Thirty UMass Students Take Part in United Nations Sustainability Course

Thirty UMass Amherst students are taking part in the UN Global Sustainable Solutions Winter School, a ten-week course focused on ecosystem-based climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction that kicked off this week.

The competitive program is open to students from UMass Amherst, McMaster University and the United Nations University. A partnership of those three programs, the course was organized by professor Marta Vicarelli of the School of Public Policy and department of economics and Nidhi Nagabhatla of the UN University and McMaster.

Over the course of the ten-week session, students will hear from academics and practitioners from a range of international government agencies and environmental groups, including the United Nations Environmental Programme, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Nature Conservancy. Students will also take part in class discussions and complete weekly assignments.

“This program is an incredible opportunity for students to learn from and network with international experts about water security and ecosystems for disaster risk reduction,” Vicarelli said.

“Every policymaker, whether it be at the municipal or international level, is going to be confronted by the issue of water security and the need for disaster risk mitigation, especially as we push into an uncertain future in regards to climate,” said School of Public Policy student Michael Marr. “We are going to need to think globally and locally to address these kinds of challenges, and this program is an amazing place to think deeply about how we craft solutions to these problems.”

The course, which runs through Jan. 26, is offered free of charge to students, who will receive a certificate upon completion.

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The UN Global Sustainable Solutions Winter School is supported by the United Nations Environmental Program and the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), a global alliance of UN agencies, NGOs and institutes.

The UMass Amherst students in the UN Global Sustainable Solutions Winter School are:

School of Public Policy: Gustavo Carvajal, Kerry Judge, Michael Kang, Madeline Leue, Michael Marr, Shannon McAndrew, Adrienne Nunez, Madison Trepanier, Miranda Vance, David Wasielewski

Architecture: Ruoxin Lin

Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration: Adam Finke

Economics: Kyle Compton

Environmental Conservation: Akorede Adekoya, Angie Gregory, James Siakakaba, Sarah Traore, Tatjana Washington

Geosciences: Dipa Desai, Timothy Milliken, Brendan Moran, Lyn Watts

Physics: Emily Laus

Political Science: Matt Brodeur

Resource Economics: Ajay Dewani, Dhiroj Koirala

Stockbridge School of Agriculture: Heriberto Godoy Hernandez

Sustainability Science: Heather Polson, Anthony Rose

University Without Walls: Kerry Bowe

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