Mapping Tool Advisory Committee Grant Applications Open

Individuals and community-based organizations active in environmental justice work or related work in Connecticut are encouraged to apply to the Environmental Justice Mapping Tool Advisory Committee (MTAC). Applications open September 12th, 2022 and close October 12th, 2022.

The MTAC will be an advisory group to the EJ Mapping Project, a partnership between CIRCA and CT DEEP. MTAC grants will fund individuals and organizations for their time spent on this advisory work. Importantly, this funding expands the capacity of groups often disenfranchised from participation in tools or policies that directly impact them. The grant period will run from January – August 2023, with funding delivered in monthly stipends. CIRCA expects to select 7 grantees to serve on the MTAC, each funded at $5,000. Participation from MTAC members will primarily consist of attending 5 virtual meetings and 1 in-person regional forum (multiple dates available), along with associated review of EJ mapping materials to prepare for these meetings. The time commitment is expected to be 20 – 25 hours total between January – August 2023.

Find out more here.

Paid GIS Summer Internship

The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), located at the Avery Point campus of the University of Connecticut in Groton, CT is looking for a paid intern to work up to 10 hours per week with the Institute’s staff on the Environmental Justice Mapping project. Students from all UConn campuses are eligible for this position. The internship can be remote, but a desktop computer can only be provided if only stationed at Avery Point campus. Tasks include:

  • Review GIS layers and prepare related metadata files, downloadable layers and geodatabases
  • Write report on the GIS layer sources and creation process
  • Update website with the related information
  • Create ArcGIS story map or experience
  • May process GIS data for statistical analysis
  • Attending virtual committee meetings for meetings summaries and note-taking, adding meeting information to website
  • Other duties as assigned

The minimum requirements for the position are:

  • Demonstrated coursework or experience in GIS programs (i.e. ArcGIS)
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • ArcGIS online and desktop experience

The below qualifications are preferred qualifications are but not required

  • Data analysis experience with computing languages (i.e. Python, Matlab, R)
  • Bilingual
  • Previous experience working in an office environment

How to apply: Please send a one-page resume that shows you have the ability to do this work well (including your related coursework or GIS project portfolio), one page formal writing sample (max around 750 words) for general audience on any mapping/scientific topic and the names and contact information for two references to Lauren Yaworsky at by May 16, 2022. Qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule a phone interview in May and start as soon as possible.

EJ Mapping Project Discussed at CIRCA – CEEL Earth Day Conference

Communities of all sizes and locations are being challenged by the present realities of climate change. University of Connecticut’s Center for Energy & Environmental Law (CEEL), the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), and the Diversity Alliance co-hosted the CEEL Annual Earth Day Conference. Our interdisciplinary approach brings together specialists in environmental law, municipal finance, climate and marine science, community planning and more. During this virtual conference, participants:
  • Explored the relationship between food, equity, environmental justice, and climate change;
  • Learned about new tools and policies to assess and address climate vulnerability;
  • Recognized issues and overlap between resilience science, financing, and planning; and
  • Learned about support for and development of a Connecticut resilience project pipeline.

Session C: Climate Tools and Policy focused on emerging tools and their future role in environmental justice efforts.

Summary: This breakout session draws attention to the widening field of environmental and climate justice mapping and data analysis tools that seek to identify overburdened and underserved communities. These tools focus on depicting data related to environmental exposures, socio-economic indicators that amplify risks, and additional conditions that limit the community’s ability to reduce harm. Data and data-driven resource allocation can be another exercise in power and privilege without adequate safeguards on their deployment. While these new tools offer a potential for long overdue recognition and redressing of compounding burdens, the way that these tools are integrated into policies and programs will be a critical factor in their efficacy.  The panelists, all of them engaged in climate change, environmental justice, and/or public policy, bring unique perspectives on the role these tools play in policies that could have multi-generational impacts on environmental justice communities.

Moderator: Eloise Reid, Environmental Justice Community Coordinator, UConn CIRCA

Panel Members:

  • Laura Bozzi – Yale Center on Climate Change and Health
  • Yaprak Onat – UConn CIRCA
  • Aziz Dehkan – CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
  • Lee Cruz – Community Foundation of Greater New Haven

You can explore other information about the conference or check back for the Session C: Climate Tools and Policy recording.

New Website Launched for the CT Environmental Justice Map

We are pleased to share the new website for the CT Environmental Justice Map! Between August 2021 and August 2023, UConn CIRCA will be developing a new Environmental Justice Map for Connecticut! Following examples from Washington, Maryland, and California, this map will fulfill a key recommendation for the Governor’s Council on Climate Change Equity & Environmental Justice Working Group. (Learn more about the project background.)

While CIRCA will be managing the project, in consultation with CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, collaborations with statewide data organizations and organizations across Connecticut working in the environmental justice field will be critical to the development, design, and deployment of this tool. Two committees will be formed: State Data Advisory Committee (SDAC) and the Mapping Tool Advisory Committee (MTAC). Membership in the MTAC will be funded through the enabling grant.  (Learn more about the Project Team.) The two committees will work together and learn about each other’s work while improving the final map.

There will be several ways to participate and collaborate in addition to the two committees, including nine regional workshops  to hear directly from communities across the state.

We will soon share ways for you to stay up-to-date – Stay Tuned!