From 18 to 22 September 2013 a transatlantic exchange on climate change adaptation took place in Berlin, Stralsund, and the island of Ummanz. In cooperation with the US Embassy in Berlin, Dr. Grit Martinez, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute organized a tour illustrating German adaptation strategies in the regional, national, and international context. Professor Michael Paolisso, alumna researcher Katie Clendaniel, and graduate students Jo Johnson and Liz Van Dolah from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, participants in the tour, had the chance to meet with regional social science experts, environmental engineers, policymakers, and local community leaders, thus learning about responses to climate change along the Baltic coast.
The visitor program began with a visit to the American Embassy in Berlin, where participants had the chance to investigate opportunities for further collaboration between Germany and the US. During the trip, participants shared insights and experience from their research conducted with Chesapeake Bay fishermen and farming communities. Among the new ideas developed from the tour was a cooperative program between Chesapeake and Baltic communities, which could mark a further step towards the enhancement of climate change adaptation strategies and strengthen community initiatives in both Germany and the United States.
More specifically, the five-day tour consisted of:
- Guided historical sightseeing tour through the old city of Stralsund, Hanseatic City and UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Participation in the 28th Federal Congress of the German Association of Engineers for Water Management, Waste Management and Land Development (BWK) with presentations on ecological and economic opportunities and risks of the German “Energiewende” (energy transition) concerning coastal protection and environmental ethics
- Visit of the island Ummanz and meetings with local fishermen, farmers and the local historian
The tour was sponsored by the US Embassy.