Maynard, MA, December 17, 2008 - Students at the Hart Magnet School in Connecticut will benefit from their teacher's climate change expedition with Earthwatch for many years to come-and the environment will, too.
That's the goal of a unique collaboration between Earthwatch and UBS in which four project teams embarked on summer research expeditions to study permafrost in the Canadian Arctic or declining songbird habitat in the Tetons.
The teacher from each team-comprised of a teacher and two employees from four key UBS markets: Stamford, New York, Chicago and San Francisco-received additional support from UBS to design and execute school projects inspired by their research experience that raise environmental awareness among students.
Hart Magnet School is the home of a "Giving Tree" adorned with tips for green living. "The Giving Tree will continue to be an interactive and exciting way for these children to believe that they can make a difference in taking better care of the earth," said Holly Gaddy from UBS's North American headquarters in Stamford, who participated in the songbirds project.
"I brought those memories of the mountains, the air and the wildlife home with me. I feel extraordinarily responsible now, for being a part of the unofficial team that keeps our Earth healthy, robust and vibrant," said Gaddy, who recently returned from another visit with the students at Hart Magnet.
This is the second year of Earthwatch's global partnership with UBS. A total of 12 US fellows were awarded.
"The real impact of a program like this-that pairs together people who do not traditionally work together-is the ripple effect that takes place when they share their experiences with their families, colleagues and communities. UBS is a company that really gets it," said Ed Barker, Director of Corporate Partnerships for Earthwatch.
The 2008 projects include:
- The "Giving Tree" at the Hart Magnet School in Stamford, CT
- High school students at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (MCSM) in East Harlem, NY planted a rooftop garden with vegetables they will be able to take home to enjoy with their families
- 7th and 8th grade students at Medill Elementary School in Chicago, IL have begun their 8th week of a winter-long bird survey for Project Feeder Watch
- Seniors in the Summit Prep Charter School in San Francisco, CA debated the pros and cons of aquaculture along the Pacific coast
Lauren Kassirer, a teacher at the MCSM, said she is excited to see her students' reaction to the garden that will grow this spring on the roof of their school. "This experience has really promoted growth in my teaching practices. It allowed me to present environmental issues to my students from an entirely different perspective and gave me the tools so that my students could take an active role in protecting their world," she said.
Evelina Katzi, also from the UBS office in Stamford, participated on the Arctic expedition with Kassirer. "In my line of work, the financial meltdown is the issue that gets immediate attention, but the meltdown in the Arctic is now high on the agenda," she said.
For more information please contact Kristen Kusek, 978-450-1281, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of Earthwatch is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. In 2008, Earthwatch sponsored 130 research projects in more than 40 countries and 20 US states, making estimated volunteer field grants of $5 million. Since its founding, the organization has supported nearly 1,350 projects in 120 countries and 35 states. More than 90,000 volunteers have contributed $67 million and 11 million hours to scientific fieldwork.