RCE Georgetown-2017

1. Project Title: 
Coastal Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
3. Project partner contact information : 
Coastal Carolina University
Lead Project Coordinator
Main Contact: 
Pamela Martin
Pamela Martin
Coastal Carolina University
Alternative project contact: 
Michelle LaRocco
National Estuarine Research Reserve
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

Coastal Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is an experiential learning class that covers aspects of people, planet, and economies and the local and global policies that shape our sustainable development as a planet. The Institute was designed by the UN RCE Georgetown to integrate university student learning and young people into the UN RCE process and the county community.  The class was based on Front St., the main street of the county seat in the City of Georgetown and it included guest lectures from policy makers and government officials on the theme that the UN RCE selected as significant: sea level rise and flooding.  This class examined sea level rise, flooding, and climate change policy culminating in a community engagement role play simulation of a fictitious town in New England to gauge community awareness and readiness for climate change mitigation and adaptation policy on the coast.  Students combined science and policy skills within a framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, using systems thinking and cultural and historical analysis.  

This Institute was used as a platform to test the viability of a) a student institute on the UN SDGs in Georgetown and b) the development of role play simulation case studies on sea level rise and flooding developed for Georgetown County, rather than using ones based on New England.  Student evaluations demonstrated a desire for further institutes on sustainable development in Georgetown County and a new understanding of the interaction of social, economic, and environmental issues that face the county.  (It should be noted that the City of Georgetown is located to the south of the university campus by almost one hour and students infrequently travel here.  Thus, a course such as this could have presented a challenge, but instead presented a new opportunity for transformative learning). At the end of the Coastal Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), students facilitated a community engagement workshop using the role play simulations with about 20 local citizens.  For two hours, people in the county discussed solutions to sea level rise and flooding problems that our county has faced for decades, but has been impacted greatly in the last 3 years.  At the end, citizens voted to move forward through the UN RCE to apply for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant to produce role play simulations specific to our county with localized downscaled data. The UN RCE, led by Michelle LaRocco and co-sponsored by Pamela Martin, did apply and received a $100,000 grant to engage our community in conversations about sea level rise and flooding, integrate our local scientific, social and economic data, and produce role play case studies on the issue to contribute to our county comprehensive planning process.  

7. Provide references and reference materials : 
6. Project status
On Going
The CISL summer course emphasized the scientific-policy nexus. While it was a fruitful start, we plan to enhance the course in May 2018 by adding an interdisciplinary, field experience with team teaching of professors from Marine Science, Archaeology, Business, and Policy. Thus, students will gain multiple skills and tools to view our living coastline and solutions to becoming a resilient community.
8. Tagging