The University of Arizona has joined the University Climate Change Coalition, a consortium of 18 top North American research institutions dedicated to practical climate solutions. The coalition will prototype a community-focused, collaborative model for addressing climate challenges and the transition to a low-carbon future.
The University Climate Change Coalition, or UC3, is a select subgroup of the Second Nature Climate Leadership Network, of which the UA is already a member. Second Nature was founded in 1993 to make sustainability a priority in higher education. UA President Robert C. Robbins also agreed to join the Climate Leadership Steering Committee, the network's chief oversight body responsible for advising on its policy and direction.
"The UA and Tucson communities are committed to working together to advance sustainability and science-based solutions to environmental challenges, which are critical to the success of our institution and our societies around the world," Robbins said. "Together with the University Climate Change Coalition, we will foster solutions to climate changes, curtail climate-altering emissions, and engage with our local and global communities to reach our goals. We must advance a more sustainable model as we prepare the next generation of leaders for a new era of environmental realities."
The UA is recognized internationally for its expertise in climate research, adaptation and policy, science-based solutions, and work around the interface of human health and the environment. The university is known for several environmental innovations, including establishing dendrochronology, the study of tree rings, shaping research in hydrology and water resources, ecology and evolutionary biology, and many other advances in additional disciplines.
"It is critical for us to address these challenges through a holistic approach that not only engages with these challenges through a STEM lens, but goes the extra mile to incorporate our leading arts and humanities areas as well," said James Buizer, professor of climate adaptation and international development in the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment and a research scientist with the UA Institute of the Environment.
"Through the existing strengths in our arts and humanities programs, we can foster the large-scale public awareness and understanding of climate change that can bring about substantive policy change, while also disrupting the social and cultural worldviews that filter climate information and separate the public from the realities of climate change," added Buizer, who also serves as chairman of the board of Second Nature.
Researchers from various academic units, research centers and institutes across the UA, including the Institute of the Environment, the Institute for Energy Solutions, the Transportation Research Institute, the Water Resources Research Center, Biosphere 2 and others, will participate in UC3 initiatives.
"In joining UC3, we have an even greater opportunity for our world-class research and faculty to create positive impact for the benefit of Tucson and the world by working more closely with other leading institutions, including our sister university, Arizona State University," Robbins said. "UC3 is very much about the benefit of our cumulative efforts."