Class photo
Bruce Hyde (standing in rear) talks to students during UConn’s new course. Photo credit: Judy Benson, Connecticut Sea Grant.

In a new class at the University of Connecticut, students not only learn the science behind global warming – they learn how to help communities adapt.

Hyde: “What we’re trying to do is to take this down to the local level in the real world.”

Hyde: 'What we're trying to do is to take this down to the local level in the real world.' Click To Tweet

Bruce Hyde of the University’s Center for Land Use Education and Research is one of several educators leading the two-semester course.

He says the first semester is spent in the classroom. In addition to studying climate impacts, students learn practical ways to help communities adapt – for example, how local governments work and how land use policies are decided.

Next semester, they’ll put that knowledge to work in local communities.

Hyde: “We’ve developed sort of a template that we can use to identify the vulnerability of municipal assets like a sewage treatment plant pump station, or even a neighborhood that may be vulnerable. And then from that, develop a list of actions a municipality can take to address those.”

The municipalities receive custom adaptation plans, and the students learn first-hand that …

Hyde: “… climate impacts are happening now and they really need to be addressed. And the sooner that happens, the better everybody is going to be.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

Jan Ellen Spiegel is a freelance writer and editor based in Connecticut. In 2013, she received a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate.

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