In their lifetimes, today’s college and university students will experience dramatic changes in the planet’s climate caused by carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels. Climate change is already raising temperatures and sea levels, while also increasing the number of extreme weather events—and the pace of change is accelerating.
Facing this alarming new reality will require an unprecedented level of creativity, energy and leadership from the current generation of youth environmental leaders. The encouraging news is that students are already rising to this challenge on campuses all across the country. They are undertaking myriad efforts to around climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Suggested projects/campaigns for students:
Develop adaptation plans and disaster management strategies that would increase resilience in the face of extreme weather.
Conduct vulnerability assessments of your campus or community.
Advocate for strong federal policies that would limit carbon pollution from power plants and other major sources.
- Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus webcast and videos
- Eco-Schools USA Climate Change Connections (9th-12th grade curriculum)
- Edgewood College – Madison, WI created a number of campus rain gardens to promote the use of rain gardens as an alternative stormwater management practice
- Generation E: How Students are leading for a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future
- Going Underground on Campus: Tapping the Earth for Clean, Efficient Heating and Cooling
- Going Green On Campus (AffordableCollegesOnline.org)
- Greenprint: A Plan to Prepare Community College Students for Careers in the Clean Economy report
- Guide to Climate Action Planning: Pathways to a Low Carbon Campus
- Higher Education in a Warming World: The Business Case for Climate Leadership on Campus
- NWF Climate Change Adaptation Reports
- NWF Climate Change Education Resources
- NWF Greenforce climate change STEM curriculum (with NASA for community colleges)
- NWF - Climate Change Primer
- University of South Florida - Tampa, Florida: USF has preserved an area of approximately one square mile, comprising a variety of habitats including extensive wetlands
- Virginia Commonwealth University installs a green roof and community garden to help achieve its Climate Action Plan goal of becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050