Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 Ally- My First Week on the Job


My name is Ally Philip and I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire, studying Environmental Conservation Studies with a concentration in International Environmental and Natural Resource Policy. I am one of the three recipients of the 2014 Brian E. Doyle Fellowship and will be spending the summer working with Chris Keeley, Julia Peterson, Kirsten Howard, and Cory Riley exploring the role of “community champions” in the adoption of climate adaptation strategies at the local level. Throughout this project I will be conducting a series of interviews with champions of climate adaption along the coast from Northern Massachusetts to Southern Maine with the goal of developing recommendations for professional climate adaptation providers within this region on how to best support these champions collectively (funding, participation in certain projects, access to local data, etc). 

On my first day of work, I had the privilege of attending the 2nd Annual Gathering of Climate Adaption Networks from Maine and New Hampshire. I recently returned from a semester abroad in New Zealand and had been feeling very out of the loop with the climate projects in the region so it was extremely informative to sit in on this event and exciting to learn about all the great things going on! I was also able to meet important (and friendly) climate professionals in the region and eat a free lunch so the event was a win-win-win.

I spent the rest of my short work week reviewing literature on what it means to be a “community champion” or a climate champion in local communities and laying the groundwork for the rest of my project. Now, I’m sure some of you are asking “Ally- what the heck is a community champion?” Well I have spent the past few days trying to figure out just that. After extensive literature review, I defined a community climate champion as “an individual who promotes the adoption of climate adaptation strategies at the local level through direct (elected or appointed official; municipal staff) or indirect (volunteer or active town member) influences." I am sure this definition will evolve as my project continues, but this baseline definition gives me a place to start.

Well thank you for reading about my week and I’m looking forward to keeping you updated on my project as it develops (I promise there will be more pictures!).

Until next time,

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