New York State will be challenged to meet the goals of the "Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act" without large GHG reductions from businesses, farms and communities. Local municipalities have considerable power to address environmental and land use issues within their jurisdiction, but often lack the capacity to plan for or implement climate change projects at the local level. In this course, students will critically analyze the theory of multilevel governance and debate the importance of non-state (NGO) and sub-national (regional, state and local government) actors involved in climate change policy. Students will work with a local community or NGO to assess climate action plans and identify and address their needs for research, policy recommendations, project planning, grant writing or educational outreach to become NYS Registered or Certified Climate Smart Communities.
Explain the basics of climate change science, impacts, mitigation, and adaptation so as to engage in substantive conversations and community projects with state and local stakeholders.
Evaluate the nested interactions of climate change actors and policies from the global to the local level.
Demonstrate respect for diverse perspectives both in the class and with the course material, particularly the environmental justice issues surrounding climate change impacts and responses in communities with differing capacities; and learn to better respect these differences and work to improve climate justice.
Develop intercultural competence by working with diverse peers and partner organizations from different communities.
Critically analyze local and non-state climate change policies and actions, and their effectiveness, including the theory of polycentric governance and transnational climate change governance mechanisms, history and diverse perspectives on these issues.
Propose policy recommendations or community projects, and evaluate the likelihood of their success in achieving GHG mitigation or adaptation goals.
Organize and manage group projects from planning the project, communicating with stakeholders, developing action items, conducting research, and developing the project outcome.
Articulate diverse perspectives from a cultural, political, scientific, and economic view of the problem and the wide variety of solutions to climate change.
Cogently communicate climate change issues and recommendations through a public presentation on social media (video, web content, social media, podcast).
Develop professional skills communicating with and working for community partners.