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Global WarmingMeet Two Instructors of the Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains...

Meet Two Instructors of the Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains Program

Meet Two Instructors of the Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains Program

Laurel Zaima-Sheehy and Christina Deodatis
|March 16, 2023

sandra goldmark headshot

Sandra Goldmark is the Climate Motion senior assistant dean for interdisciplinary engagement on the Columbia Climate School and the director of Campus Sustainability & Climate Motion at Barnard College. She will likely be joining the ‘Green Mountains’ program this yr for the primary time, teaching in regards to the circular economy.

This summer, we’re thrilled to carry the third annual Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains program, which is designed for prime school students hungry to drive positive impacts of their community within the face of climate change. This pre-college summer program is a two-week campus-based program in Castleton, Vermont, to mobilize motion and effect change in response to our warming planet. During their time in this system, students network with experts from Columbia Climate School and study cutting-edge climate solutions and innovations in motion. They meet like-minded students from world wide to construct partnerships and tap into collective strengths for motion.

Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains has enabled students to achieve the needed knowledge and skills to develop a climate motion plan that they’ll bring to their communities. This system is thrilled to have Josh DeVincenzo of the National Center of Disaster Preparedness returning for a 3rd summer, and Sandra Goldmark of Columbia Climate School and Barnard College joining us for the primary time this summer!

Josh DeVincenzo headshot

Josh DeVincenzo is the senior project coordinator and instructional designer on the National Center for Disaster Preparedness of the Columbia Climate School. Josh has been a component of the ‘Green Mountains’ program since its inception throughout the summer of 2021. He teaches about disaster risk reduction and climate communication strategies.

Within the Q&A below, Josh and Sandra share their experiences and their excitement to hitch Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains during summer 2023.

What’s going to you teach at Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains?

Josh: I’ll teach just a few different sessions about disaster risk reduction and climate communications strategies. I greatly enjoy teaching these topics to young people, partly due to the ingenuity with which they solve problems. Over the past few years teaching within the Climate School’s pre-college offerings, it has been inspirational to me and my work to listen to all the brand new ideas young people put on the market within the sessions. It’s gratifying to workshop their ideas to get them closer to actionable steps toward addressing the problems and causes they care essentially the most about of their communities.

Sandra: I’ll teach the Circular Economy; we’ll explore how we design, make, distribute, and get rid of “stuff,” and the way the present global patterns of production and consumption affects people and planet. We’ll discuss the impacts of linear and wasteful practices, and delve into the intersecting advantages of circular, sustainable alternatives.

What’s the importance of engaging highschool students with climate change challenges and solutions?

Josh: Especially regarding climate-related disaster impacts, it’s vital to interact highschool students to be fully prepared as disasters turn out to be more frequent and severe. Nevertheless, it’s important to concentrate on the approaches and generation of recent ideas to assist lessen the impacts of disasters on communities. Previous highschool students have been capable of begin straight away to make their communities more prepared by considering through sorts of hazards, impacts, and the best way to engage multiple stakeholders.

Sandra: Today’s highschool students will likely be grappling with climate challenges, and tasked with constructing equitable solutions, all too soon. I really like working with young people on these issues because they’re curious, open to vary, and wanting to get to work.

What do you hope for college students to achieve from this program?

Josh I hope students can gain latest insights into disasters and the impact of disasters on society. I hope they’ll develop a justice lens in examining disaster events worldwide and skills in fascinated about disaster recovery over time periods and impact levels. These skills help us higher understand community preparedness and disaster recovery.

Sandra: I hope that students understand that circularity is an incredibly powerful tool — and that it’s accessible and deployable straight away at multiple scales. Circular economy principles are ancient, and intuitive, and could be implemented by individuals, schools, and communities, with immediate advantages when it comes to waste reduction and native jobs. I also hope that students will understand how these advantages scale up and have to be a component of worldwide climate response.

What do you hope to achieve from this program?

Josh: I all the time gain quite a lot of perspective each summer in this system. Students are bringing in such wonderful experiences and essential questions on considering through climate change. After each trip as much as Vermont, I return with several latest ideas and ways to make my teaching in the sphere and within the classroom more engaging and relevant.

group of students gathered for a photo outside

The ‘Green Mountains’ Summer 2022 student cohort.

Sandra: I hope to check and refine plenty of hands-on activities and exercises that I even have built.

What are you most excited for this summer?

Josh: Each summer, we do a disaster tabletop exercise where we simulate how we’d reply to a disaster in real time. I’m excited to see what the scholars provide you with this yr. Last summer, we even saw disaster communications strategies that involved TikTok for the primary time.

Sandra: I hope to search out ways to get students working hands-on, with ideas that they’ll take home with them to their communities, and forward as they become climate leaders

Josh DeVincenzo leads students through a tabletop exercise to simulate disaster response.

What do you’re thinking that has been or will likely be essentially the most influential component of this system?

Josh: This system is one among a sort. At the same time as an instructor, I’m blown away by the lineup of my fellow instructors and the fabric that’s put together for this program. Additionally it is a terrific environment that doesn’t necessarily feel like a conventional class, but as an alternative, we’re all coming up with ideas and exchanging thoughts on climate with a implausible Vermont backdrop.

Sandra: I feel time working on challenges together, working collaboratively and spending time together outside will likely be one of the crucial vital things the scholars will experience.

Learn more

Columbia Climate School within the Green Mountains will run from July 2 to July 14, 2023, in Castleton, Vermont. Begin your application and review application requirements.

Searching for a climate-themed travel program? We also offer the Columbia Climate Corps, which mixes travel with in-depth educational opportunities across the US and overseas to experience a destination through the lens of climate change and concentrate on location-specific themes:

  • Chile and Argentina: Climate Impacts and Risk, July 22 – August 11, 2023
  • Alaska: Climate Communication and Exploration, July 17 – July 28, 2023
  • IcelandCarbon Capture Technology, July 20 – August 1, 2023

Schedule a one-on-one appointment at your convenience to talk to a representative of the pre-college programs.

Stay updated by joining our mailing list for all pre-college summer programs and academic yr online workshops.


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