AT&T is funding climate change resiliency projects at the University of Miami and the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg.
On Thursday, the company said it sent both institutions a $50,000 check as part of its Climate Resiliency Community Challenge. UM and USF were among the five southeastern universities AT&T picked for the resiliency research program.
Each university is tasked with a project tailored to their local community,
The schools will use data commissioned by AT&T from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and funding from AT&T to conduct innovative research on climate impacts and community responses in the southeastern United States.
The UM project will focus on the development of an integrated Climate Risk Assessment (ICRA) for the city of Miami on the scale of individual lots, blocks and neighborhoods.
The ICRA is part of UM’s Laboratory for INtegrative Knowledge (ULink), which supports innovative interdisciplinary research. The ICRA will enable distinctions among different vectors of vulnerability and risk, including economic, health, food, water, housing, transportation, greenness, and social and cultural dimensions.
This will help decision-makers explore different options for climate adaptation and inform resource allocation and policy in a more responsive manner.
The USF project involves the implementation of a multi-modular crowdsourced Community Resiliency Information System (CRIS) in St. Petersburg.
CRIS will identify neighborhood-level socioeconomic and biophysical vulnerabilities, which will be combined with crowdsourced data from survey tools embedded in local populations. The system will ensure the participation of diverse communities in decision-making around preparedness, resilience and adaptation.
The Climate Resiliency Community Challenge is part of AT&T’s Climate Resiliency Project.
The universities were selected through an application process that included a review by a panel of nonprofit climate and resiliency experts including Kristiane Huber of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, David Kuhnof the World Wildlife Fund and Zack Rosenburg of SBP.
“Climate resiliency is becoming increasingly important for all types of communities — from major coastal cities to small rural towns,” Kuhn said. “Data and financial support, like that provided by AT&T and Argonne National Laboratory for this competition, are essential to allowing researchers and decision-makers to better assess the risks from climate change across the Southeast and take steps to keep communities safe.”