Date of Defense

4-23-2015

Date of Graduation

5-2015

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Denise Keele

Second Advisor

Brian Petersen

Third Advisor

Ashley Wick

Abstract

The scientific consensus on the causes and consequences of climate change is clear and experts continue to strongly recommend immediate mitigation and adaptation responses (IPCC, 2014). Responses to climate change are occurring at the international, national, and subnational level, but adaptation to climate change is also highly local. Local communities across the world are organizing groups and institutions to determine their best responses for local mitigation and adaptation actions. This study analyzed the formal local community organization, the Kalamazoo Climate Change Coalition (KCCC), and its structured activities in order to evaluate how Kalamazoo has responded to climate change. Methodology for this study included a literature review for context, historical documentation of the KCCC to provide a timeline of events and operations, interviews with leadership, and an electronic survey to general of members from the KCCC. One of the most important

findings from the analysis was that engaging climate champions and local government officials leveraged progressive climate policy. Involving and educating stakeholders from multiple sectors was another important finding that came from the research. The information gleaned about the organization and primarily from the interviews also served as the basis for several recommendations to provide future direction and enhance citizens, governments and scholars understanding of the capacity of local communities to respond to climate change.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access