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Emerging Environmental Leaders

As the last ears of corn return from the grill and our white pants get packed away until next year, here at 1% for the Planet we are reflecting on a summer of environmental innovation from our non-profit partners.

Clean Air-Cool Planet’s Summer Climate Fellowship program is one of our most exciting summer initiatives. For five years they have been pairing outstanding students with challenging real-world projects in order to help propel society toward a low-carbon future.

The students either work directly with Clean Air-Cool Planet or they are placed with a private and public sector sustainability partners. Pax World Funds, Poland Spring, Sustainable Nantucket, Yale’s Office of Sustainability and Portsmouth NH’s Chamber of Commerce have all hosted Fellows in recent years.

Remarkable projects emerge from these summer placements, and the students come away having had a fantastic experience and a lot of professional mentoring. Each Fellow works full-time for 10 weeks and receives a stipend of $5,000.  The Climate Fellows represent the next generation of environmental leaders and through the collaboration with Clean Air-Cool Planet accomplish some high-impact projects for a low carbon future.

This summer, recent Connecticut College graduate Davey Ives, worked in the Bridgeport (CT) Mayor’s office of Sustainability came up with a way to save the city and residents in its vulnerable low-income coastal neighborhoods $170,000 annually through flood insurance programs. 2009 fellow, Meg Giuliano, a Masters candidate at Duke University, created a guide for energy efficiency and renewables for Historic District Commissions that has now been used all over the country.

CA-CP partners enthuse about the benefits of having a Fellow: “The Fellow from Clean Air-Cool Planet made the difference between our city’s moving forward on climate planning and action or losing ground. This is a terrific opportunity all the way around. “  Troy Moon, public works director, City of Portland, Maine

During the past five years, Clean Air- Cool Planet has built a prestigious and competitive program with a growing and thriving alumni network. Nearly 50 exceptional fellows have passed through the program, and almost 240 applicants from across the country competed for 10 positions in 2012.

Most of the Fellows program alumni have gone on to continue their work in fields related to the environment and sustainability.

Neda Arabshahi (CA-CP ‘09) is now with Vestas Wind in Denmark

 

Greg Williams (CA-CP ‘08) has since Co-Founded Organic Alchemy Composting

CA-CP has big plans for the expansion of the Climate Fellows Program to 50 students annually by 2017, and create cohorts each summer focused on specific areas of work or in particular regions. In 2013, in addition to the Climate Fellows in the Northeast, CA-CP looking for partners to host and fund a cluster of Fellows out West in Montana and Wyoming and into the San Francisco Bay and Chicago areas.

Clean Air –Cool Planet needs to raise $120,000 in 2012 to expand the 2013 Fellowship program and begin advertising the summer positions in January.  Investing in the next generation of environmental leaders, you will be joining 1% for the Planet Members; Harney and Sons, Andrew M. Sidford Architects, Patagonia Footwear and many others in driving innovation for a low carbon future.

Contact CA-CP President Adam Markham to discuss opportunities to host and support Summer Climate Fellowships for 2013. amarkham@cleanair-coolplanet.org

 

About Clean Air- Cool Planet (CA-CP)

Clean Air-Cool Planet is about practical solutions to climate change. We focus on accelerating the transformation to sustainable campuses and resilient communities. Our nationwide efforts are linked to the work nurturing young emerging leaders and our free Campus Carbon Calculator™ is the carbon management platform of choice for more than 2,100 colleges and universities.

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