Environmental hazards—such as wildfire, flood, and drought—are increasingly affecting communities in Colorado. With this rise in hazardous events, there is a pressing need for communities to become more resilient through education, preparation, and planning.
The Hazard Education, Awareness, and Resilience Task Force (HEART Force) is a collaborative project implemented by the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) partner Western Water Assessment.
Interested? Please contact our team at: email@example.com
Resilient Colorado: Natural Hazards Education for Secondary Science and Social Studies Classrooms- PD Workshop
We invite secondary earth and environmental science, civics, and social studies teachers to learn a new place-based, NGSS-aligned science curriculum on natural hazards.Read More
HEART Force is in the second year (Y2) of implementation, and is currently working in 5 school districts to pilot curriculum. We are also working with the Colorado Resilience Office and the Department of Local Affairs to connect teachers and classrooms to ongoing resilience efforts in rural areas. The figure below shows the areas we have been working in and plan to work in.
The flexible, three-part curriculum is designed for middle and high school science classrooms, but can be adapted for Agriculture, STEM, or Civics classroom. Lessons are designed to meet NGSS and 2020 CDE Science Standards.
We encourage teachers to choose one hazard to focus on (wildfire, flood, or drought), and pick the parts that suit your classroom—from a week introduction to the hazard to a multi-week, integrated project. Most materials are editable Google docs which can be used as-is or customized for the way you want to use them.
The curriculum consists of three parts:
Hazard Lessons use case studies and authentic data to learn about the causes, frequency, impacts and responses to natural hazards. They use what they’ve learned to create a local news story to educate their community about the hazard.
Scenario-Based Role-Play Games are place-based and hazard specific, and have students assume the role of community members tasked with responding to a natural hazard as it occurs in their hometown.
A Community Resilience Expo is a project-based learning component, that challenges students to come up with strategies to increase resilience in their community, which they then present to their community in a public forum.
Explore the Unit Overview, and the Example Instructional Calendars to develop a lesson progression that works best for you.
We invite you to use the HEART Force Curriculum in your classroom! If you would like to participate in HEART Force programming, we offer several opportunities:
Teacher professional development workshops Currently, we are planning to offer a 1-credit workshop in partnership with the Western Colorado University Summer Teacher Institute, June 15-16. This workshop is open to all secondary science teachers. Additionally, if you are in a rural district and have several teachers who would be interested in taking a workshop, contact us directly to discuss hosting a workshop in your area.
Support with the Community Resilience Expo CIRES staff can offer help with finding guest speakers, brainstorming ideas for resilience strategies, logistics and planning for an expo, and offer funding for students to implement their resilience strategies.
A network of teachers around the state Learn about what other teachers are doing, and get tips on what works and what doesn’t work.
The program does have a research and evaluation component, so we ask that all teachers participating in HEART Force programming complete teacher surveys, and have their students complete pre- and post-surveys as well. Our team will work with your district to make sure data collection is approved.
- NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) - Western Water Assessment
- NOAA National Weather Service
- NOAA FireX Program
- NOAA Global Monitoring Division
- NOAA National Integrated Drought Information System
- NOAA National Integrated Heat Health System
- NOAA Science-on-a-Sphere
Rob Pressly, Colorado Resiliency and Recovery Office at Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs
Taryn Finnessey, Senior Climate Change Specialist at the State of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources
Patricia Gavelda, Colorado State and Local Mitigation Program Planning Manager at Colorado’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Greg Guibert, Boulder’s chief resilience officer, who is part of the 100 resilient cities and has many regional, state-wide, national and international connections with resilience efforts.
Juliette Rooney-Varga, PhD, Director Climate Change Initiative Boulder Emergency Service
Frank Niepold, NOAA climate program office
Jen Kretser, Wild Center
Lesley Smith, Foothills United Ways
Beth Barthel, UNAVCO
Partner communities [to date, additional community partners welcome]:
- Archuleta County
- Boulder County
- City of Longmont
- La Plata County
- Larimer County
- Jefferson County
- Gunnison County
- Montrose County
School partners [to date, additional school partners welcome]:
- Westview Middle School, Longmont
- Estes Park High School, Estes Park
- The Early College of Arvada, Arvada
- Durango High School, Durango
- Montrose High School, Montrose
- Ignacio Middle School, Ignacio
- Animas High School, Durango
- Pagosa Springs High School, Pagosa Springs
How to Play the HEART Force Drought Game
This video introduces the HEART Force Drought game materials and gives an overview of how to play.
How to Play the HEART Force Flood Game
This video introduces the HEART Force Flood game materials and gives an overview of how to play.
How to Play the HEART Force Wildfire Game
This video introduces the HEART Force Wildfire game materials and gives an overview of how to play.
HEART Force Community Sector Interview - Waverly Klaw
Waverly Klaw, Hazards and Land Use Planner with the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs, describes what resilience looks like for the community sector in Colorado.
Wildfires in Colorado with Megan Cattau
Megan Cattau, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Earth Lab at University of Colorado Boulder, discusses wildfire in Colorado for the HEART Force project.
HEART Force Infrastructure Sector Interview - Lizzie Kemp
Lizzie Kemp, Resilience Program Coordinator at the Colorado Department of Transportation, describes what resilience looks like for the infrastructure sector in Colorado.
HEART Force Watershed and Natural Resources Sector Interview - Kevin Houck
Kevin Houck, Chief of Watershed and Flood Protection at the Colorado Water Conservation Board, describes what resilience looks like for watersheds and natural resources in Colorado.
Drought in Colorado with Doug Kluck
Doug Kluck, the Regional Climate Services Director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, discusses drought in Colorado for the HEART Force Project.
Flooding in Colorado with Jeff Lukas
Jeff Lukas, a scientist at the Western Water Assessment, discusses flooding in Colorado for the HEART Force project.
HEART Force Economic Sector Interview - Danielle Lendriet
Danielle Lendriet, Regional Coordinator and Analyst at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, describes what resilience looks like in the economic sector in Colorado
HEART Force Colorado Resiliency Framework Overview - Kate Busse and Rob Pressly
Kate Busse (Local Resiliency Program Manager) and Rob Pressly (Resiliency Program Manager) with the Colorado Resiliency Office at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs describe the Colorado Resiliency Framework.
HEART Force Housing Sector Interview - Allison George
Alison George, Housing Director for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, describes what resilience looks like in the housing sector in Colorado.
HEART Force Health Sector Interview - Aimee Voth Siebert
Aimee Voth Siebert, Behavior Health and Inclusion Worklead at the Colorado Department of Public Health, describes what resilience looks like in the health and social sector in Colorado.
Engaging ALL Students in Student-Led ProjectsMiddle School, High School
Natural Hazards, Drought, Wildfire
Teacher PD Series: Fall Natural HazardsMiddle School, High School, Informal Audience