The ECPA Andean Climate Change Inter-American Observatory Network (ACCION) is an initiative lead by the University at Albany-SUNY to build the capacity of young scientists across the Americas to analyze climate change-induced phenomena. Mathias Vuille, Senior ECPA Fellow and Associate Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences of the University at Albany, explained that “in South America some countries are not equipped to deal with climate change impacts. One idea of this project is to have fellowships for young students that are interested in this field that we can bring to the university. Working with us they take classes, they get educated, and once they receive their degree they go back [to their countries].” The ACCION initiative offers a means to improve the quality of sciences in the Americas, establishes a network of scientists who will engage in dialogue conducive toward new discoveries, and advances knowledge in the region and the world.
From September 3-6, 2013, ACCION brought together 23 students from the Andean region in Lima, Peru, to attend the First Climate School on Andean Climate Variability and Change. Students from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, were trained on various aspects of climate systems as well as on the scientific challenges associated with future climate projections. The course also fostered cross-disciplinary connections and collaborations, and provided a platform where young scientists from the Andes made connections beyond their countries’ borders. “We received more than 150 applications from students from all over South America to participate in this school”, said Professor Vuille. “This shows the timeliness and the need for this kind of event and I hope that we can continue to offer similar support for young scientists from South America in the future”, he added.
This first School on Andean Climate Variability and Change was organized in collaboration with the Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP), the Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología del Perú (SENAMHI) and the Departamento de Geofísica at Universidad de Chile. ACCION is financed by the U.S. State Department and supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Hydrologic Program (IHP).