ASHEVILLE, N.C., Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A-B Tech is adding its voice to the global dialogue on climate by establishing a new institute designed to educate citizens about climate-related issues.
A-B Tech President Hank Dunn said The Institute for Climate Education and Geophysical Engagement will offer credit and non-credit classes, workshops, seminars and other training for the general public about climate and climatology.
"This institute will complement the work already being done by agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and provide a way for A-B Tech to join the critical conversation that's occurring about climate change and its long-term effects on our country and our world," Dunn said.
"National resources are available for scientists and experts in climatology to share information and address climate change. For everyone else, there is a growing hunger and need for public information and discussion. That's why we're creating this institute."
Located in Asheville, NCDC is one of the world's premier centers for archiving, processing, and researching climate data. NCDC analyzes weather land records, radar records and incoming data from U.S. weather satellites to document and measure climate change, processes that are augmenting NCDC's role from an archive of weather records into one that can also project changes through interpretation of data trends.
In addition to NCDC, the college will be working closely with the Centers for Environmental and Climatic Interaction (CECI), a community organization building an economic sector focused on climate-related science and services and assisting in the coordination of related community opportunities.
"National interest and the need for climate-related information, training and education services continue to grow, as does Asheville's reputation through NCDC and others as a center for related science and technology," CECI President George Briggs said. "A-B Tech represents a welcome and important workforce development niche in technical programs related to climate change adaptation."
Dunn said a unique aspect of the institute will be its efforts to engage the local arts community in educating the public about climate. "We want to use Asheville's arts culture, its artisans and artists to help create climate engagement through creative works of art that convey messages in a variety of visual or oral formats, including songwriting, painting, and fine arts," he said.
The college is in the process of hiring a coordinator for the institute who will assist in its development, create opportunities within A-B Tech's service area to expand the conversation about climate, climate products and climate services; and assist in the design, development, updating and implementation of non-credit courses and certifications related to climate education.
SOURCE Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College