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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Preparing and Adapting Our Campuses for the Effects of Climate Change

Journal Cover
From Volume 44 Number 1 | October–December 2015
By Peter Ellard, Kori Swieter
Challenges: Dealing with Climate Change
Planning Types: Campus Planning

Colleges across the United States have become greener, and efforts are underway to enhance their sustainability practices and reduce their carbon footprint. This article is not about the greening of our campuses. It is about planning and preparing for the effects of climate change. It concerns the need to adapt our campuses for the future. This article makes the case that life on our campuses will have to change. We will have no choice. We need to prepare for this change, adapt to it, and reengineer ourselves to be more resilient in the face of it. Moreover, it is our position that it would be fiduciarily and morally derelict not to do so. This article argues that one way to persuade boards of trustees and others within institutions of higher learning that the time to prepare is now is to present the science within the context of the coming effects on our own campuses. This article uses our own campus as a template and makes several suggestions for how to start both the conversation and the planning.

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