Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup and Vital Communities present:

Upper Valley Climate Change Leadership Academy

Are you a current 2CLA Participant? Check out our resources page!

2019 Leadership Academy Meeting Dates

October 9, 2019
November 13, 2019
January 8, 2020
February 12, 2020
March 11, 2020
April 8, 2020

Participants are expected to attend all meetings, and must attend at least five meetings to graduate.


Contact Ana Mejia
802-291-9100 x114

Special Thanks

The 2019 Climate Change Leadership Academy is made possible in part by support from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth.

What is the Climate Change Leadership Academy (2CLA)?

2CLA, a new project of the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup (UVAW) and Vital Communities, will educate, inspire, and prepare 25 Upper Valley participants to take meaningful action on climate change mitigation and adaptation in their communities. Participants will:

  • Learn what is happening globally and locally and what can be done about it.
  • Participate in presentations, group discussions, and collaborative work sessions.
  • Design and launch a project as a climate leader to make a difference in their own community.
  • Graduate ready to inspire, motivate, and encourage others to take action.

Each participant will develop a project individually or as part of a small team. Each project will have support and input from the rest of the class. These projects may take any form and might involve art, public education, community work days, or any other activity that generates positive community impact related to climate change. Projects will be shared at a public celebration at the end of the program.

When and where does the Academy take place?

Our 2019 Climate Change Leadership Academy class will meet on the second Wednesday of each month between October 2019 and April 2020. Meetings will be 5:30-8 pm at Lebanon City Hall, with a light dinner provided. 2019 meeting dates are listed to the left.

Who can participate?

The Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup will select up to 25 Upper Valley residents into this first Climate Change Leadership Academy class. Everyone is welcome to apply. You don’t need any prior knowledge about climate change to participate—in fact, the ideal group will have a range of expertise and knowledge on this topic.

We will be selecting up to 25 participants from among our applicants. Our goal is to bring together a well-balanced class with diverse backgrounds and perspectives from across our Upper Valley community.

Program Fee

Once selected, participants will be asked to pay a one-time, $30 fee for the entire program. Scholarships are available upon request (contact ana@vitalcommunities.org).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the agenda for the six 2CLA meetings?

This year’s 2CLA meeting schedule:

October 9, 2019 | Climate – We’ll hear from climate scientists about what’s happening to our planet’s climate and why, at the local, regional, and global levels. Our guests will lead a group discussion to engage the class in understanding how global changes have local impacts and how to make those connections to others in our community.

November 13, 2019 | Mitigation – We’ll hear from community organizers and organizations who are leading efforts to reduce climate emissions in the Upper Valley and beyond. Our guests will lead a group discussion on what’s possible in our own communities, inspiring ideas for local action.

January 8, 2020 | Adaptation – We’ll hear from local and regional organizations working to make communities more resilient to the effects of climate change. Together we will examine opportunities for action in the Upper Valley.

February 12, 2020 | Opportunities for local action – The class will discuss what we’ve learned so far, identifying opportunities for action. Participants will begin to generate ideas for their climate change service projects.

March 11, 2020 | How to be a leader – Participants will share progress on their project ideas and seek input from fellow participants and Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup mentors. Together, we will examine what it means to be a climate leader in the Upper Valley and find ways to step forward as leaders through our projects and beyond.

April 8, 2020 | Public celebration – Our final meeting will be a public event showcasing our climate action projects.

What criteria will be used to select participants?

No specific prior experience or skill set is required to participate in the Climate Change Leadership Academy. Everyone is welcome to apply, and we’re hoping for a great mix of people.

Our goal is a class of 25 participants. If we receive more than 25 applications, we will select participants with the goal of assembling a group of people with a range of experience and perspectives. We are looking for a class with a mix of ages, genders, towns, professional and personal experience, and other factors.

We will, however, show preference for applicants who are confident they can attend at least five of the six 2CLA meetings.

What if I can't attend all the meetings?

Participants are expected to attend all six meetings and must attend at least five of the six in order to graduate. We hope participants will plan ahead to avoid missing meetings. That said, we know unexpected things happen. If an emergency comes up at the last minute, we’ll work with you to catch up with the rest of your class.

About the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup

The Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup (UVAW) is a bi-state, multi-stakeholder working group of leaders and partner organizations. Started in December 2011, the workgroup meets monthly to focus on building climate resilient communities in the Upper Valley.

Our Working Definition of Climate Resiliency

Climate Resiliency is the ability of a community to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from climate impacts in a way that minimizes significant disruption to our lives and impacts on our shared resources. This includes our health, safety, built environment, food availability, natural resources, wildlife, and financial strength.

Climate change is not some distant problem – it is happening here and now in the Upper Valley. In recent years, we have seen climate disruptions affect our communities in the form of droughts, deluges, ice and hail storms, intense cold snaps, and sudden heat waves. We must recognize these increasingly frequent extreme weather events for what they are: our new normal. 

Stay up to date for our upcoming forums & events and connect with adaptation resources and experts.

UVAW Members

Sherry Godlewski
NH Department of Environmental Services, Co-Chair UVAW

Alice Ely
Public Health Council of the Upper Valley

Michael Simpson
Antioch University New England

Gregory Norman
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Alex Jaccaci
Hypertherm, Co-Chair UVAW

Kevin Geiger
Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission

Julia Griffin
Town of Hanover

Lizann Peyton
Nonprofit Consultant

Ana Mejia
Vital Communities

Sarah Brock
Vital Communities

Meghan Butts
Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission

Mark Goodwin
City of Lebanon

Rosi Kerr
Dartmouth College

Beth Sawin
Climate Interactive

Lisa Wise
UNH Extension and NH Sea Grant

Erich Osterberg
Dartmouth College

Jenny Levy

Cameron Wake
University of NH, Carbon Solutions New England

Need to Contact Us?

Ana Mejia, Climate Projects Coordinator at Vital Communities | ana@vitalcommunities.org, 802-291-9100 x114

Alex Jaccaci & Sherry Godlewski, UVAW Co-Chairs | alex.jaccaci@hypertherm.com and sherry.godlewski@des.nh.gov