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Climate Ambassador Training Modules

Below you will find links to information about climate science, how to effectively communicate with others about climate change, and resources that can deepen your knowledge about actions contained in the Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.

Each week of the training, you will be asked to review the "Required" material for the assigned learning module. This will include short articles to read, videos to watch, recordings to listen to, and/or interactive quizzes and web features. It is designed to be informative but also, hopefully, fun too. You may cover this material at your own pace, reviewing one or two items a day or going through them all at once. It is an important part of your training. This material gives us all a shared base of information to use as a starting point for our weekly conversations.

Each module also contains a list of "Supplemental" material. Although none of this material is required, it is provided so that you can explore the topics that interest you more deeply. Use the supplemental material to personalize your training experience. The links and resources were carefully chosen for being thought-provoking as well as useful, and reflect current conversations happening in the Climate Action community. We are always refining these lists. If you come across material that you think should be included, please feel free to share it with your Climate Ambassador trainer.

Items in bold in both the Required and Supplemental materials were produced locally and focus on Iowa City specifically, so they are a great way to learn more about local actions related to these topics.

Welcome to the Climate Action conversation!


Use these links to jump to any module:



Module 1: Climate change impacts and equity

Required material
  1. Read Climate Change Impacts Clearer in Iowa... (web article)
  2. Watch Patricia Espinosa on Cities and Climate Leadership (15 minutes)
  3. Take Climate Health Quiz (10 questions)
  4. Interact NOAA Climate Summary for Iowa (interactive website showing local climate data)
  5. Read Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (pages 6-20)
Supplemental material

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Module 2: Building the climate conversation

  1. Read Communicating on Climate: 13 Steps and Guidelines (8 pages)
  2. Interact Climate Opinion Map (information on national, state, and county levels)
  3. Watch Susan Pacheco's Heal the Planet (3 minutes)
  4. Read The cash incentives in the climate bill are only good if people actually use them (web article)

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Module 3: Rethinking waste and promoting better use of resources

  1. Listen Recycling! Is it BS? (48 minutes)
  2. Watch The Extraordinary Life and Times of a Strawberry (2 minutes)
  3. Interact Save the Food (webpage with links)
  4. Read Curbside Recycling At-Home Sort Guide (2 page infographic)
  5. Read Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, “Taking Action: Waste” (pages 43-48)

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Module 4: Plugging into buildings & energy

  1. Listen City of the Future: Affordable Electrification (first 15 minutes/24 minutes, or read transcript on the same page)
  2. Watch Energy Efficiency: Our Best Source of Clean Energy (2 minutes)
  3. Watch LEED Platinum Home in Iowa City (6 minutes)
  4. Read/Watch DIY Home Weatherization Tip Sheet (Sheet with links to videos)
  5. Read Checklist: How to take advantage of brand-new clean energy tax credits (web article)
  6. Read Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, “Taking Action: Buildings,” pages 28-34

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Module 5: Advancing cleaner and healthier forms of transportation

  1. Interact Alternative Fuels Data Center Vehicle Cost Calculator (webpage)
  2. Watch How Clean Are Electric Cars? (2 minutes)
  3. Listen Missing the Bus (40 minutes, or read transcript on same page)
  4. Read Why Celebrate the Bike? (webpage)
  5. Watch What Makes Walkable Cities? (3 minutes)
  6. Watch Let Someone Else Drive (commercial, 2 minutes)
  7. Read Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, “Taking Action: Transportation,” pages 36-48

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Module 6: Promoting a sustainable lifestyle that works for every resident

  1. Listen Is Your Carbon Footprint BS? (45 minutes) 
  2. Interact CoolClimate Calculator (15 minutes)
  3. Read Climate Change Action Requires Change In How We Live (web article)
  4. Watch I'm Just One Person, What Can I Do? (7 minutes)
  5. Read Fix to Food Climate Problem Doesn't Require Veganism (web article)
  6. Read Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, “Taking Action: Sustainable Lifestyle,” pages 56-60, and “Call to Action,” pages 62-63

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Module 7: Building a more resilient community able to adapt to climate stresses

  1. Listen Unnatural Disasters (42 minutes)
  2. Read Build A Kit (web article)
  3. Watch Designing Buildings and Communities for Iowa’s Future Climate (6 minutes)
  4. Watch The Iowa Watershed Approach: A Vision for a More Resilient Landscape (1 minute)
  5. Interact Sycamore Greenspace Trail (story map)
  6. Read Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, “Taking Action: Adaptation,” pages 50-54

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Bonus: A Little Relief When You Need It

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