Michel Boudrias, Associate Professor of Marine Science and Environmental Studies, leads the way in local climate change initiatives. The University of San Diego received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award for $1 million as the lead in the Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP), which will focus on planning collaborations centered on increased climate science literacy. The grant, which was awarded to fifteen recipients nationally, is designed to connect climate scientists, learning science experts and practitioners to create innovative education and communication strategies with regional and national implications.
Michel Boudrias, Associate Professor of Marine Science and Environmental Studies will be the lead scientist on the grant, complementing his current work as the Academic Director of Sustainability at USD. The collaborative grant also includes scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, policy experts from the Energy Policy Initiative Center at USD, social and behavioral psychologists from California State University San Marcos, strategic community planners from The San Diego Foundation and a strategic communication expert from The Steve Alexander Group.
In the first phase of the NSF grant the San Diego research team will develop practical frameworks for how best to communicate and engage diverse communities in a productive dialogue around the impacts of climate change on a region. To engage diverse communities in San Diego, the local CCEP team will work closely with the a broad spectrum of community leaders to develop a communication program that reflect the views, values and perspectives of the region's political and business leaders and various other organizations including the Hispanic/Latino, real estate development, faith-based, and tribal communities.
While communication strategies and climate science education are key to the success of this grant, in the end, this project is about developing action plans that will benefit the region by promoting responses to climate change and its impacts on public health, water quality and supply, natural lands and other key areas. Boudrias commented, "The Climate Change Education Partnership award of almost $1 million will be used to develop a regional climate change communication program that promotes education, awareness, innovation and action."