Urban Climate Action Network

For teens ready to make a difference

Take a look around your world. Is your city experiencing the effects of extreme weather? Flooding? Poor air quality? A lack of green spaces?

These are big issues, but the good news is that thousands of communities and cities are working to build resiliency to climate change– and teens have the power to make a difference!

The Urban Climate Action Network (UCAN) is a new national climate change youth corps created by the National Aquarium in partnership with the American Planning Association (APA), the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE).

UCAN make a difference!

UCAN empowers teens, particularly those from communities most affected by impacts of climate change, to take action, connect with peers in other cities to discuss environmental, social, and economic challenges and, ultimately, to create better places to live, work and play.

2018 Teams

We are thrilled that youth teams from the following cities will join us at the National Aquarium in July for the first UCAN conference:

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Chicago, IL
  • Orlando, FL
  • Powhattan, KS
  • Pago Pago, American Samoa

Under the direction of designated adult leaders, teams of youth from cities across the US will spend a week at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. UCAN teams will meet dedicated, like-minded teens committed to making a difference in their communities, while learning about climate change, discussing current climate science challenges with science professionals, and exploring careers in conservation science, urban planning, communications, civic engagement and more. UCAN team members will build leadership and practical skills to help bring about real change within their own communities.

Working Toward A Better Tomorrow

Following their time in Baltimore, teams and leaders will return to their hometowns equipped with the skills to create action plans addressing real problems in their communities with the assistance of a technical expert from the American Planning Association. Teams will also be eligible for small grants to help make their plans a reality, bringing about meaningful change.

Inaugural UCAN teams will also serve as mentors for future participating teams. In 2019, an additional four teams will be selected from various cities across the country, further expanding the program’s reach and providing the opportunity for participants to collaborate and share insight with like-minded teens. Information about how to apply for future UCAN cohorts will be posted by early 2019.

Sign up for our Conservation newsletter to learn more about our work, including UCAN updates. We also encourage you to learn about climate change near your hometown.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can we find resources on climate change?

Who should we contact if we have questions about UCAN?

Please contact youthclimate@aqua.org with any questions.

UCAN is a partnership between the National Aquarium and these organizations:


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [grant MG-10-17-0012-17].