth of rain within one weekend in Libya. We tied this to disaster preparedness and infrastructure, which students understood from the article was not built to withstand or tolerate such heavy rainfall. As a result, many dams, houses and bridges were swept away, leaving people with no place to live. 

From this article, we asked students to think about what populations around the world are most affected by climate change today. Student D said people living in small-island nations. We elaborated on the topic, adding people who live by the coast, in places with poor infrastructure, people who are low-income, people who live in rural areas, and more. We also emphasized that the least developed countries in the world contributed only 1% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. This got students reflecting on the global inequality of climate changes’ impacts and causes.
Christina Chkarboul
TIRP - Gloria Hernandez Period 4 - Session 3
Climate Change Policy
November 29, 2023

Slideshow link: 

The focus question for our third Climate Change Policy session in Gloria Hernandez’s class was: “What policies do governments implement to combat climate change?” In this session, we aimed to introduce students to the different ways in which governments can address climate change with varying efficacy. 

We began by asking students why climate change is an issue that is hard to solve. After some prompting, Student A said that it seems far away from us. We agreed, elaborating that perceived psychological, generational and physical distance from climate change might make the public and elected officials less likely to act with necessary urgency now. We also discussed vested interests and powerful lobbying from the fossil fuel industry as a hindering factor to meaningful action in many cases. We also touched on the fact that there are few easy and quick alternatives that can facilitate a rapid switch away from fossil fuels — clean energy can have high barriers to entry for developing countries, sparking concerns about the right to develop.

We then identified the three areas governments enact climate action with: subsidies, policies and lobbying. We defined the three and gave examples. It seemed as though students were not familiar with any of the concepts we presented.

We played a video of a CalMatters environmental reporter breaking down the history of climate change policy in California, touching on the Global Warming Solutions Act and the aggressive goals the state has set for itself in terms of electricity generation, decarbonization and more. Students broke off into small groups to discuss several comprehension questions from the video. In response to one of the questions, Student B told me that the public pays for action to mitigate climate change through taxes.

We then presented the policy continuum tool to understand the spectrum of policies governments can enact to respond to climate change. We defined incentives, penalties, regulations and moratoriums — students seemed to be familiar with incentives and penalties. We placed a list of policies given to students in their handout along the spectrum while working in small groups. Student C identified that a tax on emitters of greenhouse gases beyond their allowed amount would count as a penalty.

We also wanted to cover the goals of the Paris Agreement in this session, but we ran out of time with the policy continuum exercise. Overall, the class went well and I think students came away with a greater understanding of climate policies.

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