Community-Engaged Faculty Use UMass Boston Engage Portal to Make Connections

Colleen Locke | February 12, 2018
These condos in East Boston flooded on January 4, 2018. Professor Paul Kirshen has a community partnership with the East Boston-based Community Development Corporation the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH).

These condos in East Boston flooded on January 4, 2018. Professor Paul Kirshen has a community partnership with the East Boston-based Community Development Corporation the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH).



I plan to use it to search for possible project partners and past and ongoing activities in East Boston to further ClimateCARE.



Portal Accessible at engage.umb.edu

UMass Boston’s community-engaged faculty have a new tool to report their partnership activity, make new connections, and strengthen existing ones. It's called UMass Boston Engage.

Professor of Climate Adaptation Paul Kirshen of the UMass Boston School for the Environment and the Sustainable Solutions Lab used his UMass Boston email credentials to create and update his profile on engage.umb.edu and report his community partnership with the East Boston-based Community Development Corporation the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH). Through a project funded by the Kresge Foundation, ClimateCARE (Community Action for Resilience through Engagement), Kirshen is supporting NOAH in developing a detailed strategy to protect East Boston from coastal flooding. A shared strategy such as a shoreline barrier blocking off a flood pathway into the interior of East Boston protects several assets from flooding instead of just one.

“Adaptation to climate change has to be done on the local scale, thus myriad stakeholders must be involved. It must also be integrated with social justice and equity issues because certain population groups are more vulnerable than others,” Kirshen said.

Professor Paul Kirshen (far right) with stakeholders in East Boston

Building on previous work by UMass Boston’s School for Environment, Kirshen (above, far right) is in the final phases of helping to lead the three-year project. Besides focusing on regional flood management strategies, other aspects of the project include working with community members on activities such as implementing basement clean outs in flood zones and home energy audits.

Kirshen says it wasn’t hard to create an entry on ClimateCARE in the UMass Boston Engage web portal.

“The portal is straightforward to use and not burdensome. I plan to use it to search for possible project partners and past and ongoing activities in East Boston to further ClimateCARE. Plus, it will be useful in proposals and new research,” Kirshen said.

Hear more faculty members talk about their experiences with the tool in this video.

Get started with UMass Boston Engage by visiting engage.umb.edu.

UMass Boston Engage homepage

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.

Tags: climate resiliency , ocp , office of community partnerships , school for the environment , ssl , sustainable solutions lab , umass boston engage

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