Climate Wisdom Lab

Hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning and made possible by the
Kroepsch-Maurice Faculty Development and Lecture Series

As part of the Faculty Development Series “Equity, Social Justice and the Sustainability Imperative the CTL is pleased to host Emergent Resilience’s Climate Wisdom Lab. This program is designed for faculty and staff to address the psychosocial impacts of climate change and other structural stressors on our students and ourselves. By centering awareness on our affective experiences, we will build our understanding of these complex psychosocial dimensions and begin to honestly assess the hidden affective implications of our existing courses, programs, and services. The intention is to create a collaborative creative process for developing innovative new offerings that are responsive to students.

Dr. Ray presented a keynote address at May 2020’s UVM Pivotal Pedagogy conference, What the Climate Crisis has Taught Me about Teaching During a Global Pandemic. She also participated in the CTL book group focusing on her publication Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet (2020).

The Climate Wisdom Lab’s facilitators, Kevin Gallagher, J.D. and Sarah Ray, Ph.D guides participants through this process in an interactive and supportive way. The workshops build on each other, so attending all sessions yields a richer experience.

Past Sessions

FUTURE-SCAPING, May 17, 2022

The stories we live in shape our energy, agency, and purpose. This session combats powerlessness and despair by identifying assumptions about social change, and fostering new personal and collective stories that can support active engagement and thriving in times of rapid social and ecological change.


An open-ended workshop to surface essential challenges, prioritize breakthrough leverage points, cultivate a desire for the future, and create a personal (or collective, depending on the setting) plan of action.
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This session focuses on the role of emotions in how we act and behave in response to crisis, exhaustion, relationships, and trauma. We will discuss why awareness of emotions is integral to systems change work and environmental advocacy via neuroscience, polyvagal theory, and trauma theory.

NAVIGATING BURNOUT, January 11, 2022

This session explores the neuroscience of overwhelm, the common assumptions behind the experience, and the role of trauma and empathic distress in depleting our energy and motivation. Importantly, we will look at learning strategies for cultivating a discipline of resourcedness and rest.

EMOTION AUDIT, January 13, 2022

In this session, we move into course and program design, and apply insights to existing syllabi, curricula, or workshops. We will examine the emotional subtext that is the “hidden curriculum” of the artifact with the goal of integrating emotions into the desired outcomes.