Shippensburg University and its Center for Land Use and Sustainability (CLUS) and Dickinson College’s Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) are among 12 colleges and universities participating in the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Local Climate Action Program (LCAP). The program pairs municipalities with college students for assistance in developing the components of their local climate action plans. The participants learn how to measure local greenhouse gas emissions, assess local climate-related vulnerabilities and develop plans to reduce emissions and manage climate change impacts in their communities.
Students and faculty from Dickinson and Shippensburg will team up with staff of the Cumberland County Planning Department to assist the county in planning actions to address climate change. This is the second year both institutions have participated in the LCAP.
“Dickinson is excited to again participate in the LCAP,” said Dr. Neil Leary, director of CSE. “During the previous academic year, Dickinson students worked with the Borough of Carlisle to estimate emissions of climate changing greenhouse gases produced by residents, businesses, organizations and government offices. In May, the Borough Council approved a resolution to set emission reduction targets and establish a committee that will develop a plan for meeting the targets. Our students are already having an impact on local environmental policy, and we are proud to continue that legacy.”
“After working with a community outside of Pittsburgh last year, Shippensburg is excited to have a more local partner in Cumberland County and a local collaborator in Dickinson for this year’s project. CLUS prides itself in taking on projects that integrate environmental issues, community planning and engagement, and student/faculty collaboration,” said Dr. Tim Hawkins, professor of Geography/Earth Science.
This year’s LCAP brings together 21 participants, representing 139 municipalities across the state. The municipal/student teams will develop greenhouse gas inventories of local building, transportation, agriculture, waste management and other sectors. They will review the strategies and actions recommended in the 2018 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan and incorporate some of them into their local climate action plans. The teams will work to identify local climate-related vulnerabilities, such as extreme rainfall and extreme heat days. They will also conduct public meetings and online surveys to engage community members in the planning process.