1. Raluca Ellis
  2. CUSP Program Director/Environmental Scientist
  3. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  4. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  5. The Franklin Institute
  1. Kevin Crowley
  2. http://unclose.pitt.edu
  3. Professor
  4. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  5. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  6. University of Pittsburgh
  1. Karen Elinich
  2. Director of Science Content & Learning Tech
  3. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  4. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  5. The Franklin Institute
  1. Richard Johnson
  2. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  3. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  4. The Franklin Institute
  1. Karen Knutson
  2. Associate Director UPCLOSE
  3. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  4. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  5. University of Pittsburgh
  1. Michaela Labriole
  2. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  3. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  4. New York Hall of Science
  1. Mandi Lyon
  2. Program Development Coordinator
  3. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  4. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  5. Carnegie Museum of Natural History
  1. Jarred McKee
  2. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  3. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  4. National Geographic
  1. Mary Ann Steiner
  2. Researcher
  3. CCEP II - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  4. http://www.cuspproject.org/
  5. University of Pittsburgh
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Karen Knutson

    Karen Knutson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 06:37 p.m.

    Hi there! Thanks for checking out our video. This year we wanted to focus our video on discussing how each of our cities have developed their partner networks in the CUSP project. We'd love to hear your questions and comments! Are any of these strategies ones that you've used in your projects? Do you have others that you like? 

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
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    Meg Bates

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 11:20 a.m.

    Interesting project. I'm curious what the city-level teams have produced in terms of concrete ideas and solutions for combating/preparing for the effects of climate change in local contexts. I'm also curious about other topic areas where you think this model of collaboration could thrive.

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Mary Ann Steiner

    Mary Ann Steiner

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 02:21 a.m.

    Meg, Thanks for your question,

    What CUSP has done is helped organizations connect their existing work to climate change. By help I mean, we all feel like we are part of a bigger supportive community which makes brokering the conversation with our stake holders easier. In the US many people are concerned about climate change but few actually have conversations with other people about it. Here we have a network that is getting better at having the conversation together and then taking that conversation to their public stakeholders- using locally relevant examples and solution strategies. 

     

    We've been exploring what locally relevant stories might be useful in regions with very different climate impacts or in rural communites close to us, as our project currently focuses on urban systems. We'd love to talk more about those two ideas with people (and other ideas too!)

     

    Thanks for your question...

     

    Mary Ann

     
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  • Icon for: Patricia Ruiz

    Patricia Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 03:07 p.m.

    Hi! I really like the strategies that you have developed to support local, participatory, solutions-focused networks for people in diverse communities. It is clear that your network members value the opportunity to connect with the individuals and organizations that they can partner and connect with. I am curious about the projects that the grants have funded. Also, how do the different city-specific networks succeed? What are their challenges and how does the larger community support them? Finally, can you tell me more about the space(s) that the community uses to interact asynchronously?

     
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  • Icon for: Karen Elinich

    Karen Elinich

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 05:12 p.m.

    Meg - All four city-level teams, separately, put their energy into preparing residents for life in hotter, wetter cities. Obviously, the four cities have differing needs based on their circumstances, but, in general, all of the ideas and solutions work happening in the neighborhoods have been linked to dealing with increased heavy downpours, flooding, and heat waves. The practical strategies vary somewhat, but essentially all have to do with stormwater management and heat dome mitigation.

     
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  • Icon for: Karen Elinich

    Karen Elinich

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 05:17 p.m.

    Patricia - We found that mini-grants are highly effective in network-building. We use the mini-grants to incentivize communities to work together. In so doing, we see relationships solidify and new ideas blossom. We hope that those relationships will live on well beyond the end of the project. The projects that the mini-grants fund vary widely....some have been for special events, others for professional development, some for new program development. The content matters, but, in some ways it doesn't--it's really about the relationships that emerge from doing a project together over the course of a few months.

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Rowena Douglas

    Rowena Douglas

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 03:06 p.m.

    I commend your initiative. According to your statement, the communities you serve have experienced heavy downpours, flooding and heat waves.  I'm wondering what the initial level of understanding was among your participants with relationship to climate change in general.  To what did they attribute the change in weather in their neighborhoods? In your NSF proposal did you cite actual data on their understanding of the science? What is your plan for reporting the success of your project and pursuing additional funding? 

     
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  • Icon for: Richard Johnson

    Richard Johnson

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 05:05 p.m.

    Hi, Rowena! While we knew that residents in our 4 cities ranked higher than the national average in terms of their beliefs that climate change is happening, etc.,* we drew more on social science research to formulate our approach. Also, we can't overstate how much the networks make the approach move and work in a city, which is why we thought it was important to tell the story of where we've seen success in getting such a diverse set of stakeholders working together. Nothing concrete in terms of additional funding at the moment, but we think our model is adaptable to lots of other places. Thanks for your question!  (*via Yale Climate Opinion Maps).

     
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    April Lindala
  • Icon for: Carol Boston

    Carol Boston

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 11:51 p.m.

    I'm interested in the boundary objects. Can you say more about the one where it appeared a man was rolling a dice over a simulated city?

     
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  • Icon for: Mary Ann Steiner

    Mary Ann Steiner

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2017 | 11:20 a.m.

    Carol,

    The research on boundary objects has been participatory and iterative with network members and public experiences shaping the intent and process of kit and map building.

    We have been positioning the kits and map as boundary objects because we saw how they allow people from diverse sectors in our network and diverse backgrounds in our public audiences open up a conversation. Kits are physical representations that are simplistic but locally relevant. Because they are basic and often in progress in terms of design, we have found they advance a shared conversation that can expose areas of agreement, disagreement, and interest. Also they are flexible, people are comfortable proposing ways to adapt them to their own needs or just improve them more generally which helps us learn from each other and see our work as interconnected.

    For example…
    So the man at the table puts a chip in a plinko board and finds a he has landed on a low or high asthma incidence day with its random bounce down the board. He then rolls a die to see if he has positive or negative circumstances that would increase his likelihood of a healthy outcome .. living on a shady street, having a high income, being a healthy adult vs young child/elderly person...each positive outcome leads to an additional chip for the board and increased chance of landing on a good day. Then we ask participants to think of a system change that would impact . They create a guide that is strung across the pegs making it easier for everyone to have better air quality days … restrictions on fossil fuel emissions, policy to encourage public transit use and reduce traffic city wide greening plans…we are still playing with having some solutions pre prepared vs having participants identify them.

    This kit was developed at a kit building workshop because a partner at Tree Pittsburgh whose only connection with us to date had been as a presenter at the festivals asked if there was an air quality kit..staff at the Carnegie replied they had been interested in one and so organized a workshop where this network member worked with three other agencies to come up with the Plinko game. She told us one member was expert in the health questions, she was passionate about the role of trees, and a third team member was interested in the mechanics of how to make the game work and promote the topic of equity and systems solutions.


    More than being about a few targeted content outcomes, the kits elicit what people know and want to know about the topic and then as facilitators we offer connection to our own agencies or other to local groups who are actively engaged in work in that area. Shifting to this type of facilitation has been supported by presenting in a shared space or tent at afestival where people see the strategies other network members use and by network meetings where we discuss the best public experiences and how they were supported and also critique sets of kits creating lists of ways they engage or how they could better engage a user.

    From start to finish when using kits or asking people to tag and find uses for the map we are inviting a conversation and drawing people into a shared problem space, letting them know others are also trying to address it…and that for the most part we need all the new ideas we can get from all sources to address this complex problem of climate change. We try to break down the isolation that comes from being individually responsible for behavior change, by providing concrete local examples of climate change impacts and how we can address them together as a city.

    We found early on through testing ideas as a network with each other and having partners rest them with the public that the homemade look of the kits made people really comfortable in approaching and using the kits because they look familiar and fun. In DC after a kit workshop network members adapted three existing kits with local images and examples and generated a new kit weighing the benefits of different choices. At festivals we often hear people say..oh we could make this for our scout troop or class ...in NYC partners reported that in communities where the kits were presented mothers would watch and then take over facilitating the kits...

    The kits elicit people’s personal experience with the topic in part because they open up conversations and get people doing things right away. We also saw because of the simple materials network members and the public were comfortable with the idea of making one of these for a purpose of their own, or improving aspects of it to better address an issue they work on, we have found constructive critique of kits to be really helpful in bringing out how people at different organizations approach the kit topics

     
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    Stacy Wenzel
  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 11:54 p.m.

    Really interesting project! A couple quick questions:

    --do you draw your mini-grant recipients into your networks?

    --what next? it seems that this could be quite transferrable beyond your four cities, to broaden the conversation.

     
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  • Icon for: Mary Ann Steiner

    Mary Ann Steiner

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 01:37 a.m.

    Lisa,

    We think of all the different strategies as ways to draw network members in. Sometimes mini grants go to existing members and sometimes we meet new people who hear about the grants and enter CUSP with a project as their first endeavor. We have been really fluid with the network and are happy to have a core group in each city that participates in multiple strategies but just as happy to have a group leverage one strategy that really furthers their work and then move on. Just that they know about cusp tends to help with spreading the word.

    We also believe this is a useful approach for other cities and contexts. It is a highly adaptable approach that requires support- the support of a network that thinks iteratively and flexibly about the effort. This is particularly worthwhile around complex problems where members are trying to generate new approaches to an issue.

    We have been thinking about   how CUSP might work in regions with very different climate impacts from the north east US and with groups in rural settings to better understand what questions and  interests would best further the conversation.

     
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    Stacy Wenzel
  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 09:18 a.m.

    Mary Ann--

    I can see that how this could be adapted contextually for specific "shared" contexts to create and amplify problem solving for unique climate impact scenarios, for example those dealing with snow pack issues, or irrigation/pest management agriculture issues. Exciting possibilities.

     

     
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  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 18, 2017 | 08:32 a.m.

    Very nice work.   I am ciurious about the "S-word"-- sustainability or some other version of afterlife, beyond the project funding?

     
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    Stacy Wenzel
  • Icon for: Richard Johnson

    Richard Johnson

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 09:21 a.m.

    Hi, Brian. The CUSP model is nice, because it has capacity building baked in. All the organizations involved in the networks, including the lead institutions, are folding best practices into their work. For example, the table top activities (or "kits") that were originally created as boundary objects, are now being used in the core programming of several institutions. Also, several mini-grant projects have developed into more robust programs. And, the networks themselves are vibrant and growing still, so we'll make a concerted effort to ensure their 'afterlife' :) Thanks for your question!

     
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    April Lindala
  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 19, 2017 | 03:56 p.m.

    This is really interesting work and I applaud the efforts and ideas here.  Do you know if there are models for small cities? I live in beautiful Marquette, Michigan. Collectively we are probably very aware of climate and water because of our northern locale and living on Lake Superior. However, we are in a distinct position of being surrounded by very rural areas. Our little city is rather mighty in what it can do and has accomplished. However, we do not have access to the resources that major metro areas might have access to as far as long-term funding. Do you ever foresee partnerships with smaller municipalities in the future? Any ideas how those relationships might be fruitful (or not?)?

    thanks!  April

     
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  • Icon for: Mary Ann Steiner

    Mary Ann Steiner

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2017 | 01:23 a.m.

    April,

    We we have been exploring how to move the conversation to rural areas and would love to talk with you about approaches that seem feasible in your area as we figure out the same in our area.

     

    Mary Ann

     
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  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.