Climate change is the biggest challenge that humanity will face in the 21st century but we can do something about it. Individuals have the ability to make positive, sustainable changes to their own behaviour and to inspire larger, climate-positive, systematic changes in society. In the fight against climate change, it is vital that the voices of young people are heard by all. This residential, 5-day course will empower young people to take action on climate change. Young people will cover a range of environmental topics, undertake individual mini-projects and will take part in a CV writing workshop for getting a job in the environmental sector. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills that you will need to take climate action back to your communities and to make a positive and long-lasting impact.

Are you a final year student considering a degree in geography, sustainable development or environmental science? Are you an undergraduate or postgraduate who would like to learn more about how to make a positive change in the face of climate change? Would you to develop skills and have a career in the environmental sector?

The camp has been created to offer you an opportunity to explore a future career or studying options in the field of environmental science. This residential will enable you to find out more about the subject, hear from experts working in the field and share the experience with others with similar interests. This residential Climate Action Ambassador is for Higher and Advanced Higher / AS and A Level Students, undergraduates or postgraduates who wish to get an introduction to the field and DofE Gold Residential students. The course has been created to align with UN Sustainable Development Goals and includes a range of sessions to educate and inspire participants to make positive changes in their lives and make their voices heard in our climate emergency.

Watch our video from a Climate Change Ambassadors course in January 2020

The field centre at Millport is a historical marine research and education station, recognised in internationally as providing first-class teaching and scientific provision to all ages in the field of marine science. Formerly the University Marine Biological Station Millport and before that, the base of the Scottish Marine Biological Association, the location and facilities providing at FSC Millport allow students to follow in the footsteps of pioneering researchers and naturalists.

Our residentials also give you the chance to develop a range of transferable skills. These types of skills help across many areas of life and are particularly good for including in job or education applications. Here are some of the transferable skills that are likely to be covered in this residential:

  • Communicating with others
  • Working as a team
  • Managing your time
  • Taking the lead
  • Resilience
  • Reliability
  • Keeping focused
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making

Our centres are operated in a fully Covid-secure way and accommodation will be in suitably shared rooms based on the current government guidance.

The course is suitable for Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold residential. Always check with your leader before booking.

Tutor: Field Studies Council Staff

Courses are led by experienced Field Studies Council staff.

  • Sea cleaning at Millport Beach
  • Cory beach cleaning at Millport Beach

Example Timetable

Day 1

Arrive 14.00. Welcome to the centre / Introduction to course / Allocation of waterproofs

Course Introduction. Setting some targets, aims and aspirations for the week.
Sustainable Development Team Games. Get to know the others on the course by team building exercises and games – What have you learned about the strengths of your team and the group as a whole over the afternoon?

Every little action… Climate Action Ambassadors – why?
What can a nursery school of less than 10 children do to change the world?
Case study – Lochinver CLC and the KIMO project
Who are the greatest ambassadors for climate action and how have they impacted on our knowledge of the issue?

Day 2

Behind the Science of Climate Change
Meet the greenhouse gases in our Climate Challenge
Can you design a fully sustainable island community?
Research challenge: What are the major risks of climate change? Who and where might these affect most?

Carbon and Environmental Indicators
Big issues in bitesize pieces
Measuring carbon in trees – how to calculate carbon storage in woodlands and what it means
Using the OPAL Lichen Survey, we will introduce the group to simple Citizen Science

Yes, but what can we do?
Taking what you learn into the wider world
What is a Climate Action Ambassador and what can you take from here to your schools and groups?

Day 3

Small Island Life - Food Choices
What are your options if you live in a small community like Millport?
Building on the carbon study from Tuesday, we will look at food miles and the impacts on our habits.
Visiting shops and food outlets in Millport we will see how feasible it is to live an ‘environmentally friendly life’ outside the cities.

One of the Climate biggest risks to the UK is more water!
Can you and your team build a raft to get you all safely to the other side of the loch?

Continuing our discussion on what we have learned and how we can translate that into the wider world
Based on everything we have looked at so far – a chance to work on the mini-projects working towards your final presentation

Day 4

A Beach Walk with a difference
Following on from a fun Bioblitz looking for intertidal creatures we will conduct a survey along the coast of Millport.
Using the free Beach Track APP, we will extend our use of Citizen Science to demonstrate how anyone can play a part in monitoring environmental change.
The results can be pooled and contributed to the MCS ongoing Great British Beach Clean project.

Microplastics – if we stop using them is it all okay?
Found in the Clyde, but coming from where?
Using samples collected in various places – the beach and woods we will conduct in-lab microscopy work looking for microplastics in the Clyde area. These results will then be contrasted with microplastic loading in terrestrial soil.

Campfire Sharing
Sharing experiences – The course should have opened students’ minds to a few new concepts and ideas – what were their favourite bits? What, if anything, do they feel they have learned?

Day 5

Careers in the Environmental Sector
An overview of getting your foot in the door for a career in marine science, including tips on interviews and CV’s.
Mini Project Preparation Time

To practice presenting their work to a scientific audience, students will deliver a short talk summarising their findings.

Depart 15:00

Please note: to ensure safe and quality learning experiences for students, the timetable may alter depending on weather conditions and local factors at centres.

What's Included

Before You Attend

  • Please feel free to request further details on the content and activities.
  • The order of activities may be altered to avoid equipment/transport clashes.
  • Students are requested to bring a packed lunchbox, water bottle and sun cream.  They may also find a camera useful.
  • All attendees should bring a swimming costume or shorts, but all other snorkeling equipment will be provided. If students have their own wetsuit, snorkel, mask or fins they can bring if desired.
  • Students will be outdoors for periods of time and should therefore be dressed appropriately for the weather conditions. A waterproof jacket is recommended for getting around the site as weather may be poor. Wellies, waterproof jackets and trousers can be borrowed from the centre if the student requires them.

Sorry this course has ended