92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 8:30 AM
An Alliance to Develop a Workforce of Community Climate-Change Advisors
Room 348/349 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Richard Clark, Millersville Univ., Millersville, PA; and S. Ackerman, D. Blockstein, J. Fellows, L. O. Mearns, R. Pandya, E. S. Takle, and D. J. Wuebbles

Communities are struggling with how to ensure access to reliable water, food, energy, transportation, health, and other services in the face of a changing climate. In many cases, they lack the leaders, workforce, and tools to address the challenges. At the same time, today's college students, including students from under-represented groups, are eager to help communities address these challenges but are having trouble identifying educational pathways that prepare them to do so. To address these challenges, we propose a national alliance of university and colleges and partners to develop a workforce capable of contributing climate mitigation, adaptation, and risk management knowledge to community planning.

Our overall goal in the presentation is to introduce the alliance and include potential partners in its ongoing design. We will begin by highlighting successful alliances in agricultural and environmental science. We will then describe the benefits of the alliance – including shared course development, program certification, and coordinated internships that would give students practical experience. We will also present a “business model” for the alliance that ensures both the sustainability of the alliance and financial benefit to the participating universities and colleges. We will describe how interested people can participate in the alliance efforts as students, faculty members, or community stakeholders. Finally, we will present a summary of the 2011 Forum and Alliance Workshop, which is focusing on: (1) refining a community plan for this type of curriculum alliance and the university-city partnerships, and (2) examining how we should outreach to corporate and urban/state leaders to show them why this alliance and partnerships would benefit them.

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