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* New NSF-Supported Climate Leaders Academy at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt University was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation that will substantially support interdisciplinary climate change learning and leadership. The first cohort of selected students recently completed the program, and had incredible experiences learning from each other and experts across the globe. Our 2023 cohort held a climate change intensive workshop from June 8-11 at our partner institution, Michigan Technological University’s Ford Center campus in the Michigan. The Workshop brought together a diverse range of climate professionals from across the U.S. to advance climate change learning on a number of topics and advance the professional development skills of our students.  To further improve modes of education and participatory learning on these topics, we engaged with Pablo Suarez of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center and Boston University (another partner University of the Climate Leaders’ Academy) and GoodGames LLC to engage the students in learning that “ignites creativity.”

We are now accepting applications for the 2024 cohort of students!  Selected students will begin the program with a climate change intensive workshop held at SEA in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in May 2024, and will work in small teams to develop a climate change project that the team will continue to work on over the summer, and further develop through the formal Fall 2024 course that will culminate in the travel to attend and participate at the UNFCCC COP (the international climate change negotiations held in Baku, Azerbaijan this year). The team projects must have some component that reaches a K-12 audience. We are especially encouraging of tool or game development that can engage young people in aspects of climate change learning, but teams will have wide range to determine and develop their final projects (to be completed by early December 2024).  This year, we will have post-docs that will assist teams in using science and technology to enhance their project deliverables. We will intentionally create interdisciplinary student teams that represent a range of academic backgrounds.