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University of San Diego launches website for San Diego Regional Climate Education

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Earlier this year, University of San Diego (USD) launched the San Diego Regional Climate Education Partnership website at sandiego.edu/climate. The purpose of the site is to provide background on the project, updates on the status of project activities, and to share findings and results of project activities.

The San Diego Regional Climate Education Partnership is a project funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to USD and its organizational partners. This award was one of only 15 awards made to institutions nationwide that are taking the lead in planning collaborations centered on increasing the public’s understanding of climate science.

The “Regional Climate Education Partnership is excited about the launch of our website,” said Dr. Michel Boudrias, lead scientist for the project.

“This site gives the San Diego region a chance to find information about local climate science efforts, the educational resources of the project and to keep abreast of what we’re learning so our community can make informed decisions about climate change impacts.”

The partnership has been working to develop comprehensive strategic communications and education plans to increase awareness about the science of climate change and its impacts on the San Diego region. Planned activities include:

· Interviews with key opinion, community and business leaders to determine levels of climate science awareness, as well as policies and actions for addressing the impacts of climate change locally, state-wide and nationally.

· A public opinion survey to evaluate the general knowledge and understanding of climate change and levels of mitigation and adaptation activity among people throughout the San Diego region.

· Convening an advisory board of regional leaders from business, education, faith-based communities, government, health care and others to assist with the project.

A summary of these project activities and updates will be available through the website in the future.

“Climate science education and communication strategies are keys to the success of this grant,” said business leader and Advisory Board Chairman Mike McDade.

“The ultimate goal for the project is to develop a deeper understanding of climate change impacts and the science that supports it so the community can make informed decisions that will benefit the region and help formulate educated, thoughtful responses to issues and impacts on public health, water quality and supply, natural lands and other key areas.”

The San Diego Regional Climate Education Partnership includes scientists from Marine Science and Environmental Studies at USD and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, policy experts from the Energy Policy Initiatives Center at USD, social and behavioral psychologists from California State University San Marcos, strategic community planners from The San Diego Foundation and strategic communication experts from The San Diego Foundation and strategic experts from The Steve Alexander Group.

The University of San Diego School of Law’s Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) is a nonprofit academic and research institute that studies energy policy issues affecting the San Diego region and California. EPIC integrates research and analysis, law school study, and public education and serves as a source of legal and policy expertise and information in the development of sustainable solutions that meet our future energy needs.

-Submitted by the University of San Diego School of Law.

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