The human species now threatens Earth’s capacity to sustain life as we know it. Global climate change is an urgent threat that will define much of the 21st century. An expression of Gonzaga’s Catholic, Jesuit and humanistic tradition, the Climate Center provides resources and opportunities to meet the unprecedented challenges facing humanity and the wider natural environment in the 21st century. This new interdisciplinary academic center serves Gonzaga students and our region by advancing innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship, teaching, consulting, and capacity-building.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the right mascot. We’ve got to be bulldogs on this issue (of climate change). We’ve got to grab our teeth into it and not let go until we beat this monster. So, this is a bulldog kind of effort and I want to thank Gonzaga for its leadership.
The Center reflects Gonzaga’s regional leadership in
- educating students to live and lead in an era of climate disruption,
- preparing faculty (both university faculty and K-12 educators) to thoughtfully incorporate sustainability pedagogy and curricula, and
- assisting municipal, tribal, and corporate entities to understand and respond to the challenges of climate change.
As an academic initiative, the Climate Center focuses on education both within the University and externally to foster greater understanding and to help form people prepared to face the challenge, specifically:
Internal to Gonzaga University
- Provide innovative, educational experiences, and research opportunities for GU students so they are prepared as leaders for a just and sustainable world.
- Facilitate interdisciplinary work by a community of engaged faculty prepared to thoughtfully incorporate climate pedagogy and curricula.
- Enable new opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate, learn, and research together.
- Encourage faculty research on local, regional, national and international environmental issues.
In partnership with the community
- Provide training and workshops to prepare K-12 public and Catholic parochial schoolteachers and others to thoughtfully incorporate climate literacy into their classrooms.
- Develop regionally focused climate lessons as open educational resources.
The Climate Center is a regional resource, offering expertise, information, and assistance to help municipal, tribal and corporate entities to understand and respond to the challenges of climate change. Specifically, the Center:
- Offers Inland Northwest business leaders, policymakers and others invaluable research, expertise, and advice as to make plans to help their organizations and communities understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change.
- Presents a series of lectures and colloquia related to climate, society and the environment open to all, fostering greater awareness and understanding.
- Prepares to work with communities on climate-related issues, such as greenhouse gas inventories and modeling costs of implementing (or not implementing) climate-related initiatives.
The Center is distinguished by its singular focus on climate change, and its interdisciplinary approach to the challenge. It is the first academic center at a Jesuit institution to focus on the challenge of climate change.