Building the Alliance for Resilient Campuses

Leadership in Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience


Overview of the Alliance for Resilient Campuses

In May of 2014, Second Nature publicly announced the creation of the Alliance for Resilient Campuses. In order to facilitate the emergence of sound adaptation and resilience practices in our institutions (and beyond), to foster community engagement in these issues, and to further develop education and research, Second Nature is leading a national cooperation among colleges and universities to guide solutions. The Founding Signatories and partnerships can be found below. The public release of the Alliance happened on May 5, 2014. Important components of the Alliance include:

Evaluating risk and vulnerability

  • Understanding likely future climate conditions and associated regional impacts and providing a common hub of information for all institutions of higher education. Also part of this resource hub will be information on climate impacts on critical resources such as water, energy and transportation, as well as on other likely impacts such as for health, recreation, land use and others. We are partnering closely with the U.S. National Climate Assessment
  • A framework for vulnerability assessment for colleges and universities that is flexible and relevant but allows for shared insight into assessing risk, along with the most valuable adaptation priorities at each campus.

Tools for collaborative assessment and implementation

  • Support for regional nodes of cooperation, demonstrating critical relationships between colleges and universities as well as with the surrounding communities and illustrating and evaluating the benefits of collective assessment and action
  • Opportunities for leadership campuses and institutions to emerge in resilience, adaptation and sustainability. An initial group of leaders and experts will be sought to develop the strategy for this cooperative approach to investing in adaptive and resilience-focused efforts
  • More collaborative research opportunities, as well as shared approaches to encompassing adaptation and resilience into educational activities and student experiences.

Evaluating progress and filling critical research and knowledge gaps

  • Development of a prototype resilience tool (or suite of tools) for institutions of higher education to track and measure success in increasing resilience and adapting efficiently and effectively to a changing climate. These tools will also be nationally important in developing some shared characteristics and understanding of resilience, a method of collecting and analyzing resilience data and for demonstrating progress.

Download the pdf overview of the Alliance for Resilient Campuses


Press release announcing the public release of ARC

A press release announcing ARC publicly is now available

Signatories of ARC

The Signatories of ARC have signed a statement of purpose - to incorporate resilience into their operations and principles as an institution of higher education.

ARC Signatories:

Institution President/Chancellor
Agnes Scott College* Elizabeth Kiss
Ball State University* Jo Ann Gora
Bennington College* Mariko Silver
Bentley University* Gloria Larson
Bethany College* Scott Miller
Bristol Community College* John Sbrega
California State University System* Timothy White
California State University, Chico* Paul Zingg
California State University, Northridge* Dianne Harrison
Central College Mark Putnam
Central Community College* Greg Smith
Chandler-Gilbert Community College* Linda Lujan
Coe College David McInally
Delta College* Jean Goodnow
Drake University David Maxwell
Eastern Connecticut State University* Elsa Nunez
Emory and Henry College* Jake Schrum
Frostburg State University* Jonathan Gibralter
Gateway Technical College* Bryan Albrecht
Hampshire College* Jonathan Lash
Hollins University* Nancy Oliver Gray
Iowa Lakes Community College Valerie Newhouse
Millersville University* John Anderson
Mt Hood Community College* Debra Derr
Northland College* Michael Miller
Paul Smith's College of Arts and Sciences* John Mills
Portland State University* Wim Wiewel
Presidio School of Management* William Shutkin
Rochester Institute of Technology* William Destler
Unity College* Stephen Mulkey
University of Arizona* Ann Hart
University of California, Los Angeles Gene Block
University of Maine* Paul Ferguson
University of New Hampshire* Mark Huddleston
Western Michigan University* John Dunn

* Founding Signatory

Partners in ARC

Resilience in higher education is only possible when working in full partnership with our cities and businesses. ARC is partnering with communities and corporations to ensure robust resilience and adaption resources and implementation.

We are working particularly closely with the Resilient Communities for America - an initiative that is mobilizing city leaders in pledging to embed resilience planning into communities across America. This effort mirrors that of ARC, but with a focus on communities. We will share guidance, information resources, sponsoring events, case studies etc. This partnership is intended to ensure that higher education and communities are working together and sharing lessons learned, while accelerating and mutually supporting progress. The Resilient Communities for America is a joint initiative from the ICLEI-USA, the US Green Building Council, the World Wildlife Fund, and the National League of Cities.

ARC is working with a host of other partners - corporate, non-profit, and government - whose information will appear here soon....

Resources for Adaptation and Resilience Planning

On this separate page, you will find a growing suite of information resources from a variety of authoritative sources, including federal, state, academic, and Second Nature-sponsored work, that provides background, guidance, and planning tools for implementing and evaluating adaptation and resilience actions. 

Climate Information

On our climate information pages you will find the latest climate and sea level rise information for the nation, for your region, and for a number of different sectoral impacts - such as energy, water, transportation etc.






1. How does my Institution get involved in ARC?

Please email us at, and we will happily be in touch with you about how to get involved! Please also review this website, the ARC overview document and the statement of purpose that all signatory institutions have signed.

2. Are there reporting requirements

There are no reporting requirements like those associated with the ACUPCC and greenhouse gas inventories. However, we do want to be able to share lessons learned from across the network and encourage sharing of case studies, successes, and tools and information that will help a national effort to better understand and measure progress on increasing resilience and adaptive capacity

3. Is there a cost to joining ARC

If you are already a signatory to the ACUPCC, then there is no additional cost to endorsing ARC. For those institutions not yet a signatory of the ACUPCC, a contribution to support the core work of ARC and for convening and supporting all organizations in the ARC network will be requested in the same way that we do for the ACUPCC. The contribution is dependent on the size of your organization. This minimal contribution allows the entire network to see the benefits.  Please e-mail us at for more information. 

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