Initiatives Overview

The following are just a few of the initiatives that The Environmental Collaboratory is engaged with. 

The Environmental Collaboratory's Climate Hub transdisciplinary grants program is engaging collaborative teams of faculty, students and staff in support of research, creative, or scholastic endeavors that will further catalyze Drexel’s Area of Excellence and Opportunity in Sustainability and Climate Resilience. Everyone who teaches, learns or works at Drexel University was invited to participate in TEC’s Climate Hub transdisciplinary grants program. A total of $200,000 was available to award four or more transdisciplinary teams over the two-year funding period.

Progress to Date: 

  • Faculty, staff and students submitted draft project ideas in May 2023. Ideas were shared at an in-person convening in June 2023.
  • Participants were invited to review submitted ideas and add feedback asynchronously, or through two online meetings in August 2023
  • Collaborative teams presented ideas publicly in Nov 2023 to invite further participation from additional faculty, students and staff and select teams were asked to submit written proposals.
  • Four teams were chosen in early January 2024. Awardees and their projects will be announced soon.

A forthcoming initiative, Experiential Research Projects — so called because they will both center the lived experience of community members and incorporate experiential learning for our students — will be co-designed and co-implemented with community partners to conduct deep analyses of environmental justice solutions and barriers to a just climate transition. Critically, the projects will link environmental issues to systemic equity issues such as housing, transportation and broader infrastructure.

These projects will support:

  • Community-driven, deeply researched on-the-ground projects
  • Capacity and network building for community-based organizations
  • Documentation of barriers, best practices and areas of follow-on research or implementation
  • Facilitation of follow-on policy or funding based on communication campaigns with partners

The Environmental Collaboratory funds projects that demonstrate strong multidisciplinary and multi-college engagements with external partners, as well as community-centered approaches to solving environmental problems. Through an inaugural research grant, seven funded projects led by Drexel faculty members incorporate strong multidisciplinary and multi-college engagements with external partners, as well as community-centered approaches to solving environmental problems.

The Environmental Collaboratory seeks to assist communities and realize the goal of Justice40 “to ensure that Federal agencies work with states and local communities to make good on President Biden’s promise to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities.”

The Student Leadership Council on Climate and Sustainability is a dedicated group of students working in partnership with the Environmental Collaboratory to address climate and sustainability issues on campus and make tangible changes to Drexel initiatives and practices.

The Environmental Collaboratory was a supporter of the first-ever Local Conference of Youth in the United States (LCOY USA), hosted for and by young people at Drexel University from September 13 to 25, 2022. The primary goal of the conference was to ensure a climate transition based on the voices of frontline communities, to protect present and future generations.

As part of the conference, delegates contributed to a national youth statement that was presented to the White House. Currently, the following version has been submitted to YOUNGO (UNFCCC's Youth and Children's Constituency) for its demands to be included in the Global Youth Statement, which should be finalized by COP27.