Uniting faculty members from the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, Center for Land Use and Research (CLEAR), and Connecticut Sea Grant, the Climate Corps will serve Connecticut communities by assisting with analyzing climate impact and presenting adaptation strategies while providing a unique learning opportunity for undergraduates.
Students in the Climate Corps will engage in classroom teaching and service learning to develop valuable workplace skills. The program is divided into two components, featuring instruction in the fall semester and a practicum in the spring. Students will learn about climate change and public policy in a new team-taught course entitled: Climate Resilience and Adaptation: Municipal Policy and Planning; then, in the following semester, they will form teams and, with the help of faculty mentors, work with local administrators in communities across the state to support climate adaptation planning. Students will directly assist town officials by preparing assessments of vulnerable areas, structures and systems. They will present ideas on how to prepare for the challenges and suggest methods to acclimate to a changing climate. The goal is to provide municipalities with data, models, forecasts, policies and information on costs so officials can make informed decisions to manage the risks their communities face. The program will draw its students from the Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies and Environmental Engineering majors. Four Connecticut communities will participate in the first year. (more…)