INTRODUCTION

As communities, ecosystems, and economies are pummelled by worsening climate disasters, the world is opening its eyes to an unavoidable consequence: human migration. But researchers and practitioners are just beginning to think about where people will move to — and how to prepare so-called climate-receiving communities. We must act now to establish the foundation for socially just and environmentally sound growth in climate receiving regions. 

American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP) is excited to announce the launch of an applied research program to address this gap: the New York State Climate Migration Modeling Accelerator. Through this program, supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), three to five multidisciplinary teams will develop models for predicting climate-induced migration to, and throughout, New York State at a variety of scales. These models will be designed to be used to inform policy and management decisions and better prepare the State and its communities to receive climate migrants. 

Access the Accelerator application here. Email your team’s completed application to AcceleratorApplications@adaptpros.org by December 10. Be sure to read all information contained in this announcement prior to beginning your application. Interested individuals and teams are encouraged to attend an Accelerator information session on December 3, 2020 as part of the Climate Informed Demography Workshop. Workshop information and registration link are available here.

New York State offers a unique case for studying and understanding climate-induced migration. The state includes major populations centers with high climate vulnerability; significant areas of the state (including urban and rural communities) that are well positioned to be population-receiving communities under future climate conditions; and has a wealth of State-approved climate information for future planning available to researchers and practitioners. By participating in the Accelerator teams will have access to:

  • Climate and demography experts from across the U.S. and Canada.
  • Coordination support from program staff.
  • Structured opportunities through which to learn from experts, learn from other teams/participants, and identify opportunities for cross-team collaboration.
  • Opportunities to promote their work in a variety of government, academic, and social impact spaces.
  • Connections to other applied climate projects taking place throughout New York State and the Great Lakes region.

The Accelerator Program will also provide stipends of up to $600 per individual to those who demonstrate need. 

Accelerator Hosts:

  • Matt Hauer, Assistant Professor of Sociology and faculty affiliate in the Center for Demography and Population Health, Florida State University. Matt’s expertise is at the intersection of demography, migration, population projections, and climate change.
  • The American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP): ASAP is a professional association and social impact network dedicated to serving climate change adaptation and climate resilience practitioners and applied researchers. ASAP connects and supports individuals and organizations advancing adaptation and resilience from across sectors, scales, and regions. ASAP expertly designs and executes innovative environments for cross-sector collaboration using cutting edge virtual engagement practices, democratic decision-making, and a culture of reciprocity and trust-building. The Accelerator is part of ASAP’s larger body of work preparing communities to receive climate migrants. Learn more here.

The Accelerator is supported by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA partners with stakeholders throughout New York to develop, invest, and foster the conditions that attract the private sector capital investment needed to expand New York’s clean energy economy, overcome barriers to using clean energy at a large-scale in New York, and enable New York’s communities and residents to benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy. NYSERDA aims to improve human health and protect New York’s natural resources by minimizing the impacts of generating and using energy. NYSERDA conducts research related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including to assess climate change impacts and adaptation strategies and climate change policies in New York State.

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS

Eligibility: Eligible applicants are teams of between three and five individuals. Each team must include expertise in each of the following three areas: demography, climate impacts, and end uses/applications for the model itself or model outputs. 

  • Examples of demography experts: scholars or practitioners with backgrounds in demography, geography, or sociology including those working both inside and outside of academia and both faculty and students.
  • Examples of climate impacts experts: scholars or practitioners with backgrounds in climatology, climate impacts assessment, or climate change adaptation and resilience including those working both inside and outside of academia and both faculty and students.
  • Examples of end use applications experts: water and energy systems professionals; natural resource managers; non-profit and business leaders; and decision makers from state, county, tribal, or local government. We encourage teams to include end users who are members of – or working for – frontline communities.

These descriptions are examples and do not constitute an exhaustive list of eligible backgrounds or positions which could contribute to the three areas of expertise required for team eligibility. One individual may hold expertise in more than one area and thus contribute in multiple ways to the team expertise needed for eligibility but teams must still include at least three individuals. Individuals who are interested in applying for the Accelerator but do not yet have a team assembled may look for teammates here and submit their information here. (Note: ASAP will not be actively monitoring the form results nor forming teams for people.)

Program Requirements

  • Each team must create a model for predicting climate-induced migration into or within New York State by July 15, 2021. By that date, each team must submit to Accelerator staff a written description of the model, model output, and a memo describing intended or potential applications.
  • Each Accelerator participant must commit to attending at least 75% of program meetings (approximately 60 minutes per month between January-July 2021) and commit to attending a one-day capstone convening in August 2021.
  • Teams must collaborate with Accelerator Program Staff to write one article that will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication. This single article will highlight all of the models created via the accelerator.
  • At least one team member must commit to serving as a liaison to the Accelerator Program Staff.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE, REVIEW PROCESS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA

Teams should complete and submit an application to the New York State Climate Migration Modeling Accelerator by December 10, 2020. Email completed applications to AcceleratorApplications@adaptpros.org.  The application requests information about each team member and details about the planned model. Program staff will consider only clear and complete applications that adhere to the eligibility requirements described above. Program staff will select up to five teams to participate in the Accelerator. The review and selection process will include the following steps:

  1. Program staff screen applications to determine whether they meet eligibility criteria and will contribute to the Accelerator objectives
    • Eligibility criteria: Team of 3-5 people; all areas of expertise represented as discussed above.
    • Accelerator Objectives: develop models for predicting climate-induced migration to, and throughout, New York State at a variety of scales that can inform the State’s policy and management decisions and better prepare the State to receive climate migrants.
  2. Program staff score each application on each of the following criteria using a 1-5 scale
    • Definition: Does the team have a clear plan for what scale their model will assess and what variables they will include? If a team does not have that information clearly defined do they describe the discovery process they intend to use to make those design decisions?
    • Feasibility: How feasible is it that the team will be able to produce the model described in the application in terms of time and available resources? Staff will take into account:
      • Scope of the model and required resources to complete it
      • Existing capacity available to the project team, including: knowledge, skills, experience, and relationships.
      • Resources the Accelerator will provide to all teams, including: stipends, access to experts, and opportunities for cross-project idea sharing and troubleshooting.
    • Usability: How relevant would model outputs be for informing policy and decision making?
    • Justice, Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity (JEDI): To what extent does the application address justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity? Some ways that this can be achieved is by: 
      • including on the project team someone who is positioned to guide the team to develop the model in a way that will advance justice, inclusion, equity,  or diversity goals in the location in which the model will be applied.
      • Through intentional choice of variables to include in the model (for example integration of a social vulnerability index)
      • by thoughtfully explaining the challenges of integrating justice, inclusion, equity, or diversity into the project.

Program staff participates in a consensus-based discussion, in which all criteria are considered equally, to choose which projects will be invited to participate in the Accelerator. The program staff will select a suite of teams that offer a diversity of approaches to how climate change will impact demographic trends for New York State.