The Maryland Commission for Climate Change’s 2018 Annual Report imparted a renewed sense of urgency regarding the need for the State to continue leading through this “decisive juncture” where we are now with climate change. Not only is there a need to increase mitigation of carbon emissions, but we need to implement adaption actions now for the unavoidable impacts we are grappling with now and will face in the future. This includes becoming a model for carbon neutrality, implementing more resilient building standards, and utilizing energy sources that do not rely on traditional fossil fuels. Although this report focuses on one particular location and infrastructure need, it represents a first step in a new way of conceptualizing State facilities: leading by example, raising the bar as an attainable model for other infrastructure, and engaging a new generation of sustainable thinkers. Marrying the natural and built environment through the design of a field station to study climate and use it as a teaching tool provides transferable ideas and teaching opportunities. Utilizing policies like Maryland’s Coast Smart Construction Guidelines as an existing framework, the process of moving the concepts presented here, through to design and construction will allow the State to recognize improvement opportunities or barriers in the procurement process for resilient structures. It can also help to re-evaluate existing policies or develop new ones to ensure all future buildings are built with climate change in mind. By changing the way we do business with regard to infrastructure, we will continue to showcase Maryland’s commitment as climate leaders.
This report was prepared by the University of Maryland using federal funds under award number NA18NOS4190145 and NA17NOS4200156 from NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and do no necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or the U.S. Department of Commerce.