The Health Effects of Climate Change Curriculum
As our climate continues to evolve, it becomes more imperative to empower the next generation to understand, mitigate, and prevent climate change-induced health effects while advocating for environmental justice. Developed in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Lung Health Ambassadors Program (LHAP), the Health Effects of Climate Change Curriculum (HECCC) will be taught to middle and high school students in Providence, RI public schools. Through a series of four lessons and interactive activities, students will learn how global climate changes impact the local Providence community through learning about health equity, environmental justice, and the climate change science of food, water, air quality, and temperature. Additionally, the HECCC will be taught by Providence health care professionals and trained Brown University pre-health, public health, and medical students to enhance current and future healthcare professional communication and health literacy. We look forward to the HECCC cultivating school-healthcare partnerships and catalyzing the next generation of local environmental and health justice advocates.
Symposium on Sustainable Space
How can human space activity be sustainable? Earth’s orbit is filled with many satellites that collide with each other and block our view of space. Rocket launches now have an atmospheric impact comparable to global air transport. Earth has one moon, and we are about to industrialize it for defense, tourism, science, minerals extraction all while leaving waste products because it is too expensive to remove or recycle them. These actions could change the lunar landscape forever. Before we degrade and exhaust our finite space environment, could we change course, live and work in space sustainably, and in the process learn how to live in harmony with the ecosystems of our own planet Earth? On Saturday, April 27, 2024, with sponsorship from Brown University’s Sustainability Seed Grant, NASA and Brown’s School of Engineering, the Brown University Symposium on Sustainable Space. BUS^3, will host a day of round table conversations with space experts and how we are developing it or similarly threatened wild regions including Antarctica, Earth’s oceans, and other planetary moons. The event is open to the Brown community to listen and participate, at no cost.
Climate Negotiations in a More Than Human World: A Re-working of COP28 at Brown
Calling all storytellers, economists, scientists, artists, mathematicians, designers, climate policy enthusiasts, and more… In a world of diverse voices, "Climate Negotiations in a More Than Human World: A Simulated Reworking of COP28 at Brown" beckons you to join a groundbreaking three-day negotiation from the evening of Friday, April 12th to Sunday 14th, 2024. This unique gathering opens its doors to the Brown community, inviting students, post-docs, faculty, staff, and alumni to collectively reimagine climate negotiations in a transdisciplinary context that incorporates both human and non-human entities.
Inspired by COP28 and the critical challenge of mitigating global warming or adapting to the impacts it already yields upon all, this experiential conference at Brown boldly embraces a diverse spectrum of participants, both human and non-human, through the medium of representation. It serves as a hub for the Brown climate community, engaging corporations, animals, ecosystems, and beyond.
In this dynamic realm, students assume roles as participants in a world conference, fostering a critical understanding of representation and ecological impact. A distinctive feature lies in the inclusion of non-human voices in the negotiation process, signaling a purposeful shift towards a renewed sense of agency and influence in shaping the narrative surrounding climate change and biodiversity.
This simulated COP at Brown not only enriches students' climate awareness and actions. It energizes a critically reflexive and innovative climate community, aligning with Brown's commitment to producing future climate leaders equipped with a nuanced understanding of climate systems-thinking in a more than human world. Join us in this forward-thinking initiative that transcends academic boundaries and shapes the future of climate discourse!
Calculating Baseline Emissions for Brown-Administered Study Abroad Programming
Brown University’s Office of Global Engagement (OGE) operates seven study abroad centers that offer immersive, semester-length academic programs throughout the world. These high-impact programs make an important contribution to the Brown undergraduate educational experience; however, the global climate crisis compels us to better understand the environmental impact of these overseas programs. This proposal represents the first in a series of planned long-term efforts to (1) quantify the impact of Brown-administered study abroad programming on the university’s overall carbon footprint; (2) identify concrete solutions for mitigation; and (3) incorporate climate consciousness explicitly into the decision-making and strategic planning practices of the OGE. Specifically, the goal of this initial project is to develop and implement a methodology for calculating baseline program-based emissions using one study abroad center—Brown in Bologna—as a pilot site. We hope that the results of this project will provide a roadmap for calculating and mitigating emissions across all seven of Brown’s study abroad centers.
Build Your Own Indoor Air Filter
A new project led by School of Public Health Professors Joseph M. Braun and Erica Walker aims to improve indoor air quality around the Brown campus and Rhode Island using Corsi-Rosenthal Boxes (CR Boxes) portable air cleaners. Air filtration reduces levels of pathogens, particulate matter, and other environmental pollutants in indoor environments and is an effective tool to improve indoor air quality. Prior research by these Brown researchers and others shows that CR Boxes can reduce indoor air levels of respiratory pathogens like COVID and air pollutants like wildfire smoke. CR Boxes provide comparable or better air filtration performance as commercially available HEPA air filters at a fraction of the cost. Faculty, staff, students, and community members can attend “Build-A-Box” events where they can learn how to make their own CR Box for use in their home, classroom, or offices. All supplies will be provided (snacks and drinks too!). Participants can also enter their CR Box into a contest for “best decorated” and win prizes. After building one, there will also be the chance to participate in a study about using CR Boxes.
Gamification for the environment! Making circular economy and life cycle thinking fun!
Education is critical to addressing the impacts of climate change by introducing younger generations to the complexities of human-caused ecological damage. In this research initiation proposal between systems science, manufacturing engineering and industrial design disciplines, Brown and RISD, we propose an investigation into how gamification of climate change mitigation strategies can be used as a teaching tool in middle and high school education. In recent years, strategy games have proven popular for recreation and as a mechanism for science outreach and lately, multiple games centered on climate change have entered the toy market. Given their rising popularity, we propose to explore gamification through strategy games to teach circular economy (CE) and life cycle thinking (LCT) for use in the classroom. While there are some circular economy strategy games, they are either aimed at graduate-level students, business teams or are very loosely themed. CE and LCT are ideal ways to teach children early on to think strategically about using finite material sources and how to recover and reuse limited resources. This study will examine these current gamification offerings with first-year undergraduates and partnering middle and high schools from the pedagogical lens of knowledge gained (pre- and post-test surveys) and from a toy designing perspective of what makes a game fun and engaging. With this data, we will develop a CE and LCT game with curricula resources to support climate change learning in schools.