New England Climate Adaptation Project

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Science Impact Collaborative worked with the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) and the Consensus Building Institute to test an innovative way to help coastal communities understand and prepare for the potential impacts of climate change. With a grant from the NERRS Science Collaborative, the team engaged four at-risk New England towns in testing the use of role-play simulations as a means to educate the public about climate change threats and to help communities explore ways of decreasing their vulnerability and enhancing their resilience to climate change impacts.

We anticipate that this project provides valuable insights into techniques for engaging communities in public learning, risk management, and collaborative decision-making around science-intensive public disputes. We also hope it provides a model approach that communities in New England and elsewhere can use to prepare for climate change.