Our Impact

As of December 2018, Thriving Earth Exchange has launched over 85 projects, and over half have been completed. Over 12 million people are part of the communities impacted by these projects, and we have broadened our geographic area to include international communities.  Our largest project helped a food distribution center that serves over 8 million people become more flood resilient, while one of our smallest projects is helping to clean up a polluted pond in a town of 4000. The table below highlights some of the projects, and you can click through for more detail.

Characteristics of Community Science

 

Definitions

Out·put /outˌpo͝ot/ n. Programs, plans, trainings, workshops, reports, presentations, meetings, tool development, trend analysis, recommendations or predictions made, etc. What do you plan to build or develop?

Im·pact /ˈimˌpakt/ n. Relating to knowledge transferred, decisions made or behaviors changed; they are often tied directly to the impact the outputs made in your community. Who is better off and how are they better off? Did your outputs inform decision-making, policy changes or actions taken by community members?

2018 Impact Update

Start Year   Location Project Scope Scientists’ Activities Impact or Projected Impact
2018 Atlanta, GA

Population:
486,290

Work with the city resilience office to design a sound, repeatable, comprehensive inventory of green house gas emissions. Prepared a summary of available GHG emission sources Altanta emits nearly 10 million tonnes of C02 equivalent, and this work would help reduce those emissions.
2018 Birmingham, AL

Population:
210,710

Work with city officials to provide scientific input on the development and implementation of green or clean technology-based incentives for heavy industry. Primary focus will be on ways to minimize pollution Projected: Provide scientific advice on pollution levels and impact of various pollution levels to help city decide on targets; help evaluate different ways to reach pollution targets Projected:Growing industry and economic outputs in the city without  greater pollution
2018 Brazoria Co, TX

Population:
362,457

Work with concerned citizens in  Richwood, TX and Brazoria Co. to understand the factors that exacerbated flooding during Hurricane Harvey, and design and implement strategies to prevent future flooding. Scientists will walk the neighborhoods with local residents to understand concerns, identify relevant data and studies, and work with residents to understand what those data and studies say about their concerns. Residents and local government will have better information with which to make decisions about development and flood mitigation
2018 Bulacan, Philippines

Population:
40,000

Work with a local NGO that supports residents are concerned about the local impacts of a reclamation/development project (a new airport). Concerns include flooding, fishing, pollution, and land stability. They would like to understand these risks, for themselves, and use that understanding to have a voice in government decisions about the development. Develop a report on the impact of the reclamation project to the community, and present results in local assemblies and in nearby communities.  Support local leaders as they prepare for delivering testimony to national leaders. Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice and better data in decisions about airport development.
2018 Cicero/Berwyn, IL

Population:
138,102

Work with local non-profit to understand causes of increase in recent flooding and explore potential solutions. Projected: Assessment of flood damage, determination of factors that exacerbate flooding, feasibility analysis of several options for managing flooding, Support community leaders in presenting to residents and government officials Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Durango, CO

Population:
18,465

Guidance for city officials as they develop an up-to-date and repeatable methodology for regular GHG emissions inventories. Identify key data sets to incorporate into the inventory, provide support during the assessment using ClearPath, and assist in an in-depth analysis including offering recommendations for city-wide reductions in GHGs. The goal is to have the city achieve more ambitious reductions in emissions by updating the goals and monitoring progress.
2018 Flint, MI

Population:
96,448

Work with a local service nonprofit, The Sylvester Broome Center (SBEV), to determine which type of green roof would be most sustainable and energy efficient. Projected: a collaborative green-roof design as a collaboration between landscape architect students, local leadership and community members, primarily through interactive community workshops Nonprofit will save operating costs, reduce emissions, and provide education and case-study for green infrastructure.
2018 Hallandale Beach, FL

Population:
39,831

Develop novel material to educate city staff and public about resiliency actions they can take within their job and community, and build more community buy-in for potential impacts of climate change Work with community leader to create useful and directed educational materials for resiliency campaign. Speak directly through Q&A sessions about issues facing the community that may occur with changes to  climate (heat, rising sea level, etc.( Projected: Increase awareness of climate impacts and people affected by climate change. More focus on potential impacts will provide a stronger case for increased funding and improved efforts to curtail impacts of climate change
2018 Hartford, CT

Population:
123,400

Work with the Connecticut coalition for environmental justice to determine the causes of flooding and provide scientific information the coalition can use to minimize flooding impacts on local residents. Meet with community members and walk neighborhood; collect and synthesize existing data about flooding and future flood risk; help community leader and members understand risk factors and remediation options Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Houston, TX

Population:
4,700 (RAF members)

Work with concerned residents to understand how recent and planned developments have influenced flooding their neighborhood and provide residents with solid scientific information they can use in their efforts to affect change. Created a series of maps that visualize drainage across the golf course; presented this maps to community members Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Lafayette, LA

Population:
126,488

Work with community members to understand the causes of local flooding, and understand how regulations and zoning might be changed to help protect community members from future flooding. Meet with community members and walk neighborhood; collect and synthesize existing data about flooding and future flood risk; help community leader and members understand risk factors and remediation options Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Lemmon Valley, NV

Population:
5,040

Work with a grassroots flooding group to understand factors that contribute to local flooding and provide the data and background to support residents efforts to mitigate future flooding Help community leaders understand technical studies .  Will be serving as a liaison/interpreter to help community participate in and understand a recently commissioned study of flooding in the valley Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Montego Bay, Jamaica

Population:
110,115

Work with a local non-profit, CaribShare, to understand the kind of fertilizer that is best for local crops and how it can be produced as byproduct of new biogas facility. Determine how to achieve organic certification for fertilizers produced.  Work with farming communities in the area to understand local fertilizer needs. Projected: Community farmers will have fertilizer at lower cost and local waste will be converted to biogas, reducing landfill waste and carbon emissions
2018 Natchitoches, LA

Population:
18,048

Work with grass-roots resident group to analyze the hydrology and hydraulics of the project area and to development a plan to address the frequent flooding of homes and businesses in the area. Summarize the  conditions impacting the storm water management in the project area.
Advise on a plan of potential infrastructure improvements to be implemented, including help to design a phased approach that can be implemented as funds become available.
Projected: Parish and City planning and zoning ordinances are changed to produce more flood resilient development
2018 New Orleans (7th Ward)

Population (NOLA):
393,292

Work with local nonprofit to assess how their greening efforts, rain gardens and tree-planting, impact community resilience – especially to floods and heat. Projected: Produce a neighborhood-scale heat map, surface temperature measurements before and after tree plantings, and survey to assess community response to tree planting efforts Projected: The community will have data to support additional neighborhood greening initiatives, which will improve quality of life in the neighborhood
2018 New Orleans, LA (9th Ward)

Population (NOLA):
393,292

Work with a local non-profit, a Community Voice, to help them understand the the contributors to flooding in the 9th Ward, implement local flood-reduction measures, and understand how proposed changes to the canal and levee will affect flooding in their neighborhood. Community Voice will use this as part of their effort to ensure residents of the 9th ward benefit from proposed changes. Projected: Students will help design a system of  rain garden bioswales as one potential flood reduction model Community Voice will use project results and new knowledge to help ensure residents of the 9th ward benefit from proposed changes and have the opportunity to participate in city-wide mitigation programs.
2018 New Orleans, LA (Claiborne)

Population (NOLA):
393,292

Work with Claiborne Avenue Alliance, a local nonprofit to mine, compile, and interpret existing data documenting the environmental impacts of the I-10 corridor on the health and well-being of local residents  The Allianes would like to use that information to document the the cumulative impacts of I-10 in its current state, and work for improvements for residents in the Claiborne Corridor. Review literature on environmental health risks from freeways and propose measurement program to characterize these risk factors.  Organize a walking tour of the corridor with local officials and participants attending a transportation conference; Develop  1-pagers on impacts for local residents and city officials The Alliance will uses the project, data,networks and knowledge to share cumulative impacts of I-10, and work for improvements for residents in the Claiborne Corridor.
2018 New Orleans, LA  (Culinaria)

Population (NOLA):
393,292

Culinaria Center attempting to understand connection between water to food supply with testing for potential impacts of contaminated water and soil (lead, etc)  for local food supply chain Scientist will perform soil and water analysis with breakdown of contamination levels relative to accepted concentrations Provide local growers an awareness of potential contaminants in soil and water, the possible sources, best practices (where to get clean water/ soil, which foods to plant to avoid contamination)
2018 Northeast Houston, TX

Population:
4,700

work with a local nonprofit, Texas Organizing Project, to better understand Northeast Houston’s flood risk and explore ways to address specific drainage issues. TOP plans to use this information to advocate for change at the city and state leve. Scientists will walk the neighborhoods with local residents to understand concerns, identify relevant data and studies, and work with residents to understand what those data and studies say about their concerns. Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Northern Virginia, VA

Population:
2,344,068

Work with the North Virginia Regional Commission to develop regional flood vulnerability scenarios (based on population, precipitation, and other trends) that can be used to plan stormwater infrastructure for the region Integrate  down-scaled climate/ precipitation models with stormwater models for key watersheds selected based on population growth projections Projected: Climate smart guidance to local jurisdictions will guide Infrastructure investments throughout the northern Virginia region that will meet stormwater needs over the coming decades.
2018 Pensacola, FL

Population:
52,590

Work with a grassroots organization, Tanyard Association, to investigate local conditions, synthesize available reports and develop next steps or proposed solutions. The Tanyard Association will use their enhanced understanding to have productive interactions with local decision-makers. Developed a short report on the summary of the problem, future change, and some potential solutions Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Point au Chien, LA

Population:
680

Work with tribal leaders to identify important tribal sites that are at risk from climate change Create  maps, using existing data and new measurements, that identify the climate threats to sacred sites; hold community meetings to share results Projected: Community will use this information to preserve sacred sited even while the community relocates
2018 Port Arthur, TX

Population:
55,498

Work with a local non-profit to investigate Port Arthur’s urban flooding challenges and provide recommendations on how to mitigate future flooding, with consideration to infrastructure such as levees, buyouts and relocation). Collect and synthesize available information and work with community leaders to present that information in useful ways.  Support the community leads who will prepare recommendations for residents and local government entities. Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2018 Puerto Rico To work with Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and Center of Emergency Operations  to assess  landslide risk for  homeowners who are in locations identified as vulnerable to landslides after Hurricane Maria, and who don’t have the resources to pay for the assessment Visit sites and assess risk for landslides. Residents, who are otherwise unable to afford an analysis, will understand their risk from landslides.

 

2017 Impact Update

Start Year  Location Project Scope Scientists’ Activities Impact or Projected Impact
2017 Barnesville, OH

Population:
4,081

Work with residents to monitor changes in water quality near local hydraulic fracturing site and interpret monitoring results Participated in community meetings and tours. Advice on of a low-cost , Stolz can help establish a low-cost, sustainable environmental monitoring program for Barnesville. Residents and local government will have better information with which to make decisions about hydraulic fracturing in their community
2017 Brandywine, MD

Population:
6,719

Work with neighborhood residents to assess local air quality and its impact on health.  The neighborhood is economically disadvantaged, predominantly minority, and contains several industrial sites. Produce a peer-reviewed paper documenting concentrations of air pollution in locations of interest to community. Deliver a community forum to communicate results of the study and their implications to residents. Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for the regulation and citing of emissions sources.
2017 Cambridge, OH

Population:
10,411

Work with a local nonprofit, started by concerned residents, to determine if recent contaminant in local drinking water are associated with increased hydrological fracturing and associated waste processing and disposal facilities. Collaborated with Barnesville, OH – together designed and helped implement a regional water quality sampling program. Residents and local government will have better information with which to make decisions about development and flood mitigation
2017 Colebrook, NH

Population:
2,139

Work with town manager to evaluate options for treating the local landfill’s leaking of toxins and contamination of groundwater. Collected samples, reviewed existing data, produces a source characterization report, researched and compared treatment options, discussed findings with elected leaders (town selectmen) Projected: Colebrook will be able to implement cost-efficient treatments to remove toxins from the landfills runoff and protect local water quality.
2017 Connellsville, PA

Population:
7,368

Work with local nonprofits that serve flood-affected residents to explore environmental remediation that could reduce flood vulnerability. (With students) mapped flood risk in Connellsville, created a flood history of Connellsville, delivered a presentation and report to Connellsvillle residents.   Did a community Q&A on flooding, flooding risk, and where to locate houses. Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for flood mitigation and managing future development to mitigate flood risk.
2017 Corinth, TX

Population:
14,643

Work with the city officials to help them manage development in ways that minimize flood risk, with an eye toward preserving a local creek. Made user-friendly real-time online maps of storm water risk and guides for storm water management and mediation techniques increased ability for community members to actively engage in storm water management and reduce damage to potential flooding
2017 De Soto, MO

Population:
53,568

Work with a local grass-roots nonprofit to provide scientific knowledge and support as they explore flood-risk reduction strategies. Participate in two community workshops; helped guide a community tour of the stormwater drainage and flood features; advised on flyers used at community meetings.

Projected: Flooding Science 101 presentations

The flood group has gained credibility, confidence, knowledge, connections. Working with USGS on flood warning system and with USACE Silver Jackets program to do in-depth analysis of flood risk.  All to help ensure residents have greater awareness of floods and the data to make their case to in local planning.
2017 Evanston, IL

Population:
74,756

Work with local residents to assess the environmental  impacts of a waste transfer station located in a middle-lower income neighborhood. Cost out what a monitoring plan would look like – samples and instruments that they would do by end of summer. Without the scientist’s support, the city partner wouldn’t have been able to make a case to do air quality monitoring and secure the funds needed for the monitoring.
2017 Farmington, NM (San Juan College)

Population:
45,450

Support the design of a maker-space to support innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainability, alternative energy and energy efficiency, and offer job retraining for individuals coming from conventional energy backgrounds. Offer advice about design of a maker-space that can be used for green design and innovation. Participate in efforts to describe and market maker-space Entrepreneurs and small business folks can now prototype their ideas; College and high school students will use the space in formal and informal education programs; students at Drexel working on the maker-space design learned how to design for ‘real’ communities
2017 Hayward, CA

Population:
160,050

Work with city leaders to understand the impact of sea level rise on wetlands. measure emissions from and rate of loss of degrading wetlands to estimate potential for carbon capture and design strategies for mitigating effect of sea level rise on the wetland Projected: Key wetlands will be restored and used as carbon storage, with funding form the California carbon markets
2017 Louisville, KY

Population:
5,275

Work with Rubbertown Emergency Action (ReACT),  a local nonprofit, concerned about air quality in neighborhood-adjacent industrial sites to collect data that residents can use to advocate for improvements. Work with residents to find ways, preferably low-cost, to monitor chemicals with known or suspected health impacts. In addition to leveraging existing instruments and measurements, the scientist would help community members explore ways to collect additional data. Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for reducing pollution in their neighborhoods and managing future development to better benefit the community and reduce harmful side effects – including pollution
2017 Marin County, CA

Population:
260,955

Understand flood risks from the combination of  sea level rise and local hydrological conditions. Perform a statistical analysis of flooding from tides and precipitation to determine whether there is a correlation between these two drivers. County planners understand that they can consider both drivers independently in their planning, which is consistent with existing practice and how Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps are created. This saves time and resources.
2017 Missoula, MT

Population:
73,340

Work with city leaders to identify heat islands throughout the city and help them set priority areas for urban forest regrowth and expansion and improvements to the built environment. Produce a heat map featuring surface temperature, social vulnerability data, and exposure,  and offer policy/management options to reduce the risk. Work with city officials to help share the findings with the public and elected officials. Projected:  The city will invest in recommended mitigation opportunities and support an educational campaign to raise awareness to combined risks from heat and smoke.  Vulnerable populations in Missoula will be  less at-risk from hotter temperatures.
2017 New Orleans, LA (ISeeChange)

Population:
393,292

Advise on a citizen science investigation into flooding in New Orleans that will be used, by residents, to reduce flood impacts. scientists participated in the design of data collection, helped analyze incoming data, and shared results trough community forums, online conversations, and collaboration with project leads. Scientists also helped network project and advised on presentation to local leaders and in national fora. Residents were able to use the data and analysis to expand the boundaries of the proposed flood mitigation efforts to include their neighborhood. Data they are collecting was used to by National Weather Service (NWS) to improve their hydrological forecasts.
2017 Ocean City, NJ

Population:
11,206

To work with OC Flooding, a grassroots non-profit of residents, to collect data to document flood risk and use that data to advocate for changes in policy and improved stormwater infrastructure. Delivered community presentations, helped guide work with citizen science campaigns, several press articles,  led neighborhood “flood awareness tour”, connected with local resources from NOAA. Local community leaders have more credibility with city leaders because of increased knowledge and connections, using that to help city leaders prioritize resilience and flood mitigation in development.
2017 Ontario, CA

Population:
175,841

Work with cit leaders to Identify the source of bacterial contamination in wetlands and recommendations for mitigation via development of an experimental mitigation plan. With students, collect an analyze water samples to determine the amount and species of bacteria, so appropriate remediation strategies can be considered. Projected: The community will have an effective water treatment system and functional recreational area.  better understanding of the sources of local contaminants
2017 Robinson & Smith Townships, PA

Population:
18,017

To work with the Pennsylvania chapter of the Environmental Integrity Project to design and implement a monitoring system that can track emissions from oil and gas operations. Work with area residents to identify which chemicals to monitor and develop monitoring strategies. Projected: Community leaders will have a stronger voice in and better information for the regulation and citing of emissions sources.
2017 San Francisco, CA

Population:
884,363

To work with the Municipal Transit Agency to Understand the degree to which single occupancy vehicles and service delivery vehicles contribute to congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions so that city officials can develop more effective transportation plans. Located existing research and synthesizing published materials, designed a data environment that would allow for improved monitoring of this rapidly evolving component of SF’s transportation system. City leaders have a better understanding of e-commerce and its implications for transportation and environmental policy goals and mandates.
2017 Santa Cruz, CA

Population:
65,021

To work with city officials to update an existing vulnerability assessment using newly released data. The vulnerability assessment will be a key tool used to plan long term policy changes, infrastructure investments and budgeting. Integrated existing social and physical data and produce the first comprehensive vulnerability maps for the city.  Share those maps with city officials and local residents through a series of presentations, workshops, one-on-one conversations. These maps have been used in the update to the climate adaptation plan and have helped add an explicit focus on environmental and climate justice in the plan.
2017 Virginia Beach, VA

Population:
450,453

Work with residents to synthesize existing flood reports and develop next steps or proposed solutions for the neighborhood when it comes to flooding, stormwater management.  Residents will use their understanding to have productive interactions with decision-makers and residents through community meetings and candidate forums Synthesize existing flood reports and brief community leaders on the findings in those reports. Help community leaders evaluate potential solutions.  Participate in community meetings to create awareness and present possible solutions. The community leaders convinced the city council to stop development on a wetland; commit more resources and funding to the mitigation efforts and stormwater management (130$ million over 15 years) and direct $5M from FEMA to the communities that flooded from Hurricane Matthew

 

2016 Impact Update

Community Project Scope Output(s) Impact(s)
Boston, Massachusetts (MAPC)

Population:
8,000,000

Develop a flood vulnerability assessment for Chelsea, MA’s Produce (Food) Distribution Industry Cluster A poster presentation featuring a flood vulnerability assessment of the Chelsea/Everett food distribution industry cluster. The UMass Boston-led project helped City and Regional officials understand the climate vulnerabilities of these critical regional assets, and demonstrated the need to invest in greater flood mitigation efforts to protect important food distribution facilities from future flood impacts. MAPC and the City of Chelsea will use the poster and its findings to engage and find solutions with food distribution facility owners and community-based organizations. UMass-Boston’s analysis connected research by the Woods Hole Group and Stantec, as well as visualizations by Climate Creatives and Taller13, exploring green and grey infrastructure solutions that could protect the area. Overall, the project provides scientific evidence and support for why the municipality and state should protect critical food distribution facilities that serve Greater Boston.
Boulder, Colorado

Population:
10,800

Help every city department understand city climate goals and develop adaptation plans in their own department. If possible, develop cross-sector adaptation plans. Four workshops on climate change, its local impacts, and response strategies. City of Boulder has a climate action plan that includes adaptation measures and more city departments developed adaptation plans. There is now more coordination across departments on adaptation and mitigation
Brookline, Massachussets

Population:
59,000

Develop a  heat vulnerability map (present and projected future) for the community that is prepared in a way that helps the city plan. A report that downscaled global model projections to look at future heat impacts at the scale of a city block. The report considered climate along with five socio-economic vulnerability factors. Results were presented to the city’s Climate Action Committee. The project helped city leaders draw attention to heat vulnerability and secure a budget for ongoing heat data collection. The project team compared two strategies to mitigate extreme heat: increased planting and green roofs, and recommended green roofs as more practical and effective. If data is acted on and the recommended strategy implemented, less people will be impacted by extreme heat.
Denver, Colorado

Population:
66,500

Tackle environmental factors that contribute to public health – either water, climate, soil or air. A research plan and materials for a citizen science project focused on testing homes for Radon and dry cleaning chemicals. Informational meetings were held with residents to explore results. 15 residents tested their homes for chemical pollutants. The team raised $4,500, through crowdsourcing to purchase the tests and demonstrated that an $8 test didn’t have sufficient accuracy. Concluded that Radon is widespread in the community and remediation is not.
Eugene, Oregon

Population:
167,000

Develop a method to downscale a global carbon budget to achieve a safe concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Additionally, establish a community greenhouse gas reduction target – and an associated community carbon budget – based on best available science. Careful analysis and scientific justification for a written community carbon budget that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 25% annually (based on a request from Council for a science-based target). Established one methodology for downscaling a global carbon budget for smaller geographies. Finally, the scientist provided in-person testimony before city council. City council adopted into city code a new community GHG emissions reductions target to reduce emissions 7.8% annually. This aggressive target now informs energy- and emissions-related Council decisions. Elected leaders gained an understanding of equity in setting and achieving emissions reduction targets. Initiated Mayoral Ad Hoc Climate Recovery Committee to support implementation efforts.
Granite City, Illinois

Population:
29,000

Collaborate with the Granite City Cool Cities Committee to finalize the city’s sustainability plan and launch complementary research projects to shed light on the sustainability commission’s air quality objectives in a way that is accessible to and engaging to city residents. Technical input and advice on a city-wide sustainability plan and a preliminary greenhouse gas inventory for municipal operations Sustainability was added as a key development priority in city wide efforts (for the very first time) and the city avoided investing in flashy but not substantive actions (e.g. greened City Hall instead of purchasing a pollution eating billboard.) Increased confidence of the cool cities community and concrete actions plans could impact lives of 29,000 residents. Meanwhile, undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to learn about engaging with communities.
Jackson, Wyoming

Population:
10,500

Take currently available data and work with local stakeholders to assess best practices for managing nutrient pollution in Fish Creek. An extended memo following the release of the a USGS Nutrient Loading Study detailing 1) specific information to consider pertaining to the study itself and 2) how Jackson might implement BMPs to mitigate nutrient loads considering the local factors at play. The community was able to clarify and verify scientific conclusions, ideas, opportunities prior to consideration by the stakeholder group formed to address Fish Creek’s nutrient issues, enabling more targeted and effective recommendations.
Midway, Georgia

Population:
2,000

Integrate sustainable and flood resilient design features into the community’s new municipal complex redesign. Revised municipal complex architectural designs that integrate mitigation and adaptation features for enhanced sustainability. The city decided to raise funds and invest in a sustainable building and to include novel storm water management features. They also rebalanced the budget to allow more money for sustainability and mitigation. By participating in the project students learned about and gained experience in sustainability principles and design.
Pamir Mountains

Population:
approx. 19,600

Use both traditional and scientific knowledge to adapt  ecological calendars for the rapidly changing climate in the region, and make them useful tools for local residents. Developed and integrated 4 ideas for integrating climate data with phenological and biological data in a way that can update calendars. (Achieved using MIT Climate CoLab to crowdsource and select ideas, and a day long workshop to synthesize the ideas) 17 communities in Afghanistan and Tajikistan are using climate data to recalibrate their agricultural/pastoral calendars. This results in improved crop production, less hunger in those villages, more pride in culture. There is also better understanding of the indigenous knowledge system for scientists who participated.

Note: These outputs and impacts reflect immediate outcomes from TEX’s support during the project’s initial launch. As of 2017, the project has expanded to 6 sites in Central Asia. By 2019, the project will result in a proof-of-concept for application of ecological calendars internationally, the transfer of knowledge between communities in different bioclimatic zones, and curricula for inter-generational transfer and continued adaptation of calendar. For more recent updates, please visit Dr. Kassam’s website. 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Population:
304,000

Improve the city’s greenhouse gas inventory process by standardizing data acquisition and delivery, and producing an uncertainty analysis. Data-sharing agreements with local utilities, to ensure consistent data now and in the future, a documented process for integrating data to produce an inventory, and an analysis that identifies degree of uncertainty in data used in inventories. The City identified key sectors that need better carbon monitoring and now has better access to data that can be used to confidently assess emissions changes over time using the uncertainty analysis. The experience shaped the city’s thinking regarding its upcoming Climate Action Plan. They added emphasis on measuring and tracking progress in the updated Climate Action Plan because of light shed on uncertainty in past data used.

The Resilience Dialogues

TEX helped create and co-led the Resilience Dialogues. The Resilience Dialogues partners with communities to explore their risks from climate variability and change. Through a series of facilitated online dialogues, subject matter experts and communities around the country work together to identify climate adaptation priorities, develop action steps, and connect to resources and expertise, from both public and private sector, to tackle those priorities.

Because of the Resilience Dialogues, communities are positioned to take their first steps toward resilience. Regional resilience networks are informed of and prepared to respond to the needs and challenges faced by member communities. Communities are better integrated with regional resilience networks, and scientists and practitioners are better equipped to collaborate with communities. Context-specific climate resources are making their way to end users.

The immediate output from each dialogue is a synthesis report (available online here). However, Resilience Dialogues communities are doing so much more. In the words of one participant, Resilience Dialogues moved us from “wanting to do adaptation” to “doing adaptation.”

The table below highlights some of these projects. For more detail, you can visit our project page or the Resilience Dialogues website.

 

Community Questions Explored Next Steps and Actions Launched
Antioch, California

Population:
110,900

Methods for interpreting climate projections at the local level;
Intersections between climate impacts and community priorities;
Opportunities to increase community engagement
Integrate climate impacts in Hazard Mitigation Plan;
Pursue opportunities to include climate-related educational information on trail markers in community parks;
Increase community engagement by linking climate change and resilience to community priorities;
Develop connections with nearby colleges and universities and explore collaborations.
Boynton Beach, Florida

Population:
75,600

Climate impacts on redevelopment efforts;
Preparing for climate impacts;
Coordinating with stakeholders
Develop a communication strategy to convey risks to variable stakeholders;
Identify local champions to serve as advocates for community resilience;
Continue to share information with local and regional partners, and participate actively in regional and nationwide networks;
Review and identify gaps among existing vulnerability assessments, sustainability and climate action plans;
Integrate adaptive measures that enhance resilience in current and future projects.
Bridgeport, Connecticut

Population:
147,000

Prioritizing resilience actions to achieve cobenefits;
Integrating climate resilience into local plans and projects;
Available health and climate models;
Financing opportunities
Broaden community engagement in resilience planning and implementation process;
Convene a formal climate resilience task force;
Review and adopt available tools and resources;
Research and pursue appropriate funding opportunities;
Dedicate city resources (staff, programs, etc.) to development and implementation of resilience actions;
Monitor and assess adaptation strategies. In corporate metrics for social equity;
Engage stakeholders to assess and agree to health-based priorities.
East Lansing, Michigan

Population:
48,900

Embedding resilience planning into policy planning;
Local vulnerabilities and opportunities to mitigate them;
Involving full fabric of community
Incorporate climate trends in urban forestry planning;
Enhance coordination with local and regional partners;
Consider collection of stormwater management fees to finance infrastructure upgrades
Hallandale Beach, Florida

Population:
39,500

Full scope of sea level rise impacts;
How the community composition constrains or accelerates risk;
Financing climate adaptation projects;
Opportunities to increase community engagement
Develop audience-specific communication strategies and climate adaptation education;
Strengthen connections to regional collaboratives;
Broaden planning process to include equity and whole community resilience;
Create formal processes to engage local experts.Hallandale Beach, FL participants made a presentation about climate resilience to the mayor and city council.
Menominee Reservation

Population:
2,800

Local climate impacts;
Mitigating impacts to cultural resources;
Improving communication;
Impacts to culture and language;
Prioritizing action and “buy-in” development
Host participatory workshops with community members do discuss climate impact perceptions;
Explore prospective future scenarios for forest management;
Conduct social assessment and ecological data collection with community input;
Coordinate with Menominee language program to host community summit to discuss cultural climate resiliency.
Mt. Shasta, California

Population:
3,300

Integrating climate resilience in local plan updates;
Achieving resilience with limited resources;
Identifying actionable opportunities;
Opportunities to increase community engagement and regional support
Host educational workshops focused on climate science and resilience implementation;
Develop shovel-ready projects that integrate green infrastructure;
Leverage local interest via development of multi-stakeholder coalition of volunteers;
Connect and coordinate with neighboring communities for fire prevention efforts;
Explore community education and engagement regarding water conservation.
Mt. Shasta, CA is re-writing their comprehensive plan to apply a climate resilience lens to all city decisions and sectors. The community is also beginning quarterly calls with Whitefish, MT participants to share ideas and support.
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

Population:
approx. 270,000

Evaluating and prioritizing adaptation actions;
Supporting local implementation efforts;
Borrowing from comparable models
Pursue conversations with regional entities to encourage collaboration;
Continue to explore effective models for evaluation and implementation;
Host visioning workshop to define priorities and develop coordinated framework;
Enhance review processes;
Develop strategic plan for regional work.
Savannah, Georgia

Population:
146,800

Prioritizing resilience actions;
Local climate impacts;
Community engagement;
Risks to low-income communities
Use structured decision-making process to direct and engage with stakeholders;
Prioritize and include hazard and resilience actions in city sustainability plan;
Seek support from outside organizations for stakeholder engagement and communication
Whitefish, Montana

Population:
7,300

Managing local climate impacts;
Engaging diverse audiences;
Financial mechanisms;
Leveraging synergies with other environmental priorities
Engage more directly with regional fire safety groups;
Incorporate water resilience into climate action plan;
Encourage inclusion of climate resilence in recreation and tourism plans;
Organize a climate science day in coordination with local universities.Whitefish, MT is establishing a sister-city relationship with a community in Sweden to share climate-related goals and strategies.
The community is also beginning quarterly calls with Mt. Shasta, CA participants to share ideas and support.