Keene, NH—The Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience at Antioch University New England (AUNE) has launched its inaugural year with a major Northeast regional conference, a topical webinar series, and a funded doctoral fellowship. Its programming is focused on building the capacity of communities to identify and strengthen the interconnected public health, economic, environmental and social aspects that contribute to community preparedness and resilience.
“A healthy community is one that is able to withstand and bounce back from unexpected stresses and shocks,” said Abigail Abrash Walton, the co-director of the program and faculty member at AUNE. “We focus on local level solutions for climate change preparedness and resilience, because the effects of climate change are felt most directly and keenly at the local level. Municipal, county, and regional decision makers and local community members are on the frontlines of building resilience.”
The Center’s first doctoral fellow, Christa Daniels (Koehler), AICP manages the programs and graduate assistants who help advance that mission. Daniels, a city planner and climate adaption professional, specializes in resiliency and sustainability planning, having facilitated strategies in Pittsburg, Penn., Portland, Ore., New Hampshire’s Monadnock region, New York state, New Jersey and Bridgeport, Conn. Her past experience also includes working for the United Nations, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and as a city planner for Keene, New Hampshire.
“Building social capital is an often overlooked aspect of climate and community resiliency,” Daniels said. “Our research goes beyond exploring structural components to make buildings more efficient or ‘saving the wetlands,’ to really look at how individuals and families respond. Having a community that is able to cope on a personal level and building social capital is an integral part of my doctoral work.”
Daniels was also instrumental in coordinating the conference from which AUNE’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience was launched.
AUNE’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience was launched at the Local Solutions: Northeast Climate Preparedness Conference in partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this year. The Center is again partnering with EPA to deliver a webinar series, based on the conference workshop sessions and designed to make this capacity-building programming more widely accessible.
The next webinar, Green Infrastructure and Flood Resiliency-Land Use Management as an Adaptation Strategy in the Built Environment, is on Thursday, January 29 at 12 pm. The webinar will focus on assessment, planning, and adaptation to not only better prepare for the next emergency, but to sustainably manage flooding, and storm water to maintain human health and a vibrant local economy. The following months’ webinar topic is Collaborating for Resilience: Reaching the Most Vulnerable Populations and Getting the Message Out. To register or learn more about these webinars, please visit the Center’s website.
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About Antioch University New England’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience: The mission of AUNE’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience is to prepare, respond and recover in the face of climate impacts and other disruptions through collaborative, innovative solutions. The center delivers applied research, consulting, and education and training. Through a solutions-oriented, pragmatic, participatory, and inclusive approach based on change leadership best practices and systems thinking, its focus is on stakeholder capacity building at the local scale (watershed, municipal, county, and region) of preparedness and resilience nationally and internationally, with an explicit awareness of social and climate justice.
About Antioch University New England: AUNE offers the first-in-the-U.S. master’s program for climate adaptation professionals. In addition, AUNE delivers a PhD in Environmental Studies and Master’s programs in Resource Management and Conservation and concentrations in advocacy, conservation biology, environmental education, science teacher certification, and Professional Science Master’s Certificates.
Antioch University is an accredited, non-profit university and a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education that serves adult students around the world, online and from its five campuses in four states in addition to its University-wide international and doctoral programs. The University lives by its mission every day by helping students realize their potential and achieve their educational goals through an innovative, rigorous and responsive learning environment Antioch University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1927. Antioch University New England is home to the first-in-the-country Environmental Studies and Educating for Sustainability graduate programs and Conservation Psychology Institute, and offers a top-ranked MBA in Sustainability as well as Clinical and Applied Psychology.