World Climate Negotiation Simulations to be held at Maine schools in May
University of Maine graduate students are partnering with schools across Maine to host World Climate Negotiation Simulation (WCS) activities.
The simulation activity was developed by the nongovernmental organization Climate Interactive and involves a role play in which participants act as country leaders and work together to negotiate a global climate agreement.
The simulation emulates negotiations that take place at the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) to negotiate policy to reduce the effects of climate change and support community adaptation to current impacts.
School programs will be held in the following locations in May:
- Gray-New Gloucester High School, May 7
- Leonard Middle School in Old Town, May 8
- Orono High School, date TBD
In addition, the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast is hosting a world climate negotiation simulation open to the public at 5 p.m. May 9. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Simulations will be led by Will Kochtitzky, a master’s student in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute, and Anna McGinn, a master’s student in the School of Policy and International Affairs and Climate Change Institute.
Co-facilitators have included Baidehi Roy, a master’s student in the School of Policy and International Affairs; Brieanne Berry, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology; Jessica Scheick, a recent Ph.D. graduate from the School of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute; and Kate Hruby, a master’s student in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences.
The graduate students also have collaborated with Molly Schauffler, science coordinator at the Hutchinson Center and assistant research professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences; Cindy Isenhour, assistant professor of anthropology and climate change; and Skyler Horton, a human dimensions of climate change undergraduate student.
“We hope this opportunity will allow students to understand the basics of climate science, the urgency of the problem, and empower them to take action in their own lives,” says Kochtitzky.
Funding support for the simulation programs was provided by the Schwartz Legacy Fund, a Wilson Center SCOPE Grant, and the Alton ’38 and Adelaide Hamm Campus Activity Fund.
The UMaine team in the past has run the simulations at eight schools and Upward Bound programs with more than 800 students as well as the 2018 Climate Change Institute annual retreat, the Camden Conference in coordination with the UMaine School of Policy and International Affairs, and the 2018 Maine Science Teachers Association annual conference in cooperation with the UMaine Hutchinson Center.
If you are interested in bringing the WCS to your school during the 2019–20 academic year, contact Anna McGinn at 508.527.6423, firstname.lastname@example.org.