Presenter Information

Lindsay AshtonFollow

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Nicky Phear

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Davidson Honors College

Abstract

Four years of Environmental Studies and Climate Change Studies classes have left me with a deep understanding of climate change and the ways it affects the world around us. However, recognizing the complexity and magnitude of this global problem is undeniably overwhelming. After long days in the classroom, learning about the latest news, statistics, economic roadblocks, political inaction, and social consequences of climate change it is difficult for me and my classmates to not feel discouraged and anxious about the future. Climate change education is essential, but these negative feelings aren’t productive to the actions we must take to solve the problem. Students, especially soon-to-be college graduates, need inspiration and motivation to prepare for the professional world.

This research project is designed to enhance experiential education opportunities, and cultivate inspiration through stories of innovative solutions to climate change. I collected these stories in Costa Rica, a small yet progressive nation, by speaking with individuals who are working to help their community, their nation, or the world mitigate or adapt to climate change. I interviewed scientific researchers, farmers, business owners, and staff of grassroots organizations. Each person taught me about their work, perception of climate change, and personal sources of motivation. Findings from the field will be translated into a series of short stories and shared through a website accessible to students and the public. During my travels, I discovered many alternative ways of living, unique examples of problem solving, and testimonies of the power of collective action. This project encapsulated my undergraduate education and helped me gain the skills, inspiration, and confidence I need for my future career. This presentation explains my project’s purpose and methods, a discussion of what I learned, and recommendations for a Climate Expedition program to help provide similar education opportunities for other students.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 27th, 1:40 PM Apr 27th, 2:00 PM

Finding Hope in the Face of Climate Change: Lessons from Costa Rican Activists

UC 330

Four years of Environmental Studies and Climate Change Studies classes have left me with a deep understanding of climate change and the ways it affects the world around us. However, recognizing the complexity and magnitude of this global problem is undeniably overwhelming. After long days in the classroom, learning about the latest news, statistics, economic roadblocks, political inaction, and social consequences of climate change it is difficult for me and my classmates to not feel discouraged and anxious about the future. Climate change education is essential, but these negative feelings aren’t productive to the actions we must take to solve the problem. Students, especially soon-to-be college graduates, need inspiration and motivation to prepare for the professional world.

This research project is designed to enhance experiential education opportunities, and cultivate inspiration through stories of innovative solutions to climate change. I collected these stories in Costa Rica, a small yet progressive nation, by speaking with individuals who are working to help their community, their nation, or the world mitigate or adapt to climate change. I interviewed scientific researchers, farmers, business owners, and staff of grassroots organizations. Each person taught me about their work, perception of climate change, and personal sources of motivation. Findings from the field will be translated into a series of short stories and shared through a website accessible to students and the public. During my travels, I discovered many alternative ways of living, unique examples of problem solving, and testimonies of the power of collective action. This project encapsulated my undergraduate education and helped me gain the skills, inspiration, and confidence I need for my future career. This presentation explains my project’s purpose and methods, a discussion of what I learned, and recommendations for a Climate Expedition program to help provide similar education opportunities for other students.