CLEAN Teleconference Call January 12, 2016

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Provenance: Daniela Pennycook, University of Colorado at Boulder
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Youth Engagement in Climate Change – What's Next?

Abstract: The Paris climate talks were a historic event of global significance. Join formal educator Shannon Bartholomew, student Gina Fiorile and informal science educator Jen Kretser for a reflection and discussion on their collective experiences and learning at the UN COP 21 – what we did, what we learned and what will happen next?

Shannon Bartholomew teaches biology at Saranac Lake High School where she also serves as an advisor to the school's Environmental Club. She received her BSc from SUNY Potsdam in 1994 and returned to earn her MST in Biology in 2007. In addition to her background in science education, she also worked in the biotechnology sector for 10 years, earning her graduate certificate in Biotechnology Management in 2003. Shannon soon discovered her passion for educating students in biological sciences and began teaching in 2008. Since then, her work has grown to encompass climate change science and empowering youth leaders to create solutions. She is a core team member of the Steering Committee of the annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, a two-day conference on climate change and regional solutions held for approximately 200 students at The Wild Center. She is also a founding member of the Adirondack Farm to School Initiative, a coalition dedicated to rebuilding a healthy food system in Adirondack schools by connecting classrooms, cafeterias, communities, and local farms. Shannon lives, works, and plays with her husband and two children in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in NY. She was honored to be included in Climate Generation's contingent to COP21.

Gina Fiorile is a Sophomore Environmental Studies major, Aiken Scholar, and member of the Board of Directors at The University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Currently, Gina is an intern at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY working with youth around the world to start summits in their own communities. Her interest in climate change began while helping to plan the annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, which has spread internationally and has been adopted as a model for environmental education within President Obama's Climate Action Plan. She helped create the first annual Vermont Youth Climate Summit held at the University of Vermont in December 2014. Gina was a featured student in the PBS documentary- The Resilient Ones: A Generation Takes on Climate Change- which follows youth engagement in climate change mitigation efforts. She was awarded an Environmental Merit Award from the Environmental Protection Agency and was recently honored at The White House as a Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy. At the UN COP 21Climate talks in Paris this December, Gina spoke on a panel at the U.S. Center and at the Universcience-the Paris Science Center about youth engagement in climate change.

Jen Kretser is the Director of Programs at The Wild Center – the natural history museum of the Adirondack Park in northern New York State where she manages community-based program development, implementation, and evaluation as well as developing professional and effective partnerships at the local community, regional, state, national, and international level. Her primary project (and passion) is the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit which was highlighted by the White House Office of Science and Technology as a model program in 2014. Jen works with other organizations and partners to convene high schools on climate change and solutions in Finland, Vermont, Seattle, and Detroit, and new summits are starting in the Catskills, New York City, Colorado, New Zealand, and Alaska.

Her past experiences include directing the education program at the Adirondack Mountain Club focused on land stewardship and recreation; teaching and developing programs at the Cincinnati Zoo, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Adirondack Park Visitor's Interpretive Center, and Zoo New England in Boston. Through her strong interest in international work, Kretser has led multiple professional exchanges to Finland to help create the first Finland Youth Climate Summit, the Altai Region of Siberia to work with park officials on creating education programs for their National Park system; and an artist exchange to Mazatlan, Mexico. Jen was the 2006 recipient of the ADK Education Award, 2007 EPA Region 2 Environmental Educator Award, APA Appreciation Award and 2015 U.S. EPA Environmental Champion Award. She has traveled and lived extensively in Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and India – exploring parks and meeting people. In addition to loving her work, Jen can be found hiking, paddling and cross country skiing in the Adirondacks.

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