Guttman Professor Receives CUNY ICCRG Grant to Organize Conference on Climate Change Education



March 18, 2020 | Academics, Awards, Conference Presentation, Faculty, Grants, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Research

Derek Tesser

Lecturer of Biology Derek Tesser

Guttman Lecturer of Biology Derek Tesser is a co-PI on a proposed CUNY Conference on Climate Change Education, awarded a $10,000 CUNY Interdisciplinary Climate Crisis Research Grant (ICCRG). The conference, planned for the fall, will bring together K-16 educators from the NYC regional area to discuss how to better teach climate change to a wide audience.

As New York City grapples with the challenges posed by climate change, Climate Change Education (CCE) has become an essential aspect of making the public understand the causes and consequences of climate change to help mitigate its impact. Professor Tesser and CUNY colleagues will provide a space for educators and experts to come together and create a CCE curriculum to help teach climate change to the public. The CUNY Conference on Climate Change Education will feature educators from various disciplines, including Art, Business, Economics, English, Sociology, Psychology, as well as STEM.

The conference will focus on several key elements of CCE: Identifying effective pedagogical methods and practices; creating a repository of reliable and factual resources for teaching CCE across K-16; integrating climate change content into existing curricula across multiple subject areas; and aligning climate change content with NYSED standards.

The conference is tentatively scheduled for October 2020 at LaGuardia Community College. Professor Tesser is joined in the grant by co-PIs BMCC Science Professor Luis González-Urbina; Bronx Community College Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science Professor Neal Phillip; Hostos Community College Natural Sciences Professor Julie Trachman, and Queensborough Community College Physics Professor Paul Marchese. Lead PI for the conference grant is LaGuardia Community College Natural Science Professor Holly Porter-Morgan.

Derek Tesser received a B.A. from Brandeis University in History and a M.S. in Biology from NYU. He has taught STEM courses at Guttman Community College since the college opened in 2012. More recently he is involved with the development of the Global Guttman program. He has led student field expeditions to the Chocó rainforest in Ecuador to study endemic species, biodiversity indicators, and deforestation related to the region’s changing ecosystem dynamics. His broader research is in the field of terrestrial ecosystem remote sensing. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Earth and Environmental Science at the CUNY Graduate Center and is conducting research at the Ecosystem Science Lab at City College. His doctoral work is focused on the utilization of satellite remote sensing to enhance our understanding of biodiversity, terrestrial ecosystem processes, and land cover change.

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College is CUNY’s first new community college since 1971. Planning began in 2008; Scott Evenbeck, the founding president, was appointed in January 2011, and the College opened its doors to an inaugural class of 289 students on August 20, 2012.  Guttman offers associate degree programs in an innovative model emphasizing experiential education, learning communities and instructional teams, and a commitment to providing rigorous academic challenge, attentive support, and inclusive excellence.  Guttman is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, with a current enrollment of 1,030 students (as of Fall 2019).  Guttman was ranked as the best community college in America for 2020 by