The New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center Climate Corps is a cohort of outstanding graduate students supporting the Center’s applied research, analysis, and program work. One key facet of Corps members is providing assistance to New Jersey municipalities in assessing hazards from changing climate conditions. Participating students include those in graduate programs in natural sciences, engineering, community planning, and public policy, including fellows in the Rutgers Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience (C2R2) program.
The Climate Corps develops and applies protocols linked to data within Rutgers’ web-based decision support tools to provide municipalities direct technical assistance with hazard mitigation planning; flooding vulnerability; climate resilience planning; Plan Endorsement as per the New Jersey Office of Planning Advocacy resilience guidelines; and the 2021 statutory requirement that the land use plan element of a municipal master plan include a climate-change-related hazard vulnerability assessment.
Climate Corps projects have also included:
- Support to the New Jersey Blue Acres Program to develop a methodology to inform equitable buyout policies;
- Direct technical assistance to municipalities undergoing the State Planning Commission Plan Endorsement Process;
- Direct technical assistance to municipalities examining flooding vulnerabilities and hazards;
- Evaluation of opportunities to integrate indicators of equity into Rutgers web-based decision support tools; and
- Educational and communication materials including Story Maps regarding flood hazards facing affordable housing, historic and cultural assets, and healthcare facilities in New Jersey.