Karin Kirk

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

contact info

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 enjoy translating science into an appealing and practical message.
TEDx Bozeman 2016 Karin Kirk Healing the Divide on Climate Change YouTube screenshot and link TEDx Bozeman 2016 Karin KIrk Healing the Divide on Climate Change

TEDx Bozeman 2016 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.

Interview segment 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

Screenshot from Here & Now NPR interview

Yale Climate Connections

I recently joined the team of contributing writers at Yale Climate Connections and am humbled to be part of a group of impressive writers, editors, and thinkers.

Yale Climate Connections, Common Ground on Climate Change, part 4 Yale Climate Connections - Common Ground on Climate Change, part 3  

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.

Middle ground: Fertile for climate change dialogue
Yale Climate Connections

Uncertain about climate change, a moderate talks it through with a climate researcher.
screen shot from Common Ground on Climate Change, part 2 Screen shot from Yale Climate Connections - Common Ground on Climate Change Yale Climate Connections - Teachers head back to school to teach climate change
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.'
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.

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

Science Education

list of academic publications

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
Supporting First-Generation Students
at Two-Year Colleges

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

Lead Author
Validation screenshot
Using Validation to Empower Two-Year College Students
Lead Author
This suite of web modules for the SAGE 2YC project is designed to help faculty at two-year colleges support their students. Through this series of web pages, educators can learn about the needs of their students, understand challenges particular to different types of students, and use classroom strategies to help all students feel welcome and be successful.
Arctic Climate Curriculum
Arctic Climate Curriculum
Three modules for high school science students to explore Arctic climate data. Developed in cooperation with CIRES - University of Colorado.
Climate dot gov screenshot
NOAA climate.gov
Usability Research
Evaluating the usability of the climate.gov portal to help inform NOAA's website design process.
Direct Measurement Videos
Direct Measurement Videos
Web Content Manager
Using high-resolution videos to teach physics concepts.
Energy Literacy
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.
Climate Literacy
Teaching Climate Literacy

A set of 7 web pages to help educators teach the principles of Climate Literacy. Developed in cooperation with CLEAN.
Building a workforce for a sustainable future
Workforce for a Sustainable Future

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

The Lifestyle Project
The Lifestyle Project
Lead author
An innovative environmental challenge for students and citizens that redefines one's approach to resource use.

Affective Domain in the Classroom
The Affective Domain in the Classroom
Lead author
Tackling issues of motivation, self-efficacy, and advice for teaching controversial topics.

Teaching Online screenshot from On the Cutting Edge
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
Undergraduate Climate Education: Motivations, Strategies, Successes, and Support
Lead author
Synthesis of 6 years of professional development workshops to improve climate literacy.
JGE Cover Aug 2015
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.

Full list of academic publications and presentations


As a ski instructor for over 15 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.
Getting Better This Year The Greater Good of Snowsports Teaching Jump turns
Getting Better This Year
Carve, December 2016
You Do So Much More
Than Teaching Skiing and Riding

32 Degrees, Fall 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 32 Degrees - Bouncing Back from Exam Setbacks - screenshot
Practice Makes Perfect:
Downhill Skills for the Backcountry

Outside Bozeman, Winter 2015-16

If at First You Don't Succeed...
Bouncing Back from Exam Setbacks

32 Degrees, Winter 2015
Powder Magazine screenshot Ski Town Bozeman Screen shot from 32 Degrees article, Let's Talk about Climate Change Backcountry Skiing in Yellowstone, Backcountry Magazine
Passing Through: Bozeman
Powder Magazine, October 8, 2015
Let's Talk About Climate Change
32 Degrees, Fall 2015
Skiing in Yellowstone: Top Notch Peak
Backcountry Magazine, June 3, 2015
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
Bust your Intermediate Rut Skiing Efficiently, Carve 2015 Grownups Guide to Hully Gully
Break on Through:
Busting Your Intermediate Rut

Carve, February 2015
How to Ski Efficiently
Carve, January 2015
Hully Gully: The Grownup's Guide
Outside Bozeman Online, February 2015
Motivating Snowsports Students - 32 Degrees, Winter 2014 Mythbusters, skiing style. Outside Bozeman, Winter 2014-2015 The Great One in Backcountry Magazine
How to Light that Fire of Motivation
32 Degrees, Winter 2015
Mythbusters, Skiing Edition
Outside Bozeman, Winter 2014-15
The Great One: Montana's Summertime Chill Zone
Backcountry Magazine, July 25, 2014
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
Chasing Volcanoes Assembling the Ultimate Ski Quiver
Chasing Volcanoes: Kick Starting Ski Season in the Far South
Carve, March 2014
Assembling the Ultimate Ski Quiver
Carve, February 2014
Skiing Powder vs Groomers Ready for the Ridge? Self-Efficacy: Do you Believe you can be Successful?
Powder vs. Groomer
Carve, January 2013
Ready for the Ridge?
Carve, February 2013
Self Efficacy: Do You Believe You Can Be Successful?
32 Degrees, Winter 2012

Natural Stone

I bring a geoscience education perspective to the natural stone industry through a project I call Countertop Geology. Through workshops and webinars, I'm working with the Marble Institute of America 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 Screenshot from Wall of Time article
The Definitive Guide to Quartzite
Schist Happens!
Get to Know this Brilliant Stone

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

Screen shot of Striped Stones article
Travertine: Watching Stone Form in Real Time
The Mystique of Onyx
Striking Patterns: What Stripes Tell You about Your Stone
Screenshot: Getting to Know Your White Stones Screenshot for: Slate - From the Ocean Floor to Your Floor

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


Getting to Know Your White Stones
Slate: From the Ocean Floor to Your Floor
Screen shot from rock cycle article at usenaturalstone.com Screen shot from Stone Personality Quiz from UseNaturalStone.com Screen shot from A Moment in Time article on UseNaturalStone.com
A Wild Ride Through the Rock Cycle
What's Your Stone Personality?
A Moment in Time: Telling the Stories in Natural Stone
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