Before we can talk about what to do about climate change, we have to understand what it is. Luckily, University of North Florida biology Professor Adam Rosenblatt has experience explaining the basics to his classes. He breaks down the science and then talks about his advocacy efforts on the local, state and national level.
Scientists say the most important thing individuals can do to help fight climate change is to talk about it. But 64% of Americans say they rarely or never do. Lauren Watkins is trying to fix that. She teaches people how to have productive, non-polarizing conversations about environmental issues. She opens up her toolkit for us — and opens up about the communication challenges in her own family.
Trees do all sorts of amazing things — trap and store carbon, protect us from floods, absorb pollutants and increase property values. Jacksonville’s Urban Forestry Manager Richard Leon looks at them as critical urban infrastructure and plans to plant as many as possible in the nation’s biggest city.
LEED certification, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was created to encourage builders to be more sustainable. But last year, the entire city of Atlantic Beach undertook the process. City Manager Shane Corbin says the data gathering it required has given planners a roadmap for improving everything from energy efficiency to the amount of waste residents generate.
Northeast Florida Regional Council Resiliency Coordinator Sean Lahav is just 24, but he’s already coordinating resilience efforts across all of Florida’s First Coast. His job includes getting “movers and shakers” from the private sector to think about incorporating sea level rise into their plans.
Update: Julia Nesheiwat assumed the position of Florida's first-ever Chief Resilience Officer in July 2019. Her appointment was announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis in August 2019. In February 2020, Nesheiwat announced she would be leaving the position of CRO to join the Trump administration as Deputy Assistant to the President working on homeland security and resilience.
In 2019, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis appointed the state’s first-ever chief resilience officer. In the midst of her initial meetings with local officials, Julia Nesheiwat shares the lessons she brings to the position from her time in the military and academia — and the time she created a federal bureau from the ground up. Technology, collaboration and cutting back on fossil fuel emissions should all be part of Florida’s strategy to adapt to climate change, she says.
Anne Coglianese, Jacksonville’s first CRO, has been on the job since July, 2021. She came to Jacksonville from New Orleans, where she served as Coastal Resilience Manager from 2017 to 2020.