Climate Action Student Collaborative

Embark Sustainability and SFU’s Sustainability Office are excited to announce the launch of their new co-run and co-designed sustainability leadership program for students! This new experiential and project-based co-curricular program will encourage and support undergraduate SFU students to step into roles as climate action leaders while learning valuable sustainability career skills.

Launching in Fall 2020 as a two-term pilot project, this program is for undergraduate SFU students who are looking for ways to apply their climate change knowledge to current climate action projects at SFU, gain project management skills, and get ready for their post-SFU careers.

What is Climate Action?

Effectively addressing climate change requires all of us, working across sectors, communities, and levels of governance, to take action at a level that is equal to the urgency of the crisis we are confronted with.

Climate action involves a diverse range of activities meant to limit further climate change (mitigation) and prepare for unavoidable impacts that are already being felt (adaptation). These activities and actions can be undertaken at various levels (e.g., personal, community, municipality, nation-state, and international).

The Climate Action Student Collaborative will focus on the design of climate action at the local and organizational level.

About the Climate Action Student Collaborative

The Climate Action Student Collaborative is a 2-part program that is designed to be flexible to enable students to complete through the program components at a pace that works for their unique needs. The first part of the program is mandatory, while the second part is optional.

  • Participants in part 1 will:
    • Explore the meaning of climate action through self-paced online modules, including readings, activities, and individual assignments;
    • Learn about project management and change leadership through a climate action lens
    • Think about climate action critically through an equity and climate justice lens
    • Meet like-minded peers in live, virtual dialogue sessions;
    • Have the option to apply the knowledge they gained in Part 1 by working on climate action projects that address the goals established in SFU’s Strategic Sustainability Plan (2020-2025)
  • Participants in part 2 will:
    • Work in collaboration with SFU staff to plan and implement a team or individual project that responds to a target identified in SFU’s Strategic Sustainability Plan
    • Put the skills and knowledge gained in Part 1 into practice

What we are looking for in Fall 2020 participants:

  • An enthusiasm to learn about the different forms climate action can take in different contexts, and an excitement to contribute to addressing them
  • Good time management skills and ability to balance academic and extracurricular commitments
  • Ability to work independently and stay motivated in a self-paced environment
  • A strong team player, willing to work cooperatively and respectfully in a small team-based setting with other participants.
  • A willingness to be flexible and work within a certain degree of uncertainty given that this is a pilot program

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the program be delivered?

Part 1 of the Climate Action Student Collaborative will be delivered through three online components. Completion of asynchronous activities in Canvas and active participation in the live sessions are requirements for program completion (to receive Co-Curricular Record recognition)

  • Online modules (required)
    • Asynchronous learning activities (activities that are self-paced and not completed in real-time with other participants and the program coordinators) will be provided on Canvas. This includes reading materials, media, and short reflection activities. 
    • Four modules will be released bi-weekly (September 30; October 14, 28; November 11) through the Fall 2020, and students can complete these modules at their own pace within the Fall 2020 semester. 
    • A final assignment will be due on November 30. 
  • 2 live/real-time group dialogue sessions (required)
    • Participants are required to participate in two live/real-time group dialogue sessions with other participants and program coordinators: 
      • Introductory session (Tuesday, September 29 - 5-7 pm) 
      • Wrap-up session (Tuesday, December 1 - 5-7 pm)
  • 1 optional mid-term live/real-time group meeting
    • Participants have the option of participating in a live/real-time group meeting to connect with other students interested in climate action and the program coordinators. 
      • Optional check-in session (Tuesday, October 27 - 5-7 pm)

Part 2 of the program will commence in Spring 2021.

  • Students who complete Part 1 are not obligated to complete Part 2 in Spring 2021 and can choose to complete a climate action project in a future term. However, the project must be completed by the end of 2021. 
  • Students will be notified of the projects available for the following term and given time to apply to work on this project.

What is the time commitment for Part 1 of the Climate Action Program?

Program Component

Required for Program Completion or Optional

Estimated Time Needed for Completion

Online modules 

  • The online modules will be released bi-weekly on Canvas through the Fall 2020 term on the following dates: September 30; October 14, 28; November 11

Required

Content modules will take approximately 2 hours each to complete (4 modules x 2 hours = 8 hours)

Final Assignment

Required

The final assignment will take approximately 4 hours to complete (1 module x 4 hours = 4 hours)

2 live/real-time group dialogue sessions 

Required

2 meetings x 2 hours each = 4 hours

1 mid-term live/real-time group meeting

Optional

1 meeting x 2 hours = 2 hours

Total time commitment: 16-18 hours

What is the time commitment for Part 2 of the Climate Action Program?

  • To be determined
  • This will likely depend on the type of project you are working on and we are working on solidifying the details in the fall.
  • Part 1 participants will be notified of project options in December 2020.

What kind of project will I be working on?

  • Projects will vary from term to term depending on current needs

Am I eligible to take this program?

In order to be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a current undergraduate student at SFU
  • Have at least a foundational knowledge of the causes and impacts of anthropogenic climate change.
    (This program will not be providing participants with information about the science of climate change, therefore it is expected that participants will have a basic understanding of climate change)
  • Be available to attend the required live group dialogue sessions

How does it work?

To receive recognition on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR) for Part 1 of the Climate Action Program a participant must:

  • Attend, and participate in, the 2 live/real-time sessions; and
  • Complete the required online modules by the end of the Fall 2020 term.

For Part 2 of the Climate Action Program, a participant must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a project placement in the SFU community
  • Participate in check-ins with project supervisor/mentor, and with program coordinators

Will it cost anything?

  • No, this program is free of charge!

What happens if I miss one of the required group session due to unexpected circumstances?

We know that participants might need to miss a required synchronous session due to unforeseen circumstances, especially in these uncertain times. If this happens to you as a participant, please email casc-admin@sfu.ca as soon as possible to discuss how this session can be made up. 

I’m in! How do I sign up?

Fill in the Climate Action Student Collaborative - Program Application Websurvey by 4:30pm PST on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

Please note, you cannot save your responses to return to later in this websurvey. We recommend downloading the Word document version of the websurvey which contains the questions you will need to respond to in the websurvey. Complete your responses to the questions in this document and then copy/paste them into the websurvey when you are ready to submit your application. Link to

We will let you know if you have been accepted to the program by the end of the day on Friday, September 25.

In the meantime, you can get ready for the first session by booking the first live, real-time (and required) group dialogue session on Tuesday, September 29 (5pm-7pm) in your calendar!

Wait! I have some questions!

If you have questions about the program, please contact Melisa Tang Choy (Programs Manager, Embark) at programs@embarksustainability.org or Kim Thee (Manager, Student Learning and Leadership | Sustainability Office) at kthee@sfu.ca.

For more information about Embark: http://www.embarksustainability.org/

For more information about the SFU Sustainability Office: https://www.sfu.ca/sustainability/contact/SustainabilityOffice.html