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Engineering solutions for climate resilience: a call to action

Wind turbines on a screen

Scientists play a crucial role in understanding the climate crisis by researching its causes and predicting its impacts. For decades, our colleagues in the physical, natural and social sciences have sounded the alarm about the consequences of global warming, warnings that have largely been ignored among those for whom this crisis constitutes an “inconvenient truth.” I, however, am convinced of a need to act, and I expect you are too. I imagine you also agree that this is engineering’s time to contribute practical solutions for mitigating devastating climate challenges. Engineers are trained to translate scientific knowledge into tangible, scalable technologies. For instance, we are essential in the development of technologies for renewable energy, sustainable farming, and “green” computing.

At Baskin Engineering, we must train our students to build and optimize technologies that can solve the climate crisis and ensure a sustainable future, working collaboratively across the disciplines present at UC Santa Cruz. We have a responsibility to confront the urgency and magnitude of the climate crisis by activating the expertise and perspectives provided by our world-class engineering researchers. 

This past April, co-led by Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff Anne Criss, we hosted academic leaders from across North America — leaders from UC and California State University campuses, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Ivy League institutions, the National Laboratories and beyond — to share ideas and discuss the successes and failures of efforts to generate impactful climate action across disciplines. We must now build on the success of this April convening, and I call on the entire Baskin Engineering community to join this effort, truly a project that will require all of our collective energy and expertise to be successful.

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