SSEC's ATLAS ("Always Thinking Like A Scientist") After-School Program in Santa Fe Holds Community Event

May 10, 2019

With the support of SSEC’s Ferdinand Gouveia, SSEC supported a program called “ATLAS Water”, which engaged twelve students in a six-week after-school science program at Santa Fe’s Piñon Elementary School (SFPS). ATLAS Water examined the impacts of climate change on Santa Fe’s access to water in 2040. The team found some surprises, most notably that the biggest local effects of climate change might not be from less precipitation. The program was developed by SFPS teacher Delara Sharma and local scientist Dr. Joel Berendzen. In Santa Fe, students interacted with archeologist Damien Evans in Paris, NOAA climatologist Howard Diamond, California artist/conservationist Wyland, and UNM Professor John Fleck, as well as local water experts. The ATLAS Water team of explorers then presented their results to city and county officials, as well as parents, at Piñon Elementary School on Friday, May 10 and the public (and SSEC Director Carol O’Donnell) watched the event live-streamed on the Santa Fe Public Schools’ YouTube channel at: and interacted with the students via Zoom. Following the ATLAS program, the SSEC will make the materials available for free use by after-school groups so that students worldwide can explore future access to water in their own locales.” SSEC’s ATLAS programs are unusual by having high-school students teach middle school students’ the principles to “Always Think Like a Scientist (ATLAS),” then apply those principles to complex socio-scientific issues (like accessing fresh water). Chief among the ATLAS principles is engaging with scientists directly and communicating with others.”