Free Webinar on Environmental Justice & Forest Conservation Presented by Summer College Interns Working Virtually with TREE Foundation of Sarasota FL
Four college students participated in a virtual internship this summer with the Sarasota-based TREE Foundation, and will present their research findings during a free July 29 webinar facilitated by Williams College, Massachusetts. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the internships were virtual, with three students from Williams College: Lilia Robinowitz, Eva Castagna, and Evan Wright; and a fourth from the University of Southern California, Merry Moore, working on topics ranging from worldwide canopy walkways, sloths, rainforest preservation, forest conservation, and environmental justice. The one-hour Zoom webinar, on July 29, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, requires advance registration at https://tinyurl.com/yyh5nwq8.
“Our planet needs scientists and earth detectives more than ever right now — perhaps even more so because of the rising occurrence of global pandemics,” said Dr. Margaret Lowman, Director of TREE. “Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many undergraduates found themselves without meaningful employment this summer. Thanks to generous funding from Williams College and local donors, the TREE Foundation was thrilled to hire college interns to work with us virtually.”
“It was a fantastic opportunity for these budding environmental students to connect with people from places such as Australia, the Amazon, Africa, and Asia, to collaborate on issues that affect the health of our planet and all of humanity.”
The students’ efforts have helped leverage a new TREE program: Mission Green, to sponsor ten canopy walkways in the highest biodiversity forests of the world, providing stewardship from a unique combination of education, economy, and ecology. Mission Green not only creates education and research sites for future students, but provides employment to indigenous people from ecotourism instead of logging. “The Mission Green program had its genesis with the construction of the Williams College canopy walkway in 1991 (the first one in North America), which was followed in 1999 by the first public canopy walkway in Myakka State Park in Sarasota, Florida,” said Dr. Lowman. “These two skywalk models are now deployed around the world for application to conservation and environmental justice.”
Learn more about the TREE Foundation and its mission to save the forests of planet Earth at TreeFoundation.org.