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Center for the Environment: Training Environmental Stewards

May 2, 2011

Category: Academics, Environmental Science, Events


When it comes to confronting environmental challenges such as expanding green energy, sustaining ocean fisheries or providing a thirsty world with pure water, you couldn't blame America's youth if they were worried about the future.

Actually, they're a pretty optimistic bunch. American high school students see many of our problems, particularly in the environmental realm, as solvable through creative thinking and technological innovation, according to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, a periodic nationwide survey that gauges Americans' attitudes toward invention and innovotation. On clean water, 91 percent of the high-school students polled nationwide expect technology to create a solution. A can-do majority, 82 percent, foresee significant strides in energy conservation in the coming years, and 84 percent believe we'll eventually clean up the world’s pollution problems.

Those findings won't surprise Dr. John Wear, director of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College. As a longtime teacher, he's spent decades around smart, engaged young people who want to apply their talents in positive ways. He expects to meet a lot more of them this summer when the center hosts the National Youth Environmental Summit from July 20-25. The summit will bring together 200 or so high school juniors and seniors from around the country for workshops, field trips, group projects, lectures and other exercises. These activities will integrate environmentalism with a range of disciplines and interests — from public speaking to performing arts to computing — led by members of Catawba’s faculty along with staff from the center and the Rocky Mountain Institute, which is partnering on the project.


FULL STORY: Training Up Environmental Stewards (

Q&A: The Role of the Transformative Experience in Environmental Stewardship

A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Problem-Solving (



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