Climate Resilience from the Youth Up

Heat waves, extreme precipitation events, and flooding are climate impacts already affecting Southeast Michigan, and vulnerable communities in Detroit and Ypsilanti need resilient solutions to better prepare for these impacts. A three-year grant to Michigan Sea Grant from the NOAA Office of Education’s Environmental Literacy Grant program is implementing training and hands-on engagements with students and teachers as they incorporate climate change and adaptation into their curriculum. As a funded project partner, GLISA is working with Michigan Sea Grant, Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS), and EcoWorks Detroit to create a curriculum high school teachers can use to educate high school students and empower them to teach residents about local climate impacts. GLISA is engaging directly with students to discuss climate observations, impacts, and resilience practices. In addition to providing localized climate data, GLISA is advising EcoWorks Detroit Youth Energy Squad (YES) coordinators on tools in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit to bring into the classroom. The project’s goal is for students to utilize a wealth of NOAA tools, data sets, and assessment criteria to think critically about environmental hazards and to prioritize solutions to enhance community resilience.

GLISA’s engagement involves providing climate information, such as observational and projected changes in temperature and precipitation trends, relevant to Southeast Michigan. The participating teachers and students will design projects that use the climate information in creation of community resilience goals. GLISA’s climatologist, Omar Gates, provides guidance for the climate information, and he serves as one of the mentors for the high school students. The climatologist’s engagement involves classroom interactions and answering any questions students may have about the STEM curriculum or climate science. GLISA’s contribution in the NOAA Literacy Grant strives to provide the best climate science knowledge and expertise for students in their climate resilience work with their communities.

Project Accomplishments

  • Presentation and engagement with high school students on climate information and community resiliency in Southeast Michigan
  • Participation in events such as the SEMIS Professional Development series where teachers can learn more about GLISA’s work

GLISA Contribution

  • GLISA is one of the funded partners on the NOAA Environmental Literacy grant awarded to the Michigan Sea Grant. 
  • GLISA co-facilitated discussions in high school classrooms with EcoWorks Detroit Youth Energy Squad (YES) to help students understand climate impacts in their communities.

Project Partners

  • Michigan Sea Grant
  • Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS)
  • EcoWorks Detroit
  • Detroit Public Schools
  • Ypsilanti Public Schools 

Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition Logo

GLISA Contact: Omar Gates, Climatologist: