PIER Summer Institute examines climate change and food security

June 29, 2015. New Haven, Connecticut—Two of the most urgent issues facing the 21st century are the environmental effects of climate changes and food security for a global population expected to exceed nine billion by 2050. The 2015 PIER Summer Institute at Yale — Global Challenges: Climate Change and Food Security — will take place July 6-10. It will examine the complex, interrelated dynamics of this dual challenge, which will play out on a global scale while manifesting differently in locality-specific conditions.

This intensive, five-day institute will focus generally on Africa and the Middle East - regions already burdened by a high vulnerability to food insecurity. Thirty-four K-12 and community college educators from 11 states across the U.S. will learn from recognized scholars, researchers, and policy advisors about the latest findings pertaining to climate variability, as well as from field practitioners who will explore the programs established to address these challenges. Participants will also meet with local grassroots leaders who will provide them with resources to address food security and adapting to climate change at a local level. Activities will include learning about gaming as a technique to explain complex concepts to students; meeting with leading research and development organizations who work with vulnerable populations across the globe; and visiting the Yale Sustainable Food Program, an interdisciplinary learning center for study and practice in food, health and the environment.

This year, PIER will host five pre-service teachers from the School of Education at the University of Texas, El Paso among its participants. Their visit is the first initiative of the UTEP-Yale collaboration that has recently been established between the two institutions, with the aim to broaden and strengthen African studies programming to UTEP’s student population. Another highlight to this institute includes an optional field trip to Morocco. Participants will be accompanied by Debbie Humphries, Clinical Instructor of Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health. During the trip, the group will examine agricultural production and food security in the region, while exploring the resulting impacts that climate change has brought on nutrition and disease among the population. The final project of the institute will require all participants to author their own curricular units, several of which will be published on PIER’s website as classroom resources for other educators. For more information about PIER and the summer institute, visit www.yale.edu/macmillan/pier/institutes.htm.

PIER (Program in International Educational Resources) is headquartered at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale. It draws upon the university’s extensive resources to develop and implement programs, services, and resources designed to promote foreign language instruction and an understanding of international and world regional issues. PIER offers professional and curricular development programs to K-16 educators, student programs and community events – with a particular focus on working with pre-service teachers, community colleges and minority serving institutions.

Contact Information:

Marilyn Wilkes

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale

(203) 432-3413