Our Project

Team Project PhotoClimate Education Partners is working to share science about our changing climate with regional leaders. With a solid scientific foundation, our leaders can make informed decisions on how best to protect the spectacular natural beauty, economic vibrancy and preserve the quality of life in San Diego, not just for today, but for all future generations.

San Diego County is already experiencing impacts of a changing climate that challenge our precious natural resources, tourism and the regional economy. Concerned about the impacts that changes in our climate could have on the special quality of life we enjoy here, we believe that future generations deserve to enjoy the San Diego we know and love. Our goal is to come together with an accurate scientific understanding of how our climate is changing in order to prepare for, respond to, and even reduce the impacts.

Specifically, Climate Education Partners has three long-term goals:

  • Educate: To increase understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change, especially its local impacts to quality of life
  • Evaluate: To identify the most effective informational methods to make climate science and its implications understood
  • Replicate: To develop and implement a national model for regional climate change education and communication by working with local expert scientists, educators, and local leaders

Six Sector Approach: 

CEP has developed relationships with leaders representing six key sectors (tribal, public health, Latino community, business, government, transportation).  We work with these leaders to create educational resources and engage in educational activities that benefit their communities and help them to make informed decisions. These sectors are highly impacted and/or highly impactful, and include the following:

Business: In cooperation with The San Diego Foundation, Ann Tartre (a local expert on climate change and education) has led this track which focuses on providing accurate, science based climate information to San Diego business leaders who are influential decision makers. Educational resources and activities seek to inform businesses about the facts of climate change and how it will affect our economy and quality of life, showcase how concerned businesses are being pro-active to reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and work collaboratively with the business community to address climate change impacts (e.g. drought and water vulnerability) and build a resilient economy for the future. 

Government: Cities and public agencies make decisions about how we work, live, play and grow and therefore have a great impact both on how climate change will impact our region as well as how they will be part of the solution to addressing climate change. Led by CEP’s partner, The San Diego Foundation, this track focuses on working with key government leaders in the San Diego region to understand the latest climate science and provide the science knowledge needed for them to make informed local decision-making.

Transportation: Led by CEP’s Co-PI, Dr. Nilmini Silva-Send, this track focuses on transportation leaders in the San Diego region. Road transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in this region, as in California. Therefore transportation agency leaders, city transportation departments officials and city planners make decisions that are an important part of the discussion in land use and alternative transportation decision-making for the future. CEP provides education about climate science and descriptions of possible solutions with and for this group.

Tribal: Led by CEP’s Co-PI, Dr. Nilmini Silva-Send, this track focuses on tribal decision makers in the San Diego region. As with other native groups of Southern California, tribes are highly affected by all the impacts highlighted in the Focus 2050 study, - temperature, heat waves, extreme events such as fires and drought. CEP participates in activities with tribes related to climate change, connects climate scientists with tribes, assists tribes with adaptation and vulnerability assessments, mitigation options, serves to showcase tribal responses and connect state, regional and city climate and energy policy developments with the tribes.

Public Health: Led by CEP’s Assistant Director, Christiana DeBenedict, and Project Director and Co-PI, Dr. Mica Estrada, this track focuses on providing resources and learning opportunities to public health key influentials in the San Diego region. Polling results and leader interviews show that leaders and the public underestimate the impact the changing climate will have on public health. With public health experts, CEP is developing videos and vulnerability maps to show what San Diego communities are most vulnerable to climate change health impacts and highlight effective ways to respond.

Latino Community: Led by CEP’s Assistant Director, Christiana DeBenedict, and Project Director and Co-PI, Dr. Mica Estrada, this track focuses on key influentials in the Latino community within the San Diego region. Polling data shows that the Latino community is highly knowledgeable and concerned about climate change. Also, climate data shows that areas of San Diego County with high concentrations of Latinos are also most vulnerable to climate change impacts. This track seeks work with community leaders to develop educational resources and activities to inform leaders about what we know and what we can do going forward to harness the potential of the Latino community to address these issues well.