Climate Vulnerability Assessment

Project Lead: Lisa McNeilly
Sponsor: Office of Sustainability and Energy
TGIF Grant: $26,150
Project Theme: Transportation & Urban Development
Project Location: UC Berkeley Campus
Status: In Progress
Project Description: The Climate Readiness Institute and the Office of Sustainability and Energy propose to partner to craft a detailed assessment of the campus’ vulnerability to future climate change impacts.  The project will proceed in two phases.  In the first phase – Initiating Assessment and Developing Vulnerability Report – the team will set up an advisory committee and engage a graduate student to craft a Vulnerability Report.  The project team also proposes having other students assist with some of the more detailed data gathering for the Report, by seeking out class projects in the spring.  A workshop will be held to present preliminary results, both to the advisory committee but also to engage the campus community, and the Vulnerability Report will be shared widely on and off campus.
The TGIF funds would cover the cost of a graduate student (GSR) for one year (at 10 hours per week) to support the analysis, write the Report, and participate on the team.   Specifically, the student will be asked to conduct the initial research, under the supervision of expert faculty and the project leaders, on regional science studies and draft the assessment of climate-related threats (tasks 1 and 2 below).  Work would begin in the summer, with the student working over the 16-17 academic year.  During the first phase, the project team and the advisory committee will be working to clarify the scope of the second phase – Adaptation Plan Development – as the vulnerabilities identified in the Report become more clear. 
1. Understand the impacts of climate change—e.g., extreme storm events, sea level rise, heat waves, drought, vector-borne diseases—that will affect on-campus health, infrastructure, and natural systems, as well as the regional systems that are linked to campus operations.
2. Identify and evaluate strategies that will address the expected impacts and build the resilience of all aspects of campus life and operations.
3. Engage faculty and students in climate adaptation research to build campus resilience.

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.