Communicating and Acting on Climate Change

Hallandale Beach, Florida

Featured image for the project, Communicating and Acting on Climate Change


Hallandale Beach operates a Green Initiatives Program within its Department of Public Works to provide sustainability-related information and programs to residents and employees. Most of the City’s Green Initiatives work focuses on Water and Energy Conservation and Recycling. A main impetus for the water conservation focus includes the loss of 6 out of 8 of the City’s freshwater wells to saltwater intrusion in the past decade. In 2018, the City adopted the Sustainability Action Plan which includes short-term and long-term projects to help the City increase its sustainability and resiliency between now and 2040.


Recently, the City has begun to direct its attention to climate change and resilience. In 2011, Broward County conducted a vulnerability assessment of Hallandale Beach’s risks to one and two feet sea-level rise. In 2017, the City partnered with the South Florida Regional Planning Council to conduct a small scale vulnerability assessment which focused on potential compound flooding related to Category 1 storm surge and one and two feet of sea-level rise. Also in 2017 Hallandale Beach participated in the Resilience Dialogues  to discuss local risks from with sea level rise, how to communicate with and convey these risks to stakeholders, how to address beach erosion and saltwater intrusion, and how to finance future resiliency efforts. The City is awaiting notice of award for a Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant which will facilitate the City conducting an independent vulnerability assessment of climate hazards including changes in precipitation, a larger range of sea-level rise, and extreme heat.

About the Community

Hallandale Beach, Florida is a beachfront community located in Broward County Florida, just north of Miami-Dade County. It is home to a large financial district, and entertainment venues including Gulfstream Park (used for horse racing) and The Big Easy Casino. The city has a population of approximately 39,000 people and is one of the fastest growing communities in the Greater Miami Area due, in part, to its popularity among retirees. The community has large populations of Spanish, Russian, Haitian Creole, and French speakers.


The scientist will work with Alyssa Jones Wood, Green Initiatives Coordinator for the City of Hallandale Beach. Alyssa is the city employee who works on sustainability and resilience full-time. She implements the city’s Sustainability Action Plan, encourages residents to conserve natural resources, and makes recommendations related to climate change resiliency. She also collaborates with individuals throughout other departments and supports various initiatives to improve sustainability awareness.

Scientist Wanted

Alyssa seeks a scientific partner to collaborate on the development and deployment of public-facing outreach materials/programs and training programming for city staff. In partnership with the community lead, the scientist will be asked to:

  • Contribute insights about climate impacts in southeastern Florida,
  • Apply science communication strategies for engaging with the public, and
  • Apply knowledge about adaptation, resilience, and disaster management to develop programming for city staff that elicits action and buy-in.


The community is open to the scientific partner(s) bringing in students to support this work.

TEX asks all scientific partners to work with the community to help define a project with concrete local impact that they can contribute to as pro-bono volunteers and collaborators.  This work can also position the scientists and communities to seek additional funding, together, for the next stage.


Desired Skills and Expertise

  • The scientist should be able to visit the community in-person
  • Knowledge of climate science
  • Strong science communication skills
  • Experience in community resilience and adaptation planning
  • Familiarity with the regional climate and geography of southeastern Florida
  • Strong listening and collaboration skills
  • Appreciation for the interplay between equity, resilience and climate adaptation
  • Experience and/or desire to participate in community education, outreach and engagement
  • Willingness to connect science to local concerns and acknowledge opinions of diverse audiences
  • Attention to detail and strong project management skills
  • Competent and open to new ideas
  • Relaxed, easy going personality with a good sense of humor



The collaboration between the community and a scientist should start as soon as possible. The duration or the project will be approximately 12 months. Education and training for city staff should initiate no later than the end of 2019.