As part of this initiative, DOS is partnering with seven universities from across the State to engage graduate and undergraduate students in DOS programs and projects that focus on climate change and climate justice.
Participating students will learn and gain hands-on experience from these DOS programs while using their innovation, creativity and diversity of experiences to develop a final project that helps advance the State’s climate goals.
“New York State is a national leader in the fight against climate change, and we must continue to think outside the box to meet our ambitious climate goals,” Secretary of State Rodriguez, said in an announcement of the program. “This innovative new partnership will use the unique perspective that college students have to offer to support and enhance the Department of State’s climate programming, while also providing these students with the hands-on experience and learning opportunities they need to become our state’s next generation of climate leaders.”
Through the University Partnerships for Innovative Climate Solutions Initiative, students from various fields of study are expected to identify a climate project of their choice. Participating students will learn and gain hands-on experience from, while also contributing to, relevant DOS programs, including the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, NY Forward, Brownfield Opportunity Area, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, Offshore Wind and Smart Growth. Academic institutions will be required to submit a project proposal with a draft scope of work in response to a rolling call for plans.
DOS staff will assist, advise and guide students throughout the process, culminating in the completion of their final project that will help inform and enhance the Department’s robust climate-related portfolio and advance the State’s climate goals. DOS will also share these final projects with other state agencies involved in combating climate change to maximize the practical benefits of the students’ hard work. The students will draw from a wide variety of academic areas, including—law, planning, architecture, landscape architecture, political science, environmental sciences and finance, among others.
This partnership comes on the heels of New York’s Climate Action Council completing its final Climate Scoping Plan. The Climate Scoping Plan is a comprehensive program developed by multiple agencies and private stakeholders to achieve the State’s nation-leading greenhouse gas reduction goals contained in the NYS Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 (Climate Act). DOS plays a central role in developing and implementing policies and programs that support the Climate Act.
DOS is currently partnering with University at Albany, University at Buffalo, Syracuse University, State University at Stony Brook, State University of New York College of Environment Science and Forestry, Rochester Institute of Technology and Bard College, and is actively designing projects with additional universities and colleges.