Our grandparents and elders have a wealth of knowledge about how things used to be. They have seen a lot of change in their lives, including changes in the weather and climate in Montana. In this backyard experiment, we provide the materials needed to interview your grandparents or an elder by asking them about the effects of climate change that they have observed in their lifetimes.
First, design your interview form so you can take your notes right on the form. Start your interview with general information, like where and when they were born, and how long they’ve lived where they live now.
Questions to Ask during Your Interview
Are there particular activities they enjoy that would have led them to be extra-observant about weather and climate, like farming, gardening, hunting and fishing, skiing and snowmobiling, or other kinds of outdoor recreation? What kinds of changes have they seen?
Ask them about increases/decreases and other changes they have observed in things like:
Ask them if they have seen these changes directly affect the things they care about, and if so, in what ways?
For example, have they seen changes in Montana's climate affect the industries and economy of their area – things like crop and animal production, forestry, hunting, transportation, real estate, recreation? What do they think has caused these changes, and what do they think we can do about them?
Writing Up Your Interview
After your interview is over, write up their story and share it with your friends, your family, and even post it on this website.