Environmental Innovation Clinic
The NSF IGERT program supports novel models for the practical application of research. The Coasts and Communities Program is pleased to introduce the Environmental Innovation Clinic as a means for helping fellows work with communities to solve real-world environmental problems. The model for this program is the legal clinic, in which law school students gain experience through pro bono legal work on community supported projects. Within the Environmental Innovation Clinic, fellows engage with leaders in the scientific, policy, and business communities to do meaningful environmental policy work.
Students from a variety of disciplines collaborate on joint projects, cutting across issue areas and levels of governance. Students select and analyze a problem and its causes, identify solutions, and craft implementation strategies. Clients may include government at the municipal, state, and local levels, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, and research and policy institutions. Students are encouraged to work on topics of concern to our international partners. Subject areas include, but are not limited to, climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, offshore drilling and water protection, sustainable agriculture/aquaculture, coastal biodiversity assets, and environmental justice at the coast.
The Environmental Innovation Clinic is founded on the principle that sustainability research requires engagement with environmental problems as felt by specific communities.. All fellows enroll in Introduction to the Environmental Innovation Clinic (EEOS 607L). The goals of the course are to give fellows the competencies in entrepreneurship, project management, and stakeholder engagement that are required to develop and implement sustainable solutions to real-world environmental problems. The clinic helps fellows think creatively while catalyzing positive environmental and social impact in a broader community.