The Climate Science Alliance held its biannual all-Alliance meeting last Wednesday, October 12th, at SDG&E's Energy Innovation Center. Participants were warmly welcomed by Scott Pearson, SDG&E Director of Environmental Services who helped set the tone for a collaborative and inspiring event. The meeting highlighted the growing connection with tribes, art schools, artists, scientists, and community members. Examples spanned across all three work groups and illustrated how the Alliance network is bringing people from different sectors together into meaningful and innovative partnerships and projects.
Laura Engeman from the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative updated partners on the Resilient Coastlines Project of Greater San Diego-a NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant. She discussed how the unique partnership between the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative and the Alliance are building capacity for local partners and supporting nature based approaches such as living shorelines. Visit http://www.resilientcoastlines.org/ for more information. Updates from the Alliance's tribal partners was given by Shasta Gaughen from the Pala Band of Mission Indians. She explained how the Alliance is helping to support tribal partners through climate training and youth engagement. Aide Escalante Garcia and Anna Lucia Lopez gave updates on Baja activities including the growing success of the Climate Kids-Mexico (CK-MX) project. CK-MX, under the direction of Aide Escalante Garcia has reached a total of 4,500 students through activities including Pasarelas (fashion shows), mentor programs, and environmental workshops. Under the guidance of Anna Lucia Lopez, Cultura de Playa, a developmental workshop for youth focused on climate change & water quality, has reached a total of 1,526 students. Visit the new Climate Kids-Mexico webpage for more information at http://climatekidsmexico.wixsite.com/cbtis146.
The Science Focused Partnership (Orange) Team under the leadership of Megan Jennings is pursuing several exciting new initiatives. A San Diego Vulnerability Assessment is currently under development and will better connect climate science to natural resource management. This project is pairing 6 climatologists & 6 ecologists to communicate the climate impacts specific to our region and what it means to our unique biodiversity. This report will be included as part of the State of California's 4th Climate Change Assessment. Among other things, the assessment will include discussion of the importance of tribal lands and building partnerships across borders--including the Baja region. Another highlight of the Orange team is a collaborative effort to identify the region's research priorities. We see the regional research needs list as a living document and an important starting place for communicating the specific needs of our region along with a starting place for leveraging resources/projects and collaborative efforts to seek funding. (http://www.climatesciencealliance.org/resources).
The Climate Smart Conservation and capacity building Blue Team gave its work group updates starting with efforts to build capacity and tools for natural resource managers. Eleven climate trainings have been held since March 2016! Aside from training events, the group has created the first draft of a document to help staff integrate climate considerations into regulatory letters (e.g. CEQA). In addition, Alliance staff partnered with the California Nevada Applications Program to develop one page FAQ sheets on regional climate change impacts on precipitation and drought. Peer to peer reviews are on-going and provide partners with input on planning efforts that include climate considerations.
The Green Team for Innovative Community Engagement (aka FUN team) led by Mike Grim from the City of Carlsbad has made great progress on several fronts. The Climate Kids program has expanded into North County schools in Carlsbad and Del Mar. Alliance staff are working closely with several entities to insert climate change messages, activities, and stories into existing curriculum. Alliance staff are working collaboratively with SEALIFE Aquarium and Fleet Science Center to host a Educator Training on February 25th, 2017--details will be posted on our website: http://www.climatekids.org/resources. You can also find out more about the Alliance’s new Art and Community Initiative and our growing network of artists http://www.climatesciencealliance.org/art-community. *Hot off the press* The Alliance will have a climate change themed area at the 2017 Balboa Park Earth Fair. We will be reaching out to identify partners who are interested in participating in this collaborative community outreach event! The meeting concluded with a group work activity focused on specific topics to support the development of next year’s strategic plan. Three questions were posed to the group: How have you benefited from being a part of the Alliance network? How do you want to see the Alliance change/grow? Now that you have heard what the working groups have been doing—what direction or topics would you like to see the work groups take on? Next steps will be to synthesize the info and then take it to advisory team to be folded into next year's strategic work plan. The next all-Alliance meeting is March 30 but work groups will be wrapping up projects this fall and resume with in person meetings again in January. View photos of this successful meeting below.