NSF C-CHANGE IGERT Program Overview

C-CHANGE Courses

Graduate students selected to be C-CHANGE Fellows enroll in four interdisciplinary graduate courses, one per semester for four semesters.  These courses are team-taught by KU and visiting faculty from social and natural sciences and engineering, and offer trainees a multi-faceted perspective on climate change issues.  Trainees completing these courses will receive a graduate certificate in Global Climate Change Studies:

  • Climate Change, Ecological Change, Social Change—includes a 3-day field component including a short course at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas.
  • Energy, Ecology, and Community in Kansas—includes up to 5 days of fieldwork in Kansas.
  • Climates & Borders:  The Effects of Sea Level Rise on the Human and Natural Systems of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula—includes 10-day fieldwork in Mexico in mid-December.
  • Climate Change in Greenland and the Arctic—includes 10-day fieldwork in Greenland in late May/early June.

Annual Retreat

Each August, C-CHANGE Fellows and faculty participate in a 2-day C-CHANGE retreat.  The retreat provides new trainees with a one-day GIS Short Course and the opportunity to meet continuing C-CHANGE Fellows and learn about their climate change research. 

Visit the photo album here.

Professional Development 

C-CHANGE Fellows will have many opportunities for academic and professional development including the chance to spend two summers working on climate change projects in rural, urban, and indigenous communities in the US and abroad and with government agencies and NGOs in science policy internships.  Throughout the program, trainees will meet climate experts from on and off campus in bi-weekly C-CHANGE Colloquium Series and in annual symposia, workshops, and external advisory board meetings.

Climate Change in Indigenous Communities

C-CHANGE Fellows will spend several weeks during one or more summers collaborating with tribal college faculty and students on research projects of interest to Native American communities. This Undergraduate Research Institute, “Climate Change in Indigenous Communities,” is hosted by Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas (Haskell is five minutes from the University of Kansas). C-CHANGE Fellows will be involved in climate science and research methods training at Haskell and will have an opportunity to conduct collaborative field research on Native lands.

Visit the photo albums of the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Haskell Undergraduate Summer Research Institutes.

Science Policy Training & Internships

An important distinguishing feature of the C-CHANGE project is that it instructs trainees in the systematic study of science policy.  All C-CHANGE courses contain a science policy component, many local and visiting scholars engage issues of policy, and all trainee PhD dissertations will address the policy dimensions of the research.  C-CHANGE Fellows will receive funding to complete an 8-week science policy internship with a local, national, or international agency or organization.

National & International Field Research

Climate change is both a local and global phenomenon with consequences for natural and human populations and landscapes around the world.  To explore some of these varied climate change research sites, trainees will have the opportunity to conduct field research in the US Great Plains, Mexico, and Greenland.