For Communities: the Municipal Assistance Program

Climate Corps

The Climate Corps Municipal Assistance Program is designed to provide assistance to Connecticut communities wishing to plan for climate change but challenged by lack of resources. During the spring of each year, Climate Corps students will work with Sea Grant and CLEAR extension faculty to partner with selected communities on a range of tasks in support of climate adaptation. There is no charge for the Municipal Assistance Program, but interested communities must demonstrate a commitment to the partnership. 

How it Works

  1. Upper class students from the Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, and Environmental Engineering majors apply for available seats in the UConn Climate Corps.  The Fall 2017 class had 14 students.
  2. In the Fall semester students complete a course on climate change that focuses on New England and local impacts, and on the roles and challenges of local government in adapting to it.  [view course syllabus]
  3. The following Spring semester, students engage in an independent study "practicum" working with community leaders. The students are broken up into 3-student teams, supervised by CLEAR/Sea Grant educators, and decide on a useful and achievable list of tasks related to climate adaptation. Tasks can focus on assessment, mapping, planning, outreach, or other topics. 

How to Apply

  1. This is a pilot program and the number of participating towns is limited.  The Spring 2018 communities have been selected and are the City of Hartford and the towns of Old Lyme and Westbrook. Town officials or staff interested in participating in the program are encouraged to contact Climate Corps faculty leaders Bruce Hyde, 860-345-5229 or Juliana Barrett, 860-486-4126.
  2. Although this program is at no cost to the community, participating towns will be asked to demonstrate their commitment to working with the university and the Climate Corps students. The principal requirements:
    1. A support letter from your town’s Chief Elected Official.
    2. Agreement to appoint a primary town contact for the student team assigned to your town.
    3. Agreement to a meeting with the project team to develop a list of priority actions.
    4. Agreement to host an informational session (audience at your discretion) for the student team to report their findings.