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The RiSC teams are putting their knowledge to use by using the RiSC’s novel climate resiliency curriculum, the National Wildlife Federation's Eco‐Schools 7‐Step framework, and seed funding to design, execute and monitor small‐scale school‐based resiliency projects.

The RiSC student teams will also be examining current school-based emergency shelter and/or evacuation protocols and - based on their research and the results of their RiSC Vulnerability Assessments - develop resiliency recommendations for the NYC Department of Education that can be integrated into current guidelines and protocols. They will also recommend ways that this important information can be equitably and widely communicated, disseminated, and prominently displayed in all schools.

The RiSC curriculum and the work of the RiSC teams will be disseminated locally, nationally, and internationally through partner channels and student-generated social media campaigns. Through partnerships and collaborations, our learning resources and experiences will be adapted and replicated in schools and communities across NYC, the U.S. and the globe that are likewise looking for ways to increase climate literacy in urban youth and engage them in resiliency planning.

RiSC program Team

Brett F. Branco, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences,

Brooklyn College

Brett Branco is a marine scientist and the Principal Investigator for the RiSC project. As the Interim Executive Director of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRIJB) (as of July 2019), and Co-Chair of the SRIJB's Research Council, Brett provides leadership and management to the RiSC project team and helps connect the project to resilience planning action in New York City.

Emily Alix Fano 

Senior Education Manager

National Wildlife Federation in New York City

Emily Fano is the Project Manager for the RiSC program. In this role she provides overall project and fundraising support for RiSC, coordinates partnerships, professional development, and events, and convenes the Climate and Resilience Education Task Force, comprised of more than 30 NGOs, students, teachers, climate scientists, City, State, and Federal agencies.

Heather Sioux 

RiSC Program Coordinator

Heather Sioux is the Program Coordinator for The Resilient Schools Consortium (RiSC) working with the National Wildlife Federation.

Alexandra Gillis

RiSC Assessment Team

Brooklyn College

Alexandra Gillis began her focus on environmental issues as an undergraduate Urban Sustainability major at Brooklyn College, where she studied the connections between social, environmental, and economic systems. In the summers between semesters, she worked with The Youth Farm and The Marble House Project – non-profit farming organizations – getting hands-on experience with sustainable farm systems. Now as a graduate student Alexandra focuses her studies on land use in New York City and how it affects the urban mosquito population. She prioritizes subjects with a high chance of government action in response to her research, taking advantage of modern tools such as ArcGIS. 

Helen Cheng

Coastal Resilience Extension Specialist

New York Sea Grant

Helen Cheng is the Coastal Resilience Extension Specialist at the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay and plays an active role in planning the annual RiSC Summits.

Nordica Holochuck

Hudson Estuary Specialist

New York Sea Grant

Nordica Holochuck is the New York Sea Grant Hudson Estuary Specialist located in Kingston, NY. Holochuck’s extension program focuses on the Hudson River and metro NYC coastal region's estuarine education including habitat stewardship, coastal recreation and marine and estuarine education. Holochuck has worked in collaboration with NOAA Environmental Literacy Grant recipients at Queens College and currently Brooklyn College’s Resilient Schools Consortium. In collaboration with the NYSDEC Holochuck developed a set of place based classroom climate change lessons for use along the Hudson Estuary. Holochuck holds a Master in Environmental Studies degree from The Evergreen State College.

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©2019 National Wildlife Federation, Research Foundation CUNY, Cornell University and New York Sea Grant. All Rights Reserved.