Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Our Climate Stories


The topics we're covering in this course are so fundamentally human that we are not going to let a minor detail such as never meeting face to face prevent us from engaging in creative ways to talk about these issues.

"Our Climate Stories" is a way for you to respond to prompts that dive into course topics, but in your own way. You tell us your story in the form of a written response, an infographic, a PowerPoint presentation, or a video. The possibilities are endless! I want these to be fun. You're going to do a ton of writing this semester, here's a chance to connect with the course content on a personal level and maybe play to other strengths and creativity you have. Of course, if you want to submit your responses to these 4 assignments in writing, you're free to do that as well.  Choose Your Own Adventure! 

We're using Canvas discussion forums for these assignments, but they aren't really intended to be discussions. We're simply using the forums as a way to share these artifacts more 'publicly' than if you submitted them just to me as a regular assignment.  You're not actually required to comment on any of your groupmates' contributions.  Obviously, I hope that you will want to, but this is entirely voluntary. 

For each unit, you'll be assigned to a new group. This will give you the chance to get to know a fair number of your classmates this semester.  

Submission Instructions

To submit your Climate Story, please follow the procedure below:

  1. Go to the appropriate Our Climate Stories Discussion Forum in Canvas (you'll find them in the modules for Lessons 3, 6, 9, and 12). When you click on the Group Discussion, it will take you specifically into your group's assigned space, which includes the forum itself.
  2. There are a few options for responses (but you're certainly not limited to these - be creative!):
    • Text only response: Type or copy/paste your text response into the text box marked 'reply'. 
    • Video response: Create your video and upload it to the video channel of your choice. Type or copy/paste the link to your video into the text box marked 'reply'. 
    • Image response (infographic, screenshot, image, PDF):
      • Upload to Canvas: If you are uploading a document directly into the forum, there is a two-step process you must follow. (1) Upload the image to your personal files, then (2) use the content-picker in the discussion-response window to select the document from your files.
      • Link from elsewhere: You can also choose to create and share your Image/document via another online source like Google docs (just make sure it's viewable to public) or use a free online image creator like Canva (no, not Canvas!). If you go this route, simple create your image and then type or copy/paste your link into the text box marked 'reply'.
  3. Select Post Reply. Your response is now visible to your classmates and your instructors. You should subscribe to the forum so you receive notifications when your classmates compliment your work or ask a question about it.

While you're not required to review your groupmates' work, this is easily accomplished on your phone while you're (1) sitting through an automatic car wash (2) waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store (3) waiting to pick up a child from an extracurricular activity or school, etc.  Popping in and making comments doesn't necessarily require a large block of dedicated time and could genuinely augment your learning experience in the course as well as help you network with other likeminded professionals enrolled in the course.

Note: Feel free to continue these discussions beyond the confines of each lesson - if you've got a good discussion going, run with it! 


Here is the grading rubric I'll use to evaluate your work. While not required for your grade, I encourage you to check out the work your groupmates are submitting too.  These assignments, with their Choose Your Own Adventure open-ended structure, will hopefully result in us having some exciting stuff to check out each unit! 

Note: you are able to view the rubric along with the actual discussion forum in Canvas by selecting the gear associated with the forum (as shown below). It doesn't simply appear by default like it does for an Assignment.

Click on the gear to show the rubric.
Show Rubric
Our Climate Stories Assignment Rubric
Up to 50 CONTENT: Addresses all facets of the assignment prompt with exceptional detail. Sources are credited appropriately as applicable.
Up to 50 CREATIVITY AND STYLE: All submissions (regardless of media) are well-organized and demonstrate a complete and polished artifact of the assignment itself.  Writing is well-structured and edited, videos are clear and easy to hear, graphics are edited and complete.  

*The instructor reserves the right to not award any credit if the content of the submissionis is off-topic, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate. Such posts may be deleted at any time by the instructor as well.