Climate Adaptation Awards showcase Minnesota stories

MCAP award

Climate adaptation awardees receive sculptures made in Two Harbors Minnesota from recycled, fused glass.

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) celebrated achievements in leadership, education, research, policies and practices in a virtual awards ceremony January 31, 2022. The awards recognize work that improves resilience or climate justice through the development, advancement or implementation of climate adaptation strategies.

The program was hosted by Heidi Roop, MCAP Director, and the keynote was delivered by Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy. Hayhoe spoke on the importance of climate leadership. The awards were presented by Mark Seeley.

Sara Smith was honored with the Individual Adaptation Award for her work as the Tribal Climate Resilience Liaison for the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center/College of Menominee Nation. “Sara is recognized for her commitment to respecting the perspectives and rights of indigenous communities, and ensuring their voices are heard in climate change adaptation conversations. She has shown an exceptional ability to engage, organize, and facilitate partnerships with and within tribal communities, which has led to her becoming a regional leader in just a few short years.”

The Organization Adaptation Award went to Ecolibrium3, a Duluth organization based in the Lincoln Park neighborhood that focuses on community sustainability and resiliency.  “Ecolibrium3's work is community-driven and community-focused, with an emphasis on equity  and environmental justice. As an organization, their goal is to lead and inspire change toward an equitable and sustainable future, which they achieve by bringing residents together to work toward a common goal.”

Precipitate, an architectural firm that focuses on designing climate-friendly buildings and supporting healthy communities, received the Business Adaptation Award. The firm addresses the social, economic and ecological justice challenges through “ . . . listening and engagement, leading to holistic, systemic design at the intersection of architecture, research, and education. Their work combines carbon neutral architecture, advocacy, and research to work toward climate justice. They believe that a just transition to carbon neutrality requires input from womeand under-represented ethnic and racial groups, so we all share in the benefits of decarbonization.”

The Collaborative Adaptation Award went to the Tribal Adaptation Menu Team whose members created a framework for use by indigenous communities to transcend communication barriers between non-tribal partners working towards common approaches to climate adaptation that accommodates tribal values. “This collaborative effort was nominated not only because it is a usable document that focuses on climate adaptation strategies, but also because it centers the experiences, knowledge, and needs of tribal communities, which are often underserved and excluded from climate adaptation conversations. The TAM is the result of a collaboration between tribal, academic, intertribal, and government entities, and had 20 co-authors.”

Katya Goodenough Gordon, a community leader, climate activist and science communicator was the recipient of the Climate Communication Award. Katya makes climate science accessible to all "from students through senior citizens; from community leaders and local officials to formal and informal educators; from agency partners to communities of faith; from farmers to outdoor enthusiasts; as well as skeptics and members of the climate-change choir."

This year's Adaptation Awards Ceremony was presented in partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota.

*Quotations were taken from the MCAP Awards Program.