By Tabitha Gregory
Beginning this fall, a collaboration between Gonzaga’s Center for Climate, Society and the Environment and the university’s Center for Lifelong Learning will offer an online Climate Certificate Program. This program is among the first of its kind in the U.S. and seeks to arm community members—professionals and volunteers—with a way to build skills and effect positive change.
According to Dr. Brian Henning, the Center’s director, the certificate program was conceived as a tool to train residents (especially in small and mid-sized towns) to help their communities develop plans to reduce climate pollution and make their communities more resilient. Students will learn how to engage their communities; assess climate impact and vulnerability; measure, track, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; and implement climate and social justice strategies.
Henning says that students will learn foundational content and skills and leave with a clear plan for how to successfully facilitate this work in their own communities and organizations. For example, participants can develop concepts and vet strategies for dealing with contemporary threats, including increased fire and smoke, longer stretches of high heat, and drought.
The program is open to potential students ranging from recent graduates to mid-career professionals. A bachelor’s degree or at least five years of any kind of work experience (may include jobs held during high school) are the only prerequisites. Because the classes will all be online, students anywhere may participate. For more information, visit Gonzaga.edu/ClimateCert.