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Climate Action with Family and Friends

Cornell University online course
February 13 – March 12, 2023 

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  Registration is closed 

Register by February 10, 2023 if possible
Registration open till February 17, 2023

Course participants receive 30% discount on new book
In This Together:

Connecting with Your Community to Combat the Climate Crisis

Information for participants in China:
中国学员请关注公众号 (CornellCEL) 获取课程中文详情。


Do you want to do something to avert the climate crisis, but question whether your individual actions are meaningful? How might we move from individual to collective or group actions? In the Climate Action with Family and Friends online course, you will choose an action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and apply the latest social sciences research to influence your family and friends to take the action alongside you. While having fun with family and friends, you will extend your impacts beyond what you can do alone! NOTE: This course is an updated version of our earlier Network Climate Action course. If you have taken that course, you will have an opportunity to update your knowledge and skills and try out a new network climate action! For those new to the course, “network climate action” refers to taking a climate action with a close social network–generally family members or friends.


Invite your colleagues

Please invite your colleagues, friends, and anyone else to join this course. It's fun to learn along with your friends and colleagues! We accept new participants until February 17, 2023.

Note: This course is an updated version of our highly popular Network Climate Action course.

Course Instructors


Marianne Krasny


Cornell Professor

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Alex Kudryavtsev


Cornell Research Associate

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Fish Yu


Cornell graduate student

Course Assistant

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Renda Sun

MA Candidate in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU

Contact: Course Administrator


Kim Snyder

Course administrator

Please refer to our FAQs below. If you still have questions, feel free to ask Kim Snyder, our course administrator, any questions about this course.

When you contact us, please type "CAFF" in the subject line of your email.

Course Dates

Course: February 13 – March 12, 2023. All assignments must be completed no later than March 20, 2023. Webinars with speaker: Thursdays, 8am NY time (recorded for participants unable to attend in person). “Office hours” with instructors: Fridays, 8am NY time. Student presentations (optional): March 23-24, hours to be arranged.


Environment, climate, and education professionals; volunteers; university and motivated high school students; and any climate concerned or climate curious citizen from any country. Discussions will be in English with translation assistance for Chinese speakers. Participants can form WhatsApp groups to support fellow students with limited English.



We aim to help participants improve their knowledge of urban environmental education, and their educational programs.


Educational Approach

The course is based on three learning principles: (1) Learning is social: participants learn by discussing ideas and sharing resources; (2) Learning should lead to action: participants apply course content to implementing a climate action of their choice and persuading others to take that action alongside them; (3) Learning should be student-directed: participants adapt and apply course materials to a project they choose and design.

Learning Outcomes

Course participants will:

  1. Describe the feasibility and effectiveness of actions to mitigate greenhouse gasses across different countries and contexts.

  2. Implement an action to reduce greenhouse gasses themselves and among their family or friends.

  3. Critically reflect on the results of their network climate action and write a one-page report of their action and reflections.   

  4. Participate actively in a global online community of climate-concerned citizens.


Registration fee

We make our courses available to everyone, including those on limited incomes. To do so, we have three payment options: (1) $100 if you are able to help support a student who can’t afford to pay; (2) $70 standard course fee; (3) any other amount that you are able to pay.

Course materials


Edge edX for required readings, pre-recorded lectures, and discussion questions (asynchronous). Facebook and WhatsApp for optional informal discussions and sharing. Zoom for webinars and office hours (one webinar attendance or later viewing required). 


A Cornell University certificate (PDF) is awarded to participants who complete all course requirements: (1) weekly lectures, readings, and discussion questions; (2) minimum of one course webinar in person or by watching the recorded webinar, (3) course project report on the climate action you took with your family or friends.


Week 1: Climate Solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (see and Moral Rebels 

Week 2: Behavioral Contagion in Networks, Moral Rebels, and Social Norms 

Week 3: Choice Architecture, Nudges, and Social Mobilization,

Week 4: Social Marketing, Social Media, and Theory of Change

New Climate Book from the Cornell Civic Ecology Lab!


Many of the course ideas are described in the popular-audience book In This Together: Connecting with Community to Combat the Climate Crisis. Book excerpts are included in this course for free. If you want to buy the entire book, please visit Amazon or Cornell University Press. You will get a 30% discount code if you register for the course. 

A New Year's 2023 blog about the book.


1. What time(s) of the day will this course take place?

During the course, we will release most of the course materials including pre-recorded video lectures, readings, and discussion questions every Monday morning (NY time). You can choose anytime during each week to do the work. We will also host two live ZOOM sessions each week: webinar with outside speaker (Thursdays, 9am NY time) and office hours (Friday, 9am NY time). Webinars are recorded for participants unable to attend in person. In short, there are NO required “live” or “real time” sessions; it is possible to complete the course asynchronously.


2. Why do you have three types of enrollment for different fees?

Most students pay our standard course fee of $70. For those who can afford to pay more, we have an option to pay $100. These fees are used to support our instructor salaries, and to support students who are unable to pay these amounts. Students can pay a reduced fee or not pay if they live in a country that does not have a system to transfer funds to the U.S. (e.g., Afghanistan, Iran) or because the basic $70 fee is beyond their reach (economic hardship). We are committed to creating equal access to the course materials and to instructor feedback regardless of where a student lives or their ability to pay. We depend on your course payment to pay our teaching staff, and we are grateful for your support!


3. What is the refund policy?

You may request a refund by Friday, February 17, 2022.


5. How long is the course? 

Four weeks of course materials, followed by an extra week to finish your final report.


6. Can I submit the course project in my native language?

We strongly encourage you to submit all assignments in English so that instructors and other students can give you feedback. But you can also submit your final project in Chinese, in which case it will be reviewed by our Chinese teaching assistants.


7. How will I receive course certificates?

You will receive your PDF course certificate via email within two months after the end of the course.


8. What social media are used in this course?

There are no required social media for the course. We use optional Facebook, WhatsApp, and WeChat groups for participants and instructors to share ideas and resources. Only course participants can be part of these groups; please do not invite people outside this course.


9. Can I share course materials with my colleagues and friends?

You are NOT allowed to share, distribute, or forward any materials from this course. They are only for your own learning.

If after reading above, you still have questions, contact us at  

(Please write “CAFF” in the subject line.)

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