Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

Program in Environmental Civic Engagement

The Program in Environmental Civic Engagement (PECE) enables Brown students and faculty to translate knowledge into action, to benefit Rhode Islanders, and to test scalable responses to global change.

  • Student leadership/communication training: PECE administers the Voss Undergraduate Fellowship, a highly selective program for rising seniors.   The program focuses on translating knowledge into action, providing workshops on persuasive writing, speaking and presentation.  Students join the program in the spring of their junior year, perform senior honors thesis work over the summer, and then meet as a cohort for training workshops over the course of their senior year as their thesis project matures.

  • Podcast: PECE has partnered with RI Public Radio to produce a new podcast called Possibly.  In it, we explore environmental issues and solutions here in Rhode Island, and link them to global issues.  Episode 1 - “The Future of Food"; Episode 2 - “This Cold House". Journalist Nancy Pick hosts the show, Megan Hall is the managing producer, and Stephen Porder (EEB/IBES) and Torey Malatia (RIPR) are the executive producers.  If the podcast secures funding for a full season, many undergraduate interns will work as reporters, writers, and editors.

  • Environmental Solutions Grants: PECE has partnered with the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship to give start up grants for for and non-profit company ideas centered on environmental solutions.  Three levels of grants are available: explore ($500), expand ($2500) and B-Lab. The latter is an 8 week incubator program run by the Nelson center, and funds a team (up to five people) at a maximum of $12,000.  Students interested in this program should contact Jonas Clark and Stephen Porder.

  • Ongong civic engagement: Curt Spalding, Professor of the Practice of Environment and Society at IBES, was formerly Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in New England and Executive Director of Save the Bay. He is now working with PECE, leading several projects geared at catalyzing climate resilience engagement, planning, and action in and around Rhode Island. These include undergraduate independent study projects on resilience in Rhode Island; local projects to specifically designed to enhance climate change awareness and adaptation efforts in vulnerable Providence communities; the founding of a “blue tech” business incubator in the capital city; and more. Stay tuned for more on these groundbreaking endeavors!

Brown University
More about Brown University