When we talk about environmental sustainability, we tend to think about actions that protect and preserve ecosystem processes. But from a different perspective, an essential requirement of sustainability is education: teaching people about the environmental challenges we face, and teaching them why they should care about these issues.
The outcomes of a good environmental education were on full display yesterday at the College of Wooster’s research symposium, where students present the results of their senior research projects. I didn’t make it to all the enviromentally-focused ones, and haven’t even tried to count how many there were. But a panel I attended Friday morning did a great job of demonstrating why environmental studies is a multidisciplinary field. The session (ironically scheduled at the same time as one on environmental science), titled “Science and Public Policy”, included presentations from students majoring in each of the College’s three divisions.
Natural science was represented by Travis Calkins, a biology major who studied the conservation status of a tree frog.
Kyle Schutz, a German major, discussed nuclear policy in Germany.
Finally, Amanda Koehn, a psychology major, presented work on public attitudes toward climate change.
Well done, panelists, and everyone who participated in the symposium!