By Allie Long
Prior to the start of her master’s program last fall, Carole Green was excited to be one of nine University of Washington students selected by faculty and staff from the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) and the College of the Environment to participate in the 2021 APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation. “I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of human health and climate change, which is why I decided to pursue an MPH at UW and have been thrilled to learn from the experts at CHanGE,” shared Carole.
Although the APRU simulation was specifically focused on climate change, students came from a variety of backgrounds. Take Siddharth Sheth, for example. A second year graduate student at UW for computer science, his personal interest in climate change fueled an opportunity to participate and build professional growth related to integrating environmentalism into his future work.
“No one’s really talking about the environmental impacts of the computer science industry, even though data centers rely on electricity to keep us all connected to complex virtual worlds,” explained Siddharth. “It might seem like an indirect relationship, but that’s exactly why awareness is key. This experience was an engaging way to learn more about clean energy policy, which I want to scale in actionable ways within my field once I graduate this December.”
Carole and Siddharth were two of the 120 students from 13 universities across 10 countries who virtually attended the APRU Simulation.
Hosted by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) between August 11th and September 2nd 2021, the simulation held mock negotiations for students across the globe to play the role of delegates to the UN Climate Change Negotiations. Students were placed into multidisciplinary teams to represent one of six regions, which included the U.S., China, India, the EU, “Other Developed Countries” and “Other Developing Countries.”
“During the simulation, I was part of the Green China group, where we focused on how land use changes, the Paris agreement and greenhouse gas emissions have historically impacted this country,” shared Siddharth. “It was really fun to learn how to communicate about a different country’s environmental representation on a global scale. It gave me a new perspective on why universal environmental guidelines can’t always apply to every country because of the different local implementations and regulations based on your assigned country.”
Global connection & mentorship
The simulation was created in tandem with climate policy simulation models including EN-ROADS and World Climate Interactive that were initially developed by MIT. The program included ten plenary speakers from organizations such as the UN Habitat Programme, Adidas and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, among others.
Over the course of three sessions, students also participated in interactive breakout sessions led by 16 international climate science experts.
“The climate change simulation was an excellent opportunity for students to understand some of the complexities of negotiating across countries, realizing the challenges with reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to less than 2.0C above preindustrial,” said Kristie Ebi, CHanGE founder and professor, who was one of the participating APRU experts.
The scope and magnitude of the simulation gave way to a lot of shared moments for the students that highlighted how important and complex it can be to come to global agreements within climate change policy.
“We are thrilled to support global programming that connects UW students with their international peers and equips them with practical skills in a global context,” shared Office of Global Affairs Vice Provost Jeffrey Riedinger. This office was a co-funder for the selected UW students to attend the global simulation as part of their passion for fostering cross-disciplinary and intercultural learning opportunities. “The APRU Global Climate Change Simulation creates an innovative learning environment, focused on finding solutions for some of the most pressing challenges facing our shared world,” said Jeffrey.
For Carole, the simulation’s takeaways included a surprising feeling: hope. “What the public so often hears about climate change is how we’re all going to go up in flames, and it makes people shut down. I didn’t anticipate how hopeful climate experts actually are. There is a way for us to solve this problem. It’s challenging to recognize its grandiosity, but so many people care. We just have to be very intentional in the ways that we tackle this together.”
This simulation was co-organized by University of Oregon and University of Southern California, and it included students from Monash University, Nanyang Technological University, Peking University, Tecnológico de Monterrey, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Auckland, The University of Melbourne, Tohoku University, Universidad San Francisco De Quito, Universiti Malaya and University of Washington.
Interested in applying to this year’s 2022 Student Global Climate Change Simulation?
EarthLab has announced a new paid summer internship program for University of Washington undergraduate students who are passionate about addressing challenging environmental issues. Currently enrolled students (as of Spring 2022) from all UW schools, colleges and campuses are eligible to apply by 5 p.m. PT on April 15, 2022.
This year’s program will run for 10 weeks between June-August, with student presentations expected in the fall. Internships will be hosted within EarthLab member organizations. Although each project is unique, interns will engage with and learn from each other while attending required training sessions and other group activities. Each student will be provided with a faculty or research scientist mentor and will receive a weekly stipend based on the hours required for the project.
“We know that if we are going to effectively and equitably address environmental issues, we must rethink how we train the next generation of leaders, researchers and scholars,” said Ben Packard, EarthLab’s executive director. “We’re excited to offer this new opportunity for undergraduate students to build capacity for interdisciplinary, community-engaged environmental work.”
EarthLab is offering a live information session over Zoom on March 29 at 4:30 p.m. PT. Anyone interested in learning more about the program is encouraged to attend and ask questions. The session will be recorded and shared on the EarthLab website.
While the available projects span a variety of subjects, experiences and time commitments, students may apply to more than one project. They should note that many opportunities will require some remote work and some in-person work, following all safety protocols. The number of hours per week include required mentor meetings, group discussions and professional development trainings hosted by EarthLab.
2022 placements include:
- Climate Health Risk Tool Intern (15 hrs/week)
- Grant Application Support Intern (15 hrs/week)
- Northwest Climate Resilience Collaborative (NCRC) Intern (30 hrs/week)
- Green Schoolyards Project Intern (30 hrs/week)
- Forest Bathing Research Assistant (40 hrs/week)
- Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) Intern (20 hrs/week)
- Ocean Literacy Intern (15 hrs/week)
- Ocean Acidification Intern (25 hrs/week)
- Zooplankton Diversity Intern (40 hrs/week)
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Two University of Washington experts in climate change and health, Kristie Ebi and Dr. Jeremy Hess from CHanGE, are lead authors of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The new report titled Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptations and Vulnerability, published Monday morning, details in over three thousand pages a “dire warning” about the consequences of inaction on reducing the emissions that are causing our planet to warm and on implementing interventions to prepare for and effectively manage the dangerous impacts of climate change already occurring.
In 2021, EarthLab welcomed new partners, strengthened our commitment to equity and justice work, and continued our work to inspire and incentivize innovative, community-centered environmental and climate justice research. Explore our top stories below.
10. EarthLab statement condemning violence towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community
EarthLab staff stands with the University of Washington and Nature and Health against the racially-motivated violence and hate crimes towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Meade Krosby, a senior scientist with the UW Climate Impacts Group, is working with the Tulalips to determine the impacts on tribally important plants. The Tulalips have been leaders in organizing meetings, conferences and workshops around climate change.
EarthLab is proud to sponsor a prize at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, presented by Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. The Community Impact Prize recognizes innovation in developing a product, solution, or demonstrated business model that mitigates or makes communities more resilient in the face of climate change while prioritizing equity and justice.
With each passing month, more and more Washingtonians are suffering under the physical, emotional and financial damages of enduring a lengthy pandemic. And as we find ourselves in the coldest, darkest days of the year during the worst-case surge yet, it can feel like a herculean task just to take a daily walk around the block. (Crosscut)
Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, faculty advisor for EarthLab member organization Future Rivers and assistant professor in the School of Marine & Environmental Affairs, is part of a team of academics that was recently awarded $5 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund an interdisciplinary, multi-year project to advance anti-racist practices and pedagogy in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
5. EarthLab and Population Health co-fund pilot grant to improve communication around smoke exposure in rural and tribal communities
EarthLab and the Population Health Initiative have announced a new pilot research grant award to study how Tribal and non-Tribal communities in the Okanogan River Airshed Emphasis Area (ORAEA) receive and communicate information about smoke exposure.
Additional climate change is projected to increase for heat-related morbidity and mortality, ozone-related mortality, dengue and Lyme disease from undetectable to severe risks as the planet continues to warm, according to new research published by the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) at the University of Washington.
New collaboration between UW Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) and EarthLab will accelerate climate research, action and resilience.
EarthLab has selected Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong for our equity and justice book club this quarter. This book was selected from several works written by and about the Asian-American experience.
The Innovation Grants Program will invest in teams of community partners and academic researchers and students at the University of Washington (UW) who are interested in developing solutions at the intersection of climate change and social justice.
About the Event
As a UN registered Research & Independent Non-Governmental Organization (RINGO), UW sent three official delegates to the UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP 26. These delegates were UW’s three “observers” participating in the meetings, appointed by the Office of Global Affairs.
EarthLab and the Office of Global Affairs have invited the three UW delegates to communicate with the broader UW community their reflections on the global conference and what we – as a university and as individuals – might do to follow up.
Kristie Ebi, Professor, Center for Health and the Global Environment
Deb Morrison, Research Scientist, College of Education
Maya Tolstoy, Incoming Dean, College of the Environment
Ben Packard, EarthLab
Jeff Riedinger, Vice Provost, Office of Global Affairs
Dec 16, 2021 02:30 PM PT