The First Ever National CSC Student and Early Career Training


In early November, the Northeast Climate Science Center will host the first ever National CSC Student and Early Career Training at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This 2-day training, made possible with support from the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the eight CSC’s, will bring together CSC-associated students, post-docs and early career scientists and professionals to learn about and share research across the national CSCs; provide networking and collaboration opportunities; and of course have a bit of fun. The meeting agenda features three renowned guest speakers: Virginia Burkett (USGS), Allison Meadow (University of Arizona) and Ezra Markowitz (UMass Amherst), as well as a range of activities focused on the co-production of science, communicating climate science to diverse audiences; career development, tribal engagement, fostering diversity, and dealing with uncertainty, among other topics.  Students will engage in a number of activities to share their research including speed talks, a poster session, a tools café, and break out activities where they will gain skills and exchange knowledge on a broad range of climate science-related topics. 

Over 65 students and other early career professionals are expected to descend on Amherst next week, some traveling from as far as Alaska and the Pacific Islands. We asked two of our farthest travelers to introduce themselves and explain why they are traveling half way across the globe to be part of this meeting. Here are their stories.

Chandra Legdesog, Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, University of Guam

Chandra Legdesog

Interests: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, climate adaptation, science communication, vulnerability, resiliency

Mogethin! My name is Chandra Legdesog and I am from the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. I am travelling to the National Climate Science Center’s Early Career Training in the hopes of learning about the success that others have had in terms of science communication, as well as to meet fellow early career scientists, and share stories of the environmental changes we have seen in the Pacific. It is a reality today that the Earth is changing at a rapid pace and we can see environmental changes worldwide through observations of weather pattern changes, habitat alteration and species loss. It is through efforts such as the National CSC Training that we are able to teach the upcoming generation of scientists and professionals in disseminating climate science to local communities. Through this empowerment of our communities, we are able to construct sustainable management practices that increase the resiliency of our ecosystems and subsequently, the health of our people living in them. 

Chandra is a Master’s student in the Micronesian Studies program at the University of Guam where she studies Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Ulithi atoll, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Her master’s research highlights climate change issues in tiny, low-lying Pacific atolls and seeks to re-value indigenous knowledge as a method of revitalizing more sustainable practices that could increase the community’s resiliency to climate change. 

Phillip John R. Cruz, Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, University of Guam

Phillip John Cruz

As a Masters student in the Professional Masters in Business Administration program at the University of Guam, I am working to develop climate change resiliency guidelines for small local businesses in Guam. My thesis title is “Building Climate Change Resiliency for Small Businesses in Guam.” The island of Guam experiences natural disasters such as typhoons and droughts every decade. With the effects of climate change predicting these natural disasters to increase in intensity, it is critical to assess how resilient small businesses are to these changes. My research project seeks to find new ways for small businesses to anticipate, monitor and adapt to changes in climate, forming sustainable models that can assist these businesses in thriving in a dynamic natural environment.

I am looking forward to meeting other professionals at the CSC Student and Early Career Professionals Training to learn about what tools have worked to build resiliency against climate change and adapt those tools for uses in small businesses in small islands. I am most concerned with the economic threats that will ensue due to climate change and I hope to inspire people around the world to take steps in reducing their carbon footprint by reducing, reusing, and recycling of commercial goods, eating less meat, and limiting their consumption of fossil fuels.

Phillip John is the Sustainability Coordinator for the Center of Island Sustainability at the University of Guam. His work encompasses providing environmental outreach to Guam’s community and coordinating campus sustainability projects. His outreach focuses on the importance of coral reefs with an emphasis on the impact of Guam’s expanding tourism industry and population growth. Additionally, Phillip works closely with small local businesses to help reduce energy consumption through energy audits and energy efficiency recommendations.

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