Climate & Culture… G-WOW!

Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) “G-WOW” Changing Climate, Changing Culture Initiative

“G-WOW” is a unique model for increasing people’s knowledge of climate change by integrating scientific research with real world evidence of how climate change is affecting traditional Ojibwe lifeways, and people of all cultures.  It brings Native perspectives to addressing issue of climate change and incorporates Ojibwe language and cultural components. The project’s service learning approach promotes community level action to mitigate or adapt to a changing Lake Superior climate.

G-WOW provides the model for climate change environmental outreach programs at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.

Because the G-WOW model is based on investigating the impacts of climate change on key plant and animal species a cultural practice relies on, it is transferabe to other cultures and locations. We welcome you to adapt the G-WOW model to help your community understand more about climate change and what can be done about it.

These G-WOW outreach tools are now available:New GWOW logo

G-WOW Service Learning Web-Based Curriculum 

Four seasonal curriculum units engage middle and above learners in applying scientific research with place-based investigations to determine how climate change is affecting  traditional Ojibwe lifeways and people of all cultures.  Students develop their own climate change hypothesis, test it, and develop a cliamte chnage service learning project based on their results. Because the G-WOW climate change literacy model is based on investigating the sustainability of key plant and animal species that cultural practices rely on, it is adaptable to other cultures and locations. The G-WOW website features  lesson plans, teacher resources, program data bases, visual resources, and interactive blog where students can share their climate service learning projects.

G-WOW Culture and  Climate Change Discovery Center

This 200 sq.ft. inG-WOW.Exhibitteractive exhibit and dynamic 32-inch touch screen kiosk at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, WI  explores the impacts of climate change on Lake Superior’s natural resources and peoples and what we can do about it. The exhibit and kiosk use the G-WOW model to let learners explore place-based evidence of climate change impacts on seasonal cultural practices the Lake Superior Ojibwe people while investigating the latest climate science research through intreacive maps, videos, Ojibwe language components. Do culure and science agree that climate change is real?  You be the judge!

G-WOW Educator Professional Development Institutes  

Water samplingG-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture Institutes offer professional development designed to build a network of trained climate change community educators based on the Parks Climate Challenge program. Teacher credit, stipends, and transportation funds are available to help bring students to a national park for climate change field experiences.

Mark your calendar– the 2015 G-WOW Institute is scheduled for July 13-16. More info coming soon!

Click on the on the 2014 G-WOW Institute tab to see what you can learn!

Browse the G-WOW Archives to see what we learned at past G-WOW Institutes.


The G-WOW Project received the prestigious 2012-13 Honor Award from the Eastern Region of the US Forest Service in the category of “Courageous Conservation.” Photo shows G-WOW Team members (left to right) Jason Maloney-US Forest Service, Sue Erickson and Jim St. Arnold-Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Neil Howk-Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and Cathy Tecthmann-UW Extension.

G-WOW Team Receives USFS Honor Award

If you would like more information or assistnace in adapting the model in your community, please contact Cathy Techtmann-Environmental Outreach State Specialist at or call 715.561.2695.


The G-WOW Initiative is a collaboration between UW-Extension, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), US Forest Service, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore-National Park Service, and Wisconsin State Historical Society.

With funding through the WI Coastal Management Program, NOAA, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and the National Parks Foundation.