Climate Vulnerability Assessment

Climate Vulnerability Assessment

Project Lead: Lisa McNeilly

Project Sponsor: Office of Sustainability and Energy

TGIF Grant: $26,150

Project Theme: Transportation and Urban Development

Application Submission

Project Description: The Climate Readiness Institute and the Office of Sustainability and Energy propose to partner to craft a detailed assessment of the campus’ vulnerability to future climate change impacts. The project will proceed in two phases. In the first phase – Initiating Assessment and Developing Vulnerability Report – the team will set up an advisory committee and engage a graduate student to craft a Vulnerability Report. The project team also proposes having other students assist with some of the more detailed data gathering for the Report, by seeking out class projects in the spring. A workshop will be held to present preliminary results, both to the advisory committee but also to engage the campus community, and the Vulnerability Report will be shared widely on and off campus.

The TGIF funds would cover the cost of a graduate student (GSR) for one year (at 10 hours per week) to support the analysis, write the Report, and participate on the team. Specifically, the student will be asked to conduct the initial research, under the supervision of expert faculty and the project leaders, on regional science studies and draft the assessment of climate-related threats (tasks 1 and 2 below). Work would begin in the summer, with the student working over the 16-17 academic year. During the first phase, the project team and the advisory committee will be working to clarify the scope of the second phase – Adaptation Plan Development – as the vulnerabilities identified in the Report become more clear.

Project Goals:

  1. Understand the impacts of climate change—e.g., extreme storm events, sea level rise, heat waves, drought, vector-borne diseases—that will affect on-campus health, infrastructure, and natural systems, as well as the regional systems that are linked to campus operations.
  2. Identify and evaluate strategies that will address the expected impacts and build the resilience of all aspects of campus life and operations.
  3. Engage faculty and students in climate adaptation research to build campus resilience.

Final Poster

Final Report