Like almost all climate education, the Department of Defense’s educational institutions approach the subject of climate change in the science and engineering fields. In contrast, the social sciences remain primarily overlooked. At the U.S. Naval War College, the Climate Change and National Security master’s course introduces students to the basics of climate science and expands the topic into the myriad security implications. Drawing from political science, students examine climate change and human security from an international relations and foreign policy analysis perspective. This course combines a social constructivist strategy and an adult learning–oriented pedagogical approach by cross-utilizing course framing, educational materials, and assessment deliverables. The approach has minimized potential climate skepticism and denialism. The course incorporates climate communication and climate psychology elements to address climate anxiety and to empower students with solutions.


Andrea H. Cameron

Andrea H. Cameron is a Permanent Military Professor teaching policy analysis in the National Security Affairs Department at the U.S. Naval War College and the founding director of the Climate and Human Security Studies Group. Her academic interests explore climate change and security, climate policy, human security, and civil-military coordination during humanitarian assistance. Andrea holds a M.A. in Human Resource Development from George Washington University, a M.S. in Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Command and Staff College, an Ed.D. in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, and a Ph.D. in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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No. 3 Bridging Climate Science and Security: Teaching Climate Change and National Security at the U.S. Naval War College