Research and Evaluation Task Force

Task force members convened at 1:00 pm using technology. 

Introductions: Ivan Fernandez, Rep Morgan Rielly, Maryalice Crofton, Kirsten Brewer, Stacie Haines

Mission check (the official task force mission is HERE). In this new phase with expanded membership, do we need to revisit anything for context?

Consensus was that it was applicable and until we have Climate Corps fleshed out, it makes sense to live with the Research and Evaluations Committee.

National pressing issue: identifying performance measures for AmeriCorps climate corps work.

Here is a link to current federal Environmental Stewardship performance measures. 

There are currently three committees meeting around this issue to propose climate corps performance measures back to the federal agency. 

Question posed by Maryalice:
What existing measurement tools, relevant to Maine Won’t Wait, are already measuring the impact on the climate crisis at the community level?

•    Dashboards currently being devised for Maine Won’t Wait that will show metrics: i.e. No of miles of broadband. No. of solar projects. Investments in healthy soils. 

•    Enroads (from MIT) could be used to determine carbon reduction but this doesn’t necessarily get to things such as measuring climate education (the output for that would differ). 

•    Sea level rise by way of dollars lost, value of real estate impacted.

There is the potential to devise some and keep looking for other existing metrics.

When considering the existing priority projects in the Maine Climate Corps Report on pgs. 29-33, adding

•    Under the ‘At-Risk Ecosystems’ Strategic Plan Objective could add the following outcomes (1) Number of healthy soils and regenerative ag projects. (2) Number of invasive species eradication plans devised (or per pound eradication)
•    Under ‘Energy Efficiency’ Strategic Plan Objective could add the outcome: Number of low-income houses with reduced energy consumption or reduced energy costs.
•    Under the ‘Awareness and Stewardship’ Strategic Plan Objective could add the outcomes: (1) Number of activities communities undertake to be more resilient. (2) number of emergency preparedness plans (3) Number of green infrastructure plans implemented (4) Number of students taught about climate change.
•    Under ‘Green Jobs’ Strategic Plan Objective ‘Green Jobs’ could add the output of ‘Maine Apprenticeship Program’ and the outcomes: Completed apprenticeship certificate.

The Strategic Plan Objective missing looks to be ‘Clean Energy’ with the output being the number of solar projects planned or implemented. And, the outcome would be the overall amount of carbon reduction. (similarly with other clean energy alternatives).

State pressing issue: What is the best focus and pilot use of funds just appropriated for Maine’s Climate Corps.

There was general consensus that with only 4 service members, Green Schools (as it appears in the Maine Climate Corps Report) would be one. With passage of Rep Blume’s Climate Ed bill, there could be a real opportunity to partner by putting Climate Corps members in the classroom. Question remains: Who is overseeing Climate Ed Funding with the DOE?

The second priority pilot project was deemed to be energy efficiency.

What other voices do we need on this task force? Who can reach out to someone?

Member from one of the tribes: Penobscot Nations environmental director (Rep Rielly/Maryalice). 

Rep of new Mainer population: Immigration Welcome Center; Safiya Khalid (Stacie/Rep Rielley). 

Cole Cochran from MYCJ (Rep Rielly)

Anya Fetcher (Stacie)

There will be no Civilian Climate Corps federal funds until 2024 (if then). Until then, we have the 4 service members in Maine to kick start the program.

There is also a federal planning grant that can certainly be used for some of this work (where climate work falls under environmental stewardship).

Maryalice/Kirsten are planning to engage communities to see how they would like to implement Climate Corps programming in their areas around Maine. Planning for June.

We want to focus on immediate programs with the most impact to help build the case for federal support in the future.

Next meeting: June 15 at 1pm
Open invitation to observe Commission board meetings.