Our world is changing, fast. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the last decade has been the hottest on record, and each of the last three decades has been warmer than the decade before it, with each one setting a new and significant record for the highest global temperature.
Against this backdrop, young people are more engaged than ever. But how can we help them turn their concern into action? That’s where UC San Diego Extension’s new, two-week Global Environmental Leadership and Sustainability program comes in.
“This program provides a unique opportunity for high school students to learn from national leaders how sound research can impact policy,” said Ed Abeyta, assistant dean for community engagement at UC San Diego Extension.
“In young people, we see an intense desire to do something about environmental challenges facing the world,” said Cheryl Peach, director of Scripps Educational Alliances at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. “The Academic Connections program is where the rubber meets the road—we are helping them understand the process of change so they can carve out a pathway for their future careers.”
Offered through Academic Connections, in partnership with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, this two-week program immerses high school students in the Social Change Model of Leadership, combined with true scientific process. For the first week, they stay and study in San Diego, learning the science behind their concerns under the guidance of active graduate students at Scripps Oceanography.
For week two of the program, students move to Washington, D.C. where they learn how to write one-page issue papers, how to craft key messages that resonate with their audience, and to draw on emotion as well as data. They will meet with prestigious speakers, learn more about advocacy, and find out who is responsible for climate change policy in Washington.
“What is important about this program is that students gain understanding of the science behind climate change by doing their own hands-on experiments,” said UC San Diego Extension’s Leslie Bruce. “Once they understand the science behind it, they can decide what they want to tell our country’s leaders to prevent further damage to the planet and our climate. It’s learning how to speak ‘Science’ to ‘Power’ so they can educate policy makers, decision makers, and law makers about what they’ve learned, and what they might recommend.”
The program will run the first half of July in 2015. You can learn more by visiting UC San Diego Extension’s Academic Connections online. To contribute to its success, and help send an underserved student to the program, please consider a scholarship gift.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today on every continent and in every ocean. The institution has a staff of more than 1,400 and annual expenditures of approximately $195 million from federal, state, and private sources. Scripps operates oceanographic research vessels recognized worldwide for their outstanding capabilities. Equipped with innovative instruments for ocean exploration, these ships constitute mobile laboratories and observatories that serve students and researchers from institutions throughout the world. Birch Aquarium at Scripps serves as the interpretive center of the institution and showcases Scripps research and a diverse array of marine life through exhibits and programming for more than 430,000 visitors each year. Learn more at scripps.ucsd.edu and follow us at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About UC San Diego
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