|Title||University of San Diego’s Climate Education Partners awarded National Science Foundation Grant for Educational Work with Community Leaders|
|Contact E-mail||harman, at sandiego.edu|
|Contact Phone||(619) 260-4682|
Nearly $5 million grant, one of six in the U.S., focuses on working with community leaders to help San Diegans learn more about solutions to impacts of a changing climate on the economy, natural resources and regional quality of life
Climate Education Partners, the group coordinating the effort in the San Diego region, is working with local expert scientists, educators and a wide range of community leaders and their constituencies in seeking solutions and helping San Diegans learn more about how to better prepare for and respond to the impacts of a changing climate on the region’s natural resources, economy, tourism and quality of life.
“We will be working closely with a wide range of community leaders from across the region – including elected officials, the Latino community, the real estate development community, faith-based, healthcare, tribal communities and others -- to develop a communication and education program that reflects the views, values and perspectives of the region’s political, business and community leaders,” stated Michel Boudrias, PhD, lead scientist and professor of Marine Science and Environmental Studies at USD. “By working with local expert scientists, educators and a wide range of community leaders, Climate Education Partners will be seeking solutions and helping San Diegans learn more about climate change impacts on our quality of life so we can prepare for and respond to a changing climate.”
The NSF grant represents an investment in education that underscores the importance of California’s resources, including its coastline, beaches, bays, deserts and mountains, and the important role they play in contributing to the region’s and the state’s economy. Working together with leaders in the region and the state, Climate Education Partners hopes to lead the way to prepare for climate change, sustain regional quality of life and economic vibrancy and preserve San Diego County’s and California’s spectacular natural beauty, not just today, but for all future generations, consistent with Californians long-standing pioneering and innovative vision for the state’s natural resources.
“This phase II award underscores the importance of this issue to the San Diego region,” announced USD President Mary E. Lyons. “We know San Diegans from all walks of life are proud of our natural environment, value our leadership as a region and are committed to preserving our quality of life. The University of San Diego is honored to play a role as part of the Climate Education Partners team that will allow our region to help lead the nation in education and understanding about the impacts of climate change on our daily lives, including our economy, clean air, drinking water and our beaches, bays, mountains, ocean and deserts.”
“The NSF Climate Change Education Partnership five-year award of almost $5 million will be used to implement a regional climate change communication program that promotes education, awareness, innovation and action,” stated local businessman and long-time community leader Mike McDade, chairman of the Climate Education Partners’ External Advisory Board. “Working with other community leaders in areas such as healthcare, education, government, business, real estate, air quality and regional planning, we hope to design a way unique to the San Diego region that will serve as a model for the nation on how to help a region understand, dialogue about and deal with the impacts of a changing climate.”
The NSF’s national CCEP portfolio encompasses a major interdisciplinary research and development effort designed to promote deeper understanding of, and engagement with, climate science and the impacts of climate change on natural and human systems. The program’s vision is to promote a scientifically knowledgeable society that can effectively weigh the evidence regarding global climate change as it confronts regional challenges. The program includes preparing an innovative scientific and technical workforce to advance knowledge of human-climate interactions and develop approaches for the nation’s sustainable, prosperous future. With its focus on interdisciplinary approaches and transformative scales of impact, the CCEP program occupies a unique and complementary niche in the group of federal investments related to climate science education and workforce development.
The University of San Diego’s project team includes scientists from Marine Science and Environmental Studies at USD and at 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 strategic communication experts from The Steve Alexander Group.
“The city of San Diego looks forward to continued participation in the University of San Diego’s program,” said city of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. “Recent peaks in energy usage from an unusually hot summer are a concern to all of us. We know our citizens want to learn more about what they can do to prepare for and respond to these very real issues. We hope to play a leadership role as a region as we seek effective government policy, working with regional leaders, local science experts and the community, to maintain the quality of life for our region while optimizing opportunities to strengthen our economy.”
“This award is a continued recognition of the work Climate Education Partners is doing on behalf of our region and the state of California,” said Chairman Ron Roberts of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “As a member of the California Air Resources Board, I understand the importance of working collaboratively on air quality and emission programs. Climate Education Partners includes climate scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and social psychologists from California State University San Marcos who can help us address those issues as a region while serving as a model for other communities across the state.”
While communication strategies and climate science education are keys to the success of the grant, the ultimate goal is to develop and implement programs that will benefit the region by promoting responses to climate change and its impacts on public health, drinking water, clean air, beaches, bays, mountains and deserts, the economy and tourism.
More information about Climate Education Partners and the project can be obtained at www.sandiego.edu/climate.