The Community Environmental Council (CEC) is proud to announce a new certification course, UC Climate Stewards, that will empower locals to take clear action on climate change.

The course, offered in coordination with the UC Division of Agriculture and the Natural Resources California Naturalist Program, is part of a statewide effort to build on-the-ground support to advance local and state climate goals.

Led by Kathi King, CEC’s director of Outreach and Education, the course gives participants a deeper understanding of the general psychology and science behind climate change and our individual response to climate impacts. Topics will include earth systems, energy, climate communication, and community service.

The 40-plus hour curriculum is currently 100% virtual, and includes online modules, presentations, peer-to-peer discussion, small group activities, hands-on and inquiry-based activities, and experiential learning over a six-week period.

Participants will also gain insight into how they can take part in the transformative work CEC and other groups are doing on the Central Coast to address and alleviate climate impacts.

To jumpstart the new course, CEC is gathering a 15-person pilot group that will meet February-April. CEC will then open the course up to the public in summer of 2021, with a plan to hold two or three sessions per year moving forward. Once in-person learning can resume, a weekly in-person meeting to supplement the online learning modules will be held at CEC’s new offices, 1219 State St.

“Ultimately, our goal is for participants to go on to become climate volunteers, policy advocates, and participant scientists, ready to take an active role in our region’s efforts toward community resilience and reduction of pollution,” King said.

In pace with the sweeping agenda of what President Biden has now declared as a climate emergency, the course is part of a multi-prong effort CEC recently announced to rapidly step up the pace of equitable local climate action.

“This decade is demanding that we, as a community, move at an unprecedented pace to reverse, repair, and protect against climate threats,” said CEC CEO Sigrid Wright. “The UC Climate Stewards course, which is one component of our larger Climate Leadership Program, will help build the broad, boots-on-the-ground base of activism that is absolutely essential to combat the climate crisis.”

Learn more about the UC Climate Stewards program at