Climate Change Fellows initiate new projects in research and education across campus

Members of the Climate Change Fellows program at Georgia Tech
The Climate Change Fellows Program at Georgia Tech

By Kim Cobb

Published Feb 28, 2019

Eleven team projects kicked off this semester as part of the Climate Change Fellows Program, which brings faculty, staff, and students together from across campus to build capacity in climate-related research, education, and community events. Over 30 faculty from five colleges are participating in the newly-funded projects, with a total investment of $171,500 thanks to contributions from a diverse set of partners including the Global Change Program, Serve-Learn-Sustain, Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Strategic Energy Institute, Ocean Science & Engineering, and the College of Computing.

Georgia Tech's Climate Change Fellows Program began in Fall 2018 and the initial set of funded projects will run through Fall 2019. The Climate Change Fellows program represents a collaboration between the Global Change Program, Serve-Learn-Sustain, the Climate & Energy Policy Lab, the, the Strategic Energy Institute, the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, and the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems. In its first phase, the Climate Change Fellows worked to identify promising avenues for new research collaborations and educational initiatives related to climate change. An Education Working Group focused on developing recommendations for modules, classes, and academic support structures - including a combined Energy and Climate Minor - to teach students about the social, scientific, and technical aspects of climate change and apply their disciplinary training to develop climate solutions. A Research Working Group focused on identifying research areas that: 1) are solutions-oriented, 2) have high potential for regional impact and connection to real-world projects and partners, 3) bring together diverse faculty, and 4) have high visibility and funding potential.

The eleven projects chosen for initial funding are listed below.

Education projects

Analyzing the feasibility of implementing a carbon price at Georgia Tech.

Principal Investigators: Alice Favero (PUBP), Anne Rogers (Director, Office of Sustainability)

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Developing a week-long curriculum for middle school students about sea level rise, its underlying mechanisms, and local effects

Principal Investigators: Jayma Koval (CEISMC), Alexander Robel (EAS)

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Designing affordable, energy efficient housing options for Atlanta residents

Principal Investigators: Michael Gamble (ARCH), Shan Arora (Director, Living Building), Anne Rogers (Director, Office of Sustainability), Michael Chang (BBISS)

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Developing a semester-long course on climate change impacts on water, air, and land in urban spaces

Principal Investigators: Zachary Handlos (EAS), Emily Weigel (SOBS), Todd Michney (HSOC)

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Events projects

Creating an anthology of art on how we regenerate ourselves as individuals as we observe the climate crisis

Principal Investigators: Anne Rogers (Director, Office of Sustainability), Karen Head (LMC), Katie Farris( LMC), Shan Arora (Director, Living Building)

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Research projects

Enabling students, policy makers, and citizen scientists to construct simple models of ecosystems and local impacts of climate change.

Principal Investigators: Ashok Goel (CS), Jayma Koval (CEISMC), Emily Weigel (SOBS)

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Understanding the diffusion of information about energy and environmental technologies through a network of building contractors constructing the Living Building

Principal Investigators: Daniel Matisoff (PUBP), Baabak Ashuri (BC), Malte Weiland (Facilities Management)

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Defining climate resilience from different social-ecological system perspectives.

Principal Investigators: Jenny McGuire (SOBS), Allen Hyde (HSOC)

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Understanding the value of salt marshes around Savannah, as both a carbon sink and as a physical barrier to protect against storms

Principal Investigators: Joel Kostka (SOBS), Laura Taylor (ECON), Frank Stewart (SOBS)

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Modernizing the National Energy Modeling System, starting with a submodule that focuses on electric vehicles

Principal Investigators: Rachel Kuske (MATH), Marilyn Brown (PUBP), Richard Catrambone (PSYCH)

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Developing new cooling processes, materials, technologies, and policies for stationary and mobile applications.

Principal Investigators: Shannon Yee (ME), et al.

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The funders of the Climate Change Fellows projects hope to offer future opportunities for faculty, staff, and students from across campus to initiate impactful cross-campus projects that build capacity around climate change solutions.

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