Taking action on climate has many forms, and this seminar will explore approaches to address climate change at two different scales and geographies.

From the east end of Long Island, Shavonne Smith will present on how the Shinnecock Indian Nation has been preparing for climate change by evaluating their environmental risks and conducting a climate vulnerability assessment in partnership with the Peconic Estuary Program. The Shinnecock Indian Nation territory is 800 acres of ancestral land, with 500 tribal members living on the reservation. Residing at sea level, the Shinnecock Indian Nation is vulnerable to coastal storms and flooding, as experienced during Hurricane Sandy. Sea level rise and coastal erosion are posing immediate threats to the Nation Lands, already encroaching on the tribal burial grounds near the shoreline. Shavonne will discuss some of the measures the Shinnecock Indian Nation is taking on to address these and other environmental risks caused by climate change.

Heidi Kunka from PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Energy Programs Office will take a statewide lens and provide an overview of the 2018 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan, including recommended greenhouse gas reduction strategies and actions, as well as PA’s most recent annual greenhouse gas inventory and climate impacts assessment. She will share how the PA government is leading by example via the creation of a GreenGov Council, as well as how it is supporting local governments in doing the same via a local climate action program DEP is currently funding. The program utilizes a contractor to train college students on developing greenhouse gas inventories & climate action plans for local governments in Pennsylvania. Two students who participated in this program, Eric Raabe and Madeleine Pelchat, will then share their experiences and lessons learned.