Nine Clark University researchers are seeking fluent Spanish speakers to apply to graduate programs as part of a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation Program Partnerships for International Research and Education.
Faculty from Clark’s International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE), Graduate School of Geography, and the Becker School of Design & Technology (BSDT) are involved with the grant, titled “Co-Creating Capacities to Understand, Visualize and Mitigate Climate-Change Impact Cascades and Inequities in Central Mexico.” They are partnering with researchers in Mexico from the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s (UNAM) Laboratory for Sustainability Sciences (LANCIS), the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Change (ICAyCC), and Program for Climate Change Research (PINCC), as well as the Mexico City government and local communities.
The project co-creates and integrates four components:
- A regional climate-change atlas using web-based GIS to map and spatially analyze climate, water, food/agriculture, ecosystem, health and livelihood conditions.
- A system dynamics model (SDM) to represent interactions among these sectors, impact cascades (one sector’s impacts propagate through others), the unevenness of impacts across populations/landscapes, and the simulation of alternative.
- An eXtended Reality (XR) platform that allows stakeholders to inhabit those futures virtually with the aim of charting sustainable, socially just, climate-resilient pathways.
- A research/practice-based suite of courses that Clark and UNAM students take together — including field research with local community partners. Interdisciplinary stakeholder co-creation is central to the work: cohorts of Clark students will spend six months in the field living and working with community partners and UNAM peers. The project is a transformative team-based experience
Participating graduate programs
Clark faculty seek student researchers who are fluent Spanish speakers, including Latinx students for whom Spanish is a first language, as well as others with significant experience working in Spanish-speaking countries or communities (e.g., returned Peace Corps volunteers, Americorps VISTA alumni, or Teach-for-America alumni).
Students may apply to these graduate programs to conduct research as part of the project:
- M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy: Co-create the knowledge and decision-making capacities of the research team (Clark and UNAM), community partners, and partners in the Mexico City government.
- M.S. in Geographic Information Science: Develop and pilot a regional climate-change atlas, co-created and co-owned by community and government partners.
- M.A. in International Development: Be part of a socio-technical enterprise that represents a new co-creation paradigm for sustainable development work.
- M.A. in Community Development and Planning: Build relationships with communities impacted by climate change by working alongside them to build collective capacity to understand and respond.
- Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media: Help develop an exciting eXtended Reality (XR) platform that allows diverse groups to visualize and interact with alternative climate/ development futures.
- Ph.D. in Geography: Be part of a social-technical enterprise that represents a new co-creation paradigm for sustainable development work. Build relationships with communities impacted by climate change by working alongside them to build collective capacity to understand and respond.
Graduate students will receive a tuition award of at least 60 percent (more on a needs basis, one award at 100 percent); stipend of $800 per month for 12 months, plus a field work stipend of $1,100 per month for six months, plus travel to and from Mexico.
Times to degree
- 12-course M.S. or M.A. in IDCE: Enter fall 2023 (at Clark); fieldwork spring/summer 2024 in Mexico, fall 2024 (at Clark).
- 15-course MFA in Becker School of Design & Technology: Enter fall 2023 (at Clark); fieldwork spring/summer 2024 in Mexico, fall 2024, and spring 2025 (at Clark).
- June 1 for fall
- Nov. 1 for spring
Additional Clark University faculty on the grant include:
- Co-principal investigators: Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, Morgan Ruelle, and Cindy Caron of IDCE, and Terrasa Ulm of BSDT
- Senior personnel: Karen Frey, Abby Frazier, and Rinku Roy Chowdhury of the Graduate School of Geography and Paul Cotnoir of BSDT