Elevating Youth Leadership And Peer-Learning To Support Climate Adaptation In West Michigan Lakeshore Frontline Communities (ELF)



GLISA ELF is a 2-year project focusing on youth leadership and peer-learning to support climate adaptation in West Michigan lakeshore frontline communities. It is supported by  and is a part of the NOAA GLISA Program.

Climate change poses an urgent threat to future generations and young people are among the most vulnerable groups to negative impacts of climate change, facing immediate and lifelong impacts on their physical and mental health. Youth vulnerability to climate change is especially high in frontline communities, due to cascading effects of non-climatic challenges related to racism, poverty, housing and transportation disparities, food insecurity, and community safety issues. Educating, supporting, and engaging young people is an essential long-term climate change adaptation strategy. Universities, community colleges, and schools are poised to play a prominent role in the GLISA Adaptive Boundary Chain Model because they link climate science to local communities through education, youth support, and local-scale co-production and application of scientific knowledge.

GLISA ELF will develop a multi-tier community-based climate change education system fostering support, engagement, and empowerment of high school and college students. Geographically, the project will focus on Muskegon County, but the proposed collaborative model could be transferable and relevant to other Great Lakes communities facing similar issues.  Focusing on climate education and empowerment of high-school and community college students, the proposed project has two interrelated and overlapping goals: A) To develop a transdisciplinary climate change curriculum, integrating climate data and geospatial technologies, including GLISA online tools and datasets, with peer-to-peer learning, community-based research, and mentoring. B) To design and build a system of educational support for youth through developing mentoring and experiential learning projects for high-school students, school and community presentations, and materials and training for high-school teachers.


Project Team

Elena Lioubimtseva,  Lead Investigator, GVSU Geography and Sustainable Planning Department, Professor, Co-Founder Climate Change Education Solutions Network, [email protected];

Diane Miller, GVSU Regional Math and Science Center, Business and Community Outreach Coordinator, MiSTEM Network Greater West Michigan Region, [email protected];

Kin Ma, GVSU Geography and Sustainable Planning Department, Associate Professor, [email protected];

Diana Casey, Instructor, Muskegon Community College Life Science Department, [email protected];

Eric Carballido, Adjunct Instructor, Muskegon Community College Life Science Department, [email protected];

Bill Wood, Executive Director, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, [email protected]

Kyle Hart, Education Program Manager, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, [email protected].



Page last modified March 14, 2024