The Community Environmental Council (CEC) is enrolling for the next session of its Climate Stewards certification course, designed to empower local community members to take action on climate change.
The course will meet weekly, Jan. 31-March 27. Prospective participants can learn more about the course and hear from Climate Stewards alumni during a free webinar, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Nov. 30. Register for the webinar at https://cec.pub/stewardsweb.
CEC is the only nonprofit on the Central Coast to deliver the Climate Stewards certification program, and one of just a handful across the state.
“The climate crisis is too big and complex to be solved by one single organization, policy, or system,” said Sigrid Wright, CEC’s CEO. “We must mobilize people and resources to ensure that the climate crisis is seen as an immediate, real, and present danger that affects just about every issue we care about.
“That’s why we are building a committed corps of volunteer leaders ready to effectively engage in transformative local solutions to promote community and ecosystem resilience in a changing climate.”
Led by Kathi King, CEC’s director of Climate Education and Leadership, the nine-week program shows participants how they can engage in the work CEC and other groups are doing on the Central Coast to address and alleviate climate impacts.
“We now have over 130 Climate Stewards who have completed this program, and it’s so inspiring to see positive impacts they’re making throughout their Central Coast communities and beyond,” King said.
To date, a network of more than 30 programs, working in partnership with the University of California, have certified nearly 1,000 Climate Stewards throughout California.
Class sessions are held online via Zoom. The course includes a few in-person field trips on Saturdays. Each cohort consists of about 25 individuals.
The 40-plus hour curriculum includes online modules, peer-to-peer discussions, small group activities, hands-on and inquiry-based activities, and experiential learning.
Participants will gain access to climate action resources and opportunities to join the movement, and will graduate with a better understanding of the psychology and science behind climate change, the tools necessary to effectively communicate the climate crisis.
The curriculum also features a capstone project in which participants can explore a subject of particular interest to them. Previous capstones have succeeded in adding climate programs and messaging at foundations, large nonprofits, city governments, and retirement communities. A number of course graduates have gone on to integrate climate action into their professional and volunteer efforts.
The course fee of $300 covers the cost of instructor time for classes and field trips, as well as University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources course fees. Scholarships are available for those who express financial need and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
Learn more about CEC’s Climate Stewards program at cecsb.org/climate-stewards.