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New Course Creates Central, South Coast "Climate Stewards"

Whether it’s wildfires or debris flow, many of us on the Central and South Coasts have been affected by the climate crisis.

Now, a local non-profit is piloting a new certification course, taught virtually, empowering local residents to become climate change activists. 

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) is offering the pilot course, which teaches locals how to take action on climate change and qualify as “Climate Stewards.

Led by CEC’s Director of Outreach and Education Kathi King, the course gives participants a deeper understanding of the general psychology and science behind climate change and our individual response to climate impacts.

"For us here, it's hard to find someone who hasn't been affected by a climate change induced event, like a fire or the drought or the debris flow," King told KCLU. 

"It's important for people to, not only feel connected to how they can be part of the solution, but to be given tools that let them do that," she said. 

Topics will include earth systems, energy, climate communication, and community service.

The 40+ hour curriculum is currently 100% virtual, and includes online modules, presentations, peer-to-peer discussion, small group activities, hands-on and inquiry-based activities, and experiential learning over a six-week period.

Participants will also gain insight into how they can take part in the transformative work CEC and other groups are doing on the Central Coast to address and alleviate climate impacts.

The UC Climate Stewards course is offered in coordination with the UC Division of Agriculture and the Natural Resources California Naturalist Program, and is part of a statewide effort to build on-the-ground support to advance local and state climate goals.

The course is nearly full already but they hope to offer more spots in the future.