Expert Interview: Carolyne Buckner

 Name and Title

Carolyne Buckner

Environmental Specialist

Stormwater Division

City of Burlington 

Role in the company/organization

To implement a comprehensive stormwater management program aimed at minimizing the pollutants reaching our streams and other water bodies.  There are six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs):

  • Public Education & Outreach
  • Public Involvement & Participation
  • Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Controls
  • Post-Construction Site Runoff Controls
  • Pollution Prevention & Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations


How you/ the organization is involved in climate change resilience?

We respond to drainage calls, flooding complaints, etc.   We are well aware of the increased frequency and intensity of storms and the number of calls have been increasing. We are working with other municipalities to look at what can be done to minimize adverse impacts in areas that are already developed as well as what needs to be changed to minimize adverse impacts in future developments.  I think resiliency goes beyond just responding to the new normal, though. I want to start working with other departments within the City to address the causes of climate change. The coastal communities are doing some really good work in this area as they are most hard hit and can be great resources.


What sparked your desire to be involved in this work?

I love being outdoors and want to do what I can to conserve and protect our natural spaces.   I also love learning about nature and natural systems. The best technological solutions in this fields are always modeled after nature.


Why is climate change important to you?

I’m not sure how it couldn’t be.  It’s hard to overlook the change in weather patterns and how it’s affecting people, wildlife, and ecosystems.   Not to mention how it will affect my children and future generations.


How have you seen climate change impact your specific region?

Heat, more frequent and severe droughts, and increased frequency and intensity of storms.  Just more extreme patterns.


What do you think university students like us should be doing now?

I could list out a bunch of items from a climate action plan, but should tend to shut me down.   I’d say start by talking about it, like you are doing with this survey. The more we all talk about climate change, the more likely we will each find a way to act.   It can feel really overwhelming, so I say just start the conversation and let it lead us. I think a lot of climate change denial stems from the overwhelming nature of where the science is pointing.   


What do you think the general population should be doing now?

Same as above. Talking includes to elected officials. Talking also includes having conversations with those with different opinions and being willing to listen.