UW Students Create a Seattle Shapers Climate Justice Survey
This past fall, the Seattle Hub of the Global Shapers partnered with Cascadia Climate Action and students from the University of Washington’s Sustainability Studio course to create a survey to assess barriers to understanding and acting on climate justice. Results from the survey are informing how we craft environmental justice resources for our community. Meet the students behind the survey!
“Hi all! My name is Emily Vandeberg. I’m a second-year student at the University of Washington and I am majoring in Environmental Science and Resource Management. During the Fall 2020 quarter, I was enrolled in a 400 level environmental class called “Environmental Studio” that focused on synthesizing a product for a client. I worked with two of my fellow students, Battulga Erdenebat and Isabella Koch to gather climate justice data for Global Shapers. Our primary goal through the quarter was to gain insight into how Seattlites understand and act on climate justice. Though time and resources limited the breadth of our data, we were able to provide what we hope to be a foundation for future investigation and collaboration. An overwhelming percentage of our respondents indicated that time limitations prevent them from taking action on climate justice. Moving forward, we hope to make action easier and more accessible to Seattleites.”
“Hello, my name is Battulga Erdenebat. I’m majoring in Communications and minoring in Environmental Studies. Our team found some interesting data from our survey. One that stands out is that 67% of our respondents were in between the ages of 18 to 25 and 42% of our respondents marked their education level as some college. We interpreted these results as a lack of representation that could be given to older and uneducated people. However, our survey outlines the type of response we can expect from the younger generation with 85% of respondents wanting to get involved through voting. Although our results aren’t entirely representative of everyone, it remains helpful in establishing actionable ways for the younger generation to make informed and impactful decisions.”
“Hi everyone! My name is Isabella Koch. I’m originally from Milwaukee, WI, but moved to Seattle to further my education. I’m a third-year student at the University of Washington majoring in Environmental Studies. Along with Emily and Battulga, I was enrolled in an upper-division environment class that allowed us to work with Global Shapers for this study. As a Mexican-American college student, I found it really important to better understand the implication of climate justice in Seattle. The biggest takeaway from our research was that a majority of respondents said that climate justice had little to no impact on them. In the future, I hope we can help more people understand that climate justice does directly impact them and their communities.”
Since working with the Environmental Studio students, the Seattle Hub has used the results of the survey to guide the next steps for our climate justice-focused project. The first product influenced by this research will be the second season of our hub’s podcast, “Shaping Seattle.” Next season will focus on educating listeners about climate justice and will provide steps to take action on climate justice. Stay tuned!