Envisioning Our Climate Advocacy and Climate Savvy Work Under A New Federal Administration – part two of a three part exploration

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Here are a few things to frame our continuing discussion of the ways that we – you and me and our friends, family and neighbors – can bolster the ecosystem services that nature provides and on which we depend:

  • 2016 was the hottest year on record. This is serious stuff so keep advocating with your federal legislators for sensible climate policies.
  • Action at the state level, for clean energy especially, has been where it’s at so far. And that will continue to be even more true under this new administration.
  • Bring your determination and ingenuity to spur climate adaptations in the place you live: your city or town, your neighborhood, your block and your household. It makes a difference!
  • And, know that the skills you hone doing all of this can serve you professionally as well!

The Millenium Assessment identified four ecosystem services: Supporting, Provisioning, Regulating and, Cultural Services. In our last blog post, we discussed the first two. Ecosystem services are the benefits humans receive from nature. Let’s look at the final two.

Regulating Services and Climate Advocacy: These ecosystem services regulate climate, disease, water, and provide water purification and pollination. We all live in a watershed (the land and water areas that drain into a particular body of water) – becoming familiar with your watershed and then working to both safely get water back into the ground, and to limit the movement of pollutants are fine ways to add your support to these regulating services. Beyond your yard, you can work with community officials to manage stormwater run-off as another way to enhance water purification. (Check out the stormwater work that the Mass Workforce Alliance did in Somerville, MA!) And, it can potentially save your community money because less water will need to be treated as waste water.

Cultural Services and Climate Advocacy: These are the ecosystem services that are considered non-material: education, a sense of place, recreation, inspiration. You could develop a citizen science practice. For example, you sign up with Nature’s Notebook to help with phenology studies that collect data and add to climate research. Phenology is nature’s calendar of when trees bud and bloom, when animals migrate and mate, and the timing of other seasonal occurrences. Become very, very familiar with one small corner of the environment/landscape near you (your yard, a part of a park that you frequent). Get to know the place across the year and seasons: what blooms when, who else comes to this? What insects and animals? How does water moves through and over it? By all means, enliven your observations by sharing it with someone else.

And, there can be a gain for you professionally in all of this. Add these volunteer experiences to your resume. Do you already have a volunteer experience section on your resume? If not, add one! Or, are your volunteer commitments significant enough to add to the professional experience part of it? Do it; you can distill the experience into the skills you used and gained. Consider the ways that you can reflect the skills and experiences on your LinkedIn profile!

Grow your connections and use your expanding network to advance your career and/or your climate savvy! Can someone from your expanded network give you a recommendation about your experience and skills – on paper, or on LinkedIn, or both?

Let’s all try something – write an additional section for your resume on your climate savvy! What would you include? Share it with all of us in the comment section.

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