Karin Kirk

Learn more about my work in: Climate Change | Natural Stone | Skiing | Science Education | Gardening

Contact info
List of academic publications and presentations
Very brief CV

Science Writing and Outreach

The benefits of scientific advancements are only fully realized when they are shared with a broad audience. As a writer and science educator, I craft appealing and practical messages that show the usefulness, impact, and downright awesomeness of science.
USA Today Climate Conversations op-ed by Karin Kirk
Climate change is scary.
Talking about it productively doesn't have to be.

USA Today invited Op-ed, January 2020


Screenshot from Here & Now NPR interview

Interview on NPR's Here & Now about people who changed their minds on climate change, and how they came to accept mainstream climate science.

Listen to the segment

What made people change their mind about climate change?
Yale Climate Connections

This article was the topic of the NPR interview and it remains one of my most-read pieces. The ways that people change their minds is a theme I'm continuing to develop through research and articles.
TEDx Bozeman 2016 Karin Kirk Healing the Divide on Climate Change YouTube screenshot and link TEDx Bozeman: Healing the Divide on Climate Change
In the public sphere, the topic of climate change tends to be polarizing, confusing, and contentious. But there are easy ways to frame the climate conversation that have been shown to unite disparate audiences. This talk shares a hopeful and actionable message to help pave the way for forward progress.
TEDx Bozeman 2016 Karin KIrk Healing the Divide on Climate Change

Yale Climate Connections

I'm humbled to be part of the team of impressive writers, editors, and thinkers at Yale Climate Connections.

Screensho of Covid-19 emissions drop article Screen shot of article about US electricity grid Screenshot of articel about air pollution, public health, and climate change
Coronavirus pandemic leads to profound cutbacks in fossil fuel use

Consumption has fallen enough to meet emissions targets, temporarily.
A website about the U.S. electricity grid offers a mesmerizing way to pass the time productively

For a voyeuristic view of electricity consumption patterns, look no further than the federal government's Hourly Electric Grid Monitor.
Burning fossil fuels heats the climate. It also harms public health.

Another way to frame climate solutions.
Sceensho of fossil fuel funding article
Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one

During the latest midterm election cycle, the fossil fuel industry paid at least $359 million for federal campaign donations and lobbying.
A geologist's front-row seat to Greenland glacial melt

'Never in my career as a geologist have I seen moraines so fresh and stark - and sad.'
92% of Greenland's residents believe climate change is happening

And they're worried not only for themselves but also for the well being of their iconic sled dogs.
Yale Climate Connections screenshot from 'War on Coal' myth
No, the glaciers are not growing in Glacier National Park

A fictional 'university' incorrectly claims that glaciers are growing in the Montana park.
Why it's premature to declare coal dead

Domestic use of U.S. coal has dropped sharply, but China still burns on a monumental scale.
The 'war on coal' myth

Environmental regulations aren't the reason that coal is falling off the map.
Screenshot from Yale Climate Connections article: It can happen - Social media helped someone change his mind about climate change
Former climate 'denier' regrets 'how wrongheaded but certain I was'

Here's what led him to change his mind.
It can happen: Social media helped someone change his mind about climate change

How church, social media, and a long-lost schoolmate led to a new understanding.
Clean energy facts belie misconceptions and offer optimism

With rise of clean energy success stories comes surge of myths and misconceptions. Here's how to counter them.
Yale Climate Connections, Debunking energy myths, part 1
3 clean energy myths that can lead to a productive climate conversation
Yale Climate Connections

Renewable energy innovations symbolize what's great about America. Discussing them provides opportunities for climate dialogue.
How to sort out good-faith questions about climate change
Yale Climate Connections

Sure, there are trolls out there - but don't rule out productive conversations with others because of them.
Focus on those with an open mind
Yale Climate Connections

People resist climate information for varying reasons. Start by understanding your audience.
screen shot from Climate Science Comebacks, Part 1 Yale Climate Connections, responding to climate myths, part 2 Yale Climate Connections - Climate Comebacks, Al Gore said What?
Climate change science comeback strategies
Yale Climate Connections

Steering conversations with people adamantly resistant to accepting climate science. Part I of a series.
Debunking the idea that climate scientists are 'in it for the money'
Yale Climate Connections

Experts in science and communication share perspectives on how to counter this persistent myth. Part II of a series.
Al Gore said what?
Yale Climate Connections

Four experts show how to counter false claims without getting dragged to the mud. Part III of a series.
Yale Climate Connections Common Ground on Climate Change, series overview Yale Climate Connections Common Ground on Climate Change series of articles Yale Climate Connections, Common Ground on Climate Change, part 4
Common Ground Series
Yale Climate Connections

People with differing views on climate change were paired together for conversations. Each match-up discovered meaningful areas of agreement.
Series Summary:
Finding common ground amid climate controversy

Generating productive conversations - ranters need not apply - and finding shared values on climate issues IS possible.

Dissolving stereotypes and seeking climate solutions
Yale Climate Connections

A Republican college student and a progressive climate advocate find room for agreement on climate policy.

Yale Climate Connections - Common Ground on Climate Change, part 3 screen shot from Common Ground on Climate Change, part 2 Screen shot from Yale Climate Connections - Common Ground on Climate Change
Middle ground: Fertile for climate change dialogue
Yale Climate Connections

Uncertain about climate change, a moderate talks it through with a climate researcher.
Changing one's views through dialog
Yale Climate Connections

Finding common ground on some issues helps two with differing takes on climate change bridge gaps. 'My mind has changed .... This was cool!'
Seeking common ground on climate change dialogs
Yale Climate Connections

A dialogue points to substantial areas of agreement and a call to tone down the rhetoric and focus on cost-effective 'big wins.'
Yale Climate Connections Sarah Myhre profile Yale Climate Connections - Teachers head back to school to teach climate change  
Sarah Myhre: Scientist/feminist/activist, all in one
Yale Climate Connections

Want to solve climate change problems? Put women in charge, says the academic researcher, feminist, nonprofit activist, and force of nature on the issues that drive her.
Teachers digging in to teach climate change
Yale Climate Connections

School's back in around the country, and teachers face new opportunities, continued challenges, in teaching climate change
Yale Climate Connections screenshot - climate lunch group Skiing in Iceland after warmest year

Bozeman lunch group - Civility on the menu
Yale Climate Connections

For a Bozeman, Montana, lunch, how ‘bout some lentils, spinach, potato chips ... and a heaping side of civil conversation on climate change?

Facebook's nicest defender of climate science
Yale Climate Connections

Amid the din and banter of social media, meet one frequent commentator who delivers his message with both substance and elan

Skiing in Iceland after its warmest year on record
Yale Climate Connections

Chasing winter to the far north and finding unseasonal warmth … along with lessons about Icelanders' changing climate.

Screenshot: Changing Minds on Changing Climate Screenshot: Facebook comments skew public discourse Screenshot: Contrasting Styles in Online Dialog

Changing minds on a changing climate
Yale Climate Connections

Reddit online commenters point to reasons they went from being climate contrarians to having confidence in mainstream climate science.

Facebook comments skew public discourse
Yale Climate Connections

An analysis of Facebook comments on a range of news media websites shows the commenters voice opinions at odds with general public views on climate change.

Contrasting styles in online climate change posts
Yale Climate Connections

Different messages, tactics, and tone characterize online commenters' climate change posts.
General interest science writing
EARTH Magazine cover, March 2016 EARTH Snow Science feature article screenshot
Earth Magazine
Cover, March 2016

Slipping Point: Snow Scientists Dig in to Decipher Avalanche Triggers
EARTH Magazine, March 2016
Cover image Puyehue Earth Magazine, Skiing into the Heart of a Volcano
EARTH Magazine
Cover, April 2015

Skiing into the Heart of an Andean Volcano
EARTH Magazine, April 2015
Screen shot from 32 Degrees article, Let's Talk about Climate Change Earth magazine screenshot
Let's Talk About Climate Change
32 Degrees, Fall 2015

Kitchen counter geology: Bringing rock identification to a new audience
EARTH Magazine, June 2017

Natural Stone

I bring a geoscience education perspective to the natural stone industry through a project I call Countertop Geology. Through workshops, webinars, and articles, I'm working with the Natural Stone Institute to improve the industry's knowledge of stone. The articles below share a geologic perspective to help consumers appreciate their personal slice of the Earth's crust.
screenshot for The Definitive Guide to Quartzite Deep Dive into Quartzite, thumbnail image Granite - What's in a Name
The Definitive Guide to Quartzite
A Deep Dive Into the Properties of Quartzite
Granite: What’s In a Name?

Mad about Marble Sussing Out Sandstone geology article thumbnail Bluestone geology article thumbnail image
Mad About Marble:
A Geologic Look at a Classic Stone
Sussing Out Sandstone Bluestone:
Rivers and Deltas Create a Versatile American Sandstone
Gneiss is Nice! Know your schist Screenshot for: Slate - From the Ocean Floor to Your Floor
That's a Gneiss Stone! Schist Happens:
Get to Know this Brilliant Stone

From the Ocean Floor to Your Floor

Limestone - A Tropical Seabed Brings us a Practical Stone Travertine Onyx
Limestone: A Tropical Seabed Brings Us a Practical Stone Travertine: Watching Stone Form in Real Time

The Mystique of Onyx
Screenshot: Getting to Know Your White Stones Tracing the Origins of Green Stones Screen shot of Striped Stones article
Getting to Know Your White Stones
From Earth’s Mantle to the Fireplace Mantel:
Tracing the Origins of Green Stones

Striking Patterns: What Stripes Tell You about Your Stone
99 ways Icelander's use their native lava rock Screenshot from Wall of Time article Screen shot from rock cycle article at usenaturalstone.com

Got Lava?
A Photographic Tour of Iceland’s Native Stone

Wall of Time:
A Geological Stone Wall Captures Earth's History

A Wild Ride Through the Rock Cycle
Screen shot from A Moment in Time article on UseNaturalStone.com Screen shot from Stone Personality Quiz from UseNaturalStone.com  
A Moment in Time: Telling the Stories in Natural Stone

What's Your Stone Personality?
ski technique | ski travel | for snowsports instructors
As a ski instructor for 20 years, one of my favorite things to do is explain something in a way that helps a person grasp a new concept, make a change in their skiing, and have more fun. A natural next step is to share these same ideas via the written word. I leave out all the technical jargon and explain skiing in simple, straightforward English with a dash of humor. Skiing is fun, right? Reading about it should be too.

Ski Technique

Stop Telling Me To Face Downhill Carve Magazine cover, Feb 2017 Carve Magazine cover, Decemner 2017
Stop Telling Me To Face Downhill
Carve, February 2017

Carve, February 2017
Carve, December 2017
The First Turn Getting Better This Year Jump turns
The First Turn:
Get Your Run Off to a Strong Start

Carve, December 2017

Getting Better This Year
Carve, December 2016
Hop To It: Jump Turn Technique
Outside Bozeman, Winter 2016-17
screenshot from inside ski, outsdie ski article Steeps technique - screenshot Mountain Manners screenshot
Inside Ski vs. Outside Ski
Carve, February 2016

Steep Skiing Techniques:
The Slarve, Schmear, Drifter Turn...

Carve, January 2016
Miss Mountain Manners:
Illuminating Your Ski Etiquette Questions

Carve, December 2015
Downhill Skills for the Backcountry - Outside Bozeman - screenshot Bust your Intermediate Rut Skiing Efficiently, Carve 2015
Practice Makes Perfect:
Downhill Skills for the Backcountry

Outside Bozeman, Winter 2015-16

Break on Through:
Busting Your Intermediate Rut

Carve, February 2015
How to Ski Efficiently
Carve, January 2015
Four Fundamentals Moguls Made Easy Sprucing up your Parallel Turns
All the Right Moves:
Four Fundamental Principles that Define Good Skiing

Carve, March 2014

Moguls Made Easy
Carve, February 2014
Sprucing up your Parallel Turns
Carve, December 2013
Skiing Powder vs Groomers Ready for the Ridge? Mythbusters, skiing style. Outside Bozeman, Winter 2014-2015
Powder vs. Groomer
Carve, January 2013

Ready for the Ridge?
Carve, February 2013
Busting Common Skiing Myths
Outside Bozeman, Winter 2014-15
Grownups Guide to Hully Gully Assembling the Ultimate Ski Quiver  
Hully Gully: The Grownup's Guide
Outside Bozeman Online, February 2015

Assembling the Ultimate Ski Quiver
Carve, February 2014

Ski Travel

Ascent magazine - The birth of Iceland's ski touring culture Freeskier - Montana's hidden gems screenshot
The Birth of Iceland's Ski Touring Culture
Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal, Early Winter 2019
You Didn't Hear it From Me
Montana is the size of all the Northeastern states put together, but only if you count Massachusetts twice.
FREESKIER Magazine, Dec. 2019
Cover image Puyehue Earth Magazine, Skiing into the Heart of a Volcano
EARTH Magazine
Cover, April 2015
Skiing into the Heart of an Andean Volcano
EARTH Magazine, April 2015
Skiing in Iceland after warmest year Backcountry Skiing in Yellowstone, Backcountry Magazine The Great One in Backcountry Magazine

Skiing in Iceland after its warmest year on record
Yale Climate Connections

Skiing in Yellowstone: Top Notch Peak
Backcountry Magazine, June 3, 2015
The Great One: Montana's Summertime Chill Zone
Backcountry Magazine, July 25, 2014
Powder Magazine screenshot Ski Town Bozeman Chasing Volcanoes
Passing Through: Bozeman
Powder Magazine, October 8, 2015
Chasing Volcanoes: Kick Starting Ski Season in the Far South
Carve, March 2014
For Snowsports Instructors
Reconsidering Learning Styles Care and Feeding of 2nd Year Instructors Career Paths for Snowsports Instructors
Reconsidering Learning Styles:
How Much Do They Matter?

32 Degrees, Winter 2018
Care and Feeding of Second-Year Instructors:
Strategies for Support, Inclusion, and Growth

32 Degrees, Fall 2017
Generalist, Specialist, or Something In-Between
What's the Shape of Your Teaching Path?

32 Degrees, Spring 2017
Breakdowns and Breakthroughs Well That Didn't Work: Unraveling the Causes of an Unsuccessful Lesson Skiing above Hedinsfjordur
Breakthroughs and Breakdowns-
The Highs and Lows of Teaching and Learning

32 Degrees, Winter 2017
Well That Didn't Work
Understanding the Causes of an Unsuccessful Lesson

32 Degrees, Winter 2017
Got the Shot
Sunset above Hedinsfjordur, Iceland
32 Degrees, Fall 2016
The Greater Good of Snowsports Teaching 32 Degrees - Bouncing Back from Exam Setbacks - screenshot Motivating Snowsports Students - 32 Degrees, Winter 2014
You Do So Much More
Than Teaching Skiing and Riding

32 Degrees, Fall 2016
If at First You Don't Succeed...
Bouncing Back from Exam Setbacks

32 Degrees, Winter 2015
How to Light that Fire of Motivation
32 Degrees, Winter 2015
Screen shot from 32 Degrees article, Let's Talk about Climate Change Self-Efficacy: Do you Believe you can be Successful?  
Let's Talk About Climate Change
32 Degrees, Fall 2015
Self Efficacy: Do You Believe You Can Be Successful?
32 Degrees, Winter 2012

Science Education

list of academic publications and presentations

Science education has been my career since 1993 when I began teaching geology at Skidmore College. My roles in education have included classroom teaching, online teaching, leading professional development workshops for college faculty, and educational writing. I have been fortunate to do much of this work with the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College. Currently I am engaged in projects involving climate education, discipline-based science education research, website usability, and innovative methods for teaching physics.
First Generation Studnets screenshot Self Regulated Learning screenshot Validation screenshot
Supporting First-Generation Students
at Two-Year Colleges

Lead Author
Self-Regulated Learning:
Choosing and Using the Best Strategies for the Task

Lead Author
Using Validation to Empower Two-Year College Students
Lead Author
Arctic Climate Curriculum Climate dot gov screenshot Direct Measurement Videos
Arctic Climate Curriculum

Three modules for high school science students to explore Arctic climate data. Developed in cooperation with CIRES - University of Colorado.

NOAA climate.gov
Usability Research

Evaluating the usability of the climate.gov portal to help inform NOAA's website design process.
Direct Measurement Videos
Web Content Manager

Using high-resolution videos to teach physics concepts.
Energy Literacy Climate Literacy Building a workforce for a sustainable future

Teaching Energy Literacy
Lead author

A set of 7 web pages to help educators teach the principles of Energy Literacy. Developed in cooperation with CLEAN.

Teaching Climate Literacy

A set of 7 web pages to help educators teach the principles of Climate Literacy. Developed in cooperation with CLEAN.

Workforce for a Sustainable Future
Lead author

Preparing students for careers in earth, environment, energy and sustainability.

The Lifestyle Project Affective Domain in the Classroom Teaching Online screenshot from On the Cutting Edge

The Lifestyle Project
Lead author

An innovative environmental challenge for students and citizens that redefines one's approach to resource use.

The Affective Domain in the Classroom
Lead author

Tackling issues of motivation, self-efficacy, and advice for teaching controversial topics.

Teaching Geoscience Online
Lead author; workshop leader

Materials to help college geoscience instructors improve their online teaching.

Journal of Geoscience Education, special issue on climate literacy JGE Cover Aug 2015 Full list of academic publications and presentations

Undergraduate Climate Education: Motivations, Strategies, Successes, and Support
Lead author

Synthesis of 6 years of professional development workshops to improve climate literacy.

Arctic Climate Connections Curriculum: A Model for Bringing Authentic Data Into the Classroom
Second author

A high school science curriculum that helps students - and teachers - learn how to work with real climate data.

Like most gardeners, I learned at the expense of sweat, dirt and labor-intensive mistakes. But after surviving a decade of Montana gardening, two stints on the Bozeman Garden Tour and more hailstorms than I care to remember, I enjoy passing along some of my favorite aspects of gardening. And I can stay clean while doing so.

Backyard Bouquets, Rocky Mtn Gardening, Summer 2015

12 Months in the Greenhouse

Build a Rocky Mt. Stone Wall
Backyard Bouquets
Rocky Mountain Gardening, Summer 2015
A 12-Month Greenhouse Plan
Zone 4, Fall 2014
Build a Rocky Mountain Stone Wall
Zone 4, Spring 2014

Contact info

Karin Kirk Karin Kirk at Bridger Bowl, Montana

Karin Kirk

karinkirk at gmail.com

Twitter @karinkirk_mt