Florida Sea Grant specialist receives fellowship to study climate change
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Thomas Ruppert, a coastal planning specialist with the Florida Sea Grant College Program, has been awarded an international fellowship to advance climate change mitigation issues with counterparts in the country of Colombia.
The competitive fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and awarded through the Climate Change Fellows program of Partners of the Americas, an international network of individuals, businesses and institutions that promotes economic and professional growth in the Western Hemisphere.
As a climate change fellow, Ruppert will visit Colombia’s Caribbean coast to learn about sea-level rise vulnerabilities and actions, work to understand local needs and identify potential partners for cooperative projects related to climate change and sea-level rise.
The work builds on his statewide Extension role with Florida Sea Grant and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, where he assists coastal communities that face storm-surge, adaptation to sea-level rise, and other long-term planning challenges and opportunities.
Karl Havens, director of Florida Sea Grant, said Ruppert’s experience in Latin America, his Spanish language skills, and his work on climate change and sea-level rise make him uniquely qualified for the fellowship.
“Both Florida Sea Grant and UF actively seek to develop international partnerships and exchanges as important parts of our inter-related missions of research, education and outreach,” said Havens. “Thomas’ fellowship participation not only compliments our mission, it could potentially result in developing a lasting multi-country community of practice of people working on climate change adaptation.”
Ruppert is a licensed Florida attorney. His areas of expertise include beach and coastal policy in Florida, Florida’s coastal construction control line permitting, sea turtle habitat protection, coastal and marine permitting programs, and Fifth Amendment takings law.
- Thomas Ruppert, firstname.lastname@example.org, 352-392-5870