GCSE Resilience Collaborative

With more than 1,700 universities in the United States, and an estimated 28,000 worldwide, the Global Council for Science and the Environment (GCSE) recognizes an underutilized opportunity to engage the  university-based scientific enterprise to enhance community resilience. At this moment in time,  accentuated by the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, stronger linkages between the  university knowledge enterprise and decision-makers can lead to mutual benefit, creating a durable  feedback loop that results in cutting-edge science and evidence-informed decisions that advance the  resilience of communities in a sustained manner. 

The GCSE Resilience Collaborative Initiative provides an opportunity for GCSE Members to engage in the development and execution of several new programs that will leverage the untapped potential of  universities as partners in community resilience, and that align strategically with other GCSE initiatives, such as the Applied Solutions Science Advisories. The work of the GCSE Resilience Collaborative Initiative will take a multi-pronged approach in the coming years, centered on building capacity and leading research.

 

Building Capacity 

 

Resilience Conservation Service Corps (RCSC)  

In order to support our networks of universities and Applied Solutions’ local governments), GCSE is launching a pilot of the GCSE Resilience Conservation Service Corps (RCSC) in partnership with Groundwork USA and Long  Island University (LIU). Modeled off AmeriCorps, the RCSC will link students (ages 16-25) with local and state governments across the United States to work on resilience projects. These immersion  experiences will create sustained systemic capacity that unites scientists and decision-makers in a  real-world resilience setting. At a time when the coronavirus is thwarting job opportunities and  stretching government capacity to deal with the fallout, the RCSC will provide meaningful work  experience for students and critical capacity for local government projects and programs. GCSE will  act as the RCSC’s program developer and coordinator, in addition to providing pre-immersion  training that emphasizes a co-learning approach.

 

Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge Networks and Vulnerable Communities

As part of GCSE’s commitment to becoming an antiracist, multicultural and inclusive organization,  GCSE will focus significantly on including and integrating Black, Indigenous, and People of Color  (BIPOC) into the organization and across all of GCSE’s work. Of specific priority, building a  dialogue with indigenous scientists is critical to enable the knowledge-sharing of both Western  science and indigenous research towards improved decision-making for resilience. This will be a  long-arc engagement, one that involves a sustained effort to build bridges with tribal and native  universities, engage in substantive dialogue and listening, and design opportunities for university  scientists and tribal leaders to work collaboratively on community resilience. 

 

Leading Research 

 

National Research Agenda on Resilience 

GCSE intends to play a role in both articulating the questions that can frame and shape a broader  research agenda on resilience. The national resilience research agenda will focus on questions and  issues that are transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and pluridisciplinary -- leading with some of the  challenges in integrating the social and natural sciences. The goal of this research agenda will be to  identify key questions and challenge traditional approaches to more siloed funding mechanisms.  GCSE will outline a path forward that accelerates convergence opportunities with respect to funding  approaches by federal agencies. 

 

Resilience Education 

GCSE is leading an effort to map the emergence of resilience education as a discipline across higher  education in the U.S. and align these findings with place-based consideration for different job sectors.  The goal of this work is to understand how higher education can grow and support a future workforce  that is ready to engage in rapidly growing fields — such as clean energy, sustainability, regenerative  agriculture, and others.

 

University-Industry Partnerships for Environmental Risk Resilience 

GCSE is collaborating with Arizona State University and Penn State University, who are leading an  effort that would bring together industry and academia to advance risk management, data analytics,  and resilient management tools, as well as build skills for a science and engineering workforce.