Community-Engaged Faculty Use UMass Boston Engage Portal to Make Connections


Portal Accessible at engage.umb.eduUMass Boston’s community-engaged faculty have a new tool to report their partnership activity, make new connections, and strengthen existing ones. It’s called UMass Boston Engage.

Professor of Climate Adaptation Paul Kirshen of the UMass Boston School for the Environment and the Sustainable Solutions Lab used his UMass Boston email credentials to create and update his profile on and report his community partnership with the East Boston-based Community Development Corporation the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH). Through a project funded by the Kresge Foundation, ClimateCARE (Community Action for Resilience through Engagement), Kirshen is supporting NOAH in developing a detailed strategy to protect East Boston from coastal flooding. A shared strategy such as a shoreline barrier blocking off a flood pathway into the interior of East Boston protects several assets from flooding instead of just one.

“Adaptation to climate change has to be done on the local scale, thus myriad stakeholders must be involved. It must also be integrated with social justice and equity issues because certain population groups are more vulnerable than others,” Kirshen said.

Building on previous work by UMass Boston’s School for Environment, Kirshen (above, far right) is in the final phases of helping to lead the three-year project. Besides focusing on regional flood management strategies, other aspects of the project include working with community members on activities such as implementing basement clean outs in flood zones and home energy audits.

Kirshen says it wasn’t hard to create an entry on ClimateCARE in the UMass Boston Engage web portal.

“The portal is straightforward to use and not burdensome. I plan to use it to search for possible project partners and past and ongoing activities in East Boston to further ClimateCARE. Plus, it will be useful in proposals and new research,” Kirshen said.

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