Climate Impacts: Uncovering (In)Justice in Disaster Preparedness and Recovery


(VIRTUAL) October - December 2022

Instructor: Joshua DeVincenzo, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia Climate School

Fall 2022 Pre-College Program Info Session – Climate Impacts

Description: After the cameras and news coverage subside from a disaster site, the long road to recovery begins. Although disasters don’t necessarily create inequalities, they do expose preexisting inequalities often at the structural level that will determine how people navigate recovery. Through the lens of climate justice, this solutions-driven workshop will investigate gaps and opportunities in disaster recovery worldwide to critically examine exacerbating inequalities. By focusing on translating research into practice, students will explore disaster risk reduction strategies, mitigation and adaptation, social vulnerability, structural barriers to equitable recovery, policy analysis, global frameworks of disaster preparedness, as well as climate impacts on communities.

This workshop is specifically designed to support high school learners with an interest in several potential career pathways and majors as well as those who share an interest in working on social issues that are associated with climate change. The workshop will be a combination of presentations, guest lectures from the field, and applied practice. Students will also create a practicum project that will allow them to generate localized solutions and communication strategies for the community of their choice with feedback from experts from Columbia Climate School.

Learning Objectives/Themes:

  • Gain insights into the types of hazards communities face and their potential impacts
  • Conduct disaster impact analysis to understand the magnitude of disasters on communities
  • Acquire knowledge of several disaster risk reduction strategies and frameworks used around the world
  • Study historical examples of disaster inequalities
  • Utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps to identify vulnerable areas at risk
  • Investigate program evaluation methods and effectiveness to assess current programs
  • Identify areas in existing policies where potential inequalities and/or inequities may occur, and differentiate between these concepts
  • Design mitigation and/or adaptation projects that factor in climate justice
  • Collaborate with peers on disaster recovery simulations to weigh decision-making for just recovery processes

Who is the workshop for: The workshop is intended for high school learners interested in the social impacts of climate change as well as addressing the social vulnerabilities that exist in disaster preparedness and recovery. The workshop provides the knowledge, skills, and tools for young leaders to a deep dive into themes of climate justice and disasters. To achieve the workshop learning objectives, students will synthesize scientific research, policy, and case studies. The workshop is designed for learners from all different academic backgrounds and interests as we will take an interdisciplinary approach to develop solutions.

Learning Modalities: This workshop will be offered in a virtual format via Zoom. It will feature a mixture of lecture, discussion, and audio/visual materials. Guest speakers will share their practical knowledge and experience as well.

Please note that all workshops are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

Schedule: (VIRTUAL) October - December 2022, Saturdays, 10am - 12pm unless otherwise indicated.

1. Session 1: Saturday, October 29

2. Session 2: Saturday, November 5

3. Session 3: Saturday, November 12

4. Session 4: Saturday, November 19

5. Session 5: Saturday, December 3

6. Session 6: Saturday, December 10

7. Session 7: Saturday, December 17 – 3 hours*