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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Visit to Boston University and Hall's Pond

Global Ecology Education: Creating a Path to Sustainability & Leadership
Karina Baum, Director of Global Education and US Science Teacher

Global Ecology program visit to Boston University to learn about their eco-sustainability efforts, actions, goals

Students were welcomed by Dr. Zook at the Boston University School of Education to start a three-hour visit focused on ways that the University is working to reduce its carbon footprint while increasing its contribution to building a healthier biosphere. Dr. Zook first presented some background on the continuing and growing environmental crises globally, focused particularly on the continued excess use of fossil fuels and plans by oil, gas, and coal companies to extract millions of tons more with very dangerous consequences. He then shared examples of what many eco-sustainability grassroots leaders are doing in countries around the world. These included the work of Nobel Prize winning Wangari Maathai from Kenya, Ruth Buendia from Peru, and Bunker Roy from the Barefoot College in India.  


This was followed by an arranged visit by senior student Ryan Peters from the Boston University Sustainability Office.  He shared what his work involves and pointed out the various projects BU is working on to reduce carbon emissions.  His participation was significant, for he is someone close to the age of the students and thus represents in part a role model for ecology/environmental thinking.

We then visited the George Sherman Student Union Dining area where the students received a tour of the as led by Dining Services Sustainability Director David Frank.  

The last leg of the experience involved taking the students on a  walk to a nearby urban green sanctuary, Hall’s Pond.  Dr. Zook shared its history as being the founding site of the Massachusetts Audubon Society more than 150 years prior and its importance today as a “pocket park,” highlighting the ecological, aesthetic, and psychological importance of nature in urban areas. The students were led into the beautiful nature area, observing some wildlife as well as the characteristic plants.

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