The Climate Engagement Program aims to train and support graduate students working on issues surrounding climate change to engage with diverse stakeholder groups outside of academia.

The program consists of a 4-day retreat at a UC reserve in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, where a small cohort of interdisciplinary scholars from across the US will participate in leadership and communication training and network building. Throughout the following year, there will be quarterly video conferences with the cohort to support continued engagement in their local communities.

Funds will be available to cover travel costs to and from the workshop. In addition, room and board for the summer workshop will be covered by the program.

Program Objectives

  • Advance our thinking about what defines societal belief systems around climate change and how people receive information about climate change.
  • Build capacity among graduate students and early-career scientists to effectively engage with a broad range of Americans in conversations about climate change.
  • Build a diverse community of early-career climate scientists to support each other in continued engagement.

Summer workshop: September 11-14, 2017

The summer workshop will take place at the UC Valentine Reserve in the eastern Sierra. The program will primarily be skills-based, with opportunities for honing your communication and identifying your opportunities for engagement.

While we will practice fundamental techniques for effective science communication available in other trainings, we will also focus on tools that are particularly relevant for polarizing issues, such as climate change. Thus, we will practice active listening, a deceptively challenging but effective skill for facilitating trust and dialogue. Moreover, we will discuss how people learn and receive new information, as well as the social structures that shape people’s perspectives on climate change. Last, we will discuss techniques for communicating with different audiences (e.g., policy makers, radio reporters, or local communities groups) and honing your message. There will also be plenty of structured and unstructured time to engage with other participants and enjoy the reserve.

The Valentine reserve is located near Mammoth Lakes, CA. Participants will stay in small cabins on the reserve, which offers trails and a large classroom.

Ongoing networking

After the summer workshop, participants will take part in quarterly video conference calls to discuss progress, obstacles, and opportunities for further engagement