CCI and SPIA LogosThe University of Maine has launched a new National Science Foundation sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) – the first of its kind to focus explicitly on adaptation to abrupt climate change.  This is a joint program between the Climate Change Institute (CCI) and the School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA).

The paradigm that climate change operates slowly and gradually shifted with the discovery of abrupt climate change (ACC), which refers to rapid state changes in the climate system that are either transient or persistent, and of variable magnitude.

We now recognize that abrupt climate change is one of the greatest threats to the sustainability of human society and ecosystem services, yet economic and social systems are rarely designed for abrupt nonlinear environmental change.

The Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change (A2C2) IGERT is a doctoral training program for students in earth sciences, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, international affairs, and economics.  A2C2 is designed to train the next generation of natural and social scientists to meet the critical societal challenge of human adaptation to abrupt climate change (ACC).  See our program brochure

Specifically, A2C2 IGERT trainees will

  • become experts and leaders on the issue of ACC in their disciplinary field
  • understand the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems in response to ACC
  • conduct collaborative, interdisciplinary research across natural and social sciences
  • develop innovative policy and management solutions from their research to foster resilience and adaptation under ACC
  • develop an international perspective on adaptation to abrupt climate change, with opportunities for international experiences


“The age of climate decision is here, and our actions will define the course

of civilization and the health of our planet.”

(Paul Andrew Mayewski, Director of the University of Maine Climate Change Institute)



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An NSF IGERT Program
National Science Foundation