Spring is the season of re-awakening, and around the world Earth Day celebrations have grown to make April Earth Month. Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors and students celebrated places and species throughout the US and beyond this spring.
Suffield Sustainability Council
The student-run Suffield Sustainability Council hosted an amazing Earth Day Fair on the historic Suffield, CT town green. Hundreds gathered, including 450 high school students to hear inspiring talks from planet walker John Francis, Dan Kinzer (Future Navigators, Hawaii), student activist Sena Wazer, HEP Ambassador Justin Kaput, and Dennis Liu of the Half-Earth Project.
Photograph at top: Speakers and students; back row, l-r: Dan Kinzer, Dennis Liu, John Francis, Justin Kaput
Baltimore area students on the Edmund Pettus Bridge along route of historic Selma voting rights march
Simsbury, CT — just down the road from Suffield — is home to old tobacco farms and an important wildlife corridor. One old tobacco farm called Meadowood was an important place for young Martin Luther King Jr. His two summers working in the New England countryside helped open his eyes to the potential for racial equality and a civil rights movement. Educator Ambassador Tamara Jolly co-led a Civil Rights Trip for high school students in April. The trip included many important sites associated with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Atlanta area, including the Ebenzer Baptist Church where students met with Senator Raphael Warnock. They also met Ambassador Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta and member of Congress. Like so many landscapes, important places in civil rights history are also home to nature and species. Tamara wore her binoculars to make species observations during the trip, piquing student curiosity and stimulating questions about the way we use the land, a theme raised particularly by Philip Howard in our Alabama at the Crossroads discussion.
Lecture at Morehouse College, student MLK is front and center
Meadowood Farm, where young MLK worked two summers in the 1940s
College students of Clemson University are also inspiring rising stewards of biodiversity. An invitation from the Green Innovation student club was accepted to give a presentation on the Half-Earth Project. Clemson is strong on engineering, including innovation for sustainability.
Earth Science and the Biosphere
Workshops with the National Association of Geosciences Teacher and for the NSF Geotech Center’s Earth Observation Day emphasized the important interplay between planetary systems and the biosphere.
For an introduction to the Half-Earth Project, the thinking of E.O. Wilson, and an optimistic view of conserving biodiversity with important comments on diversity and equity, view this lecture to undergraduates at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School.