Engaging Next Generation Leaders at Kearny High

On Dec. 3rd, 10th grade students from Kearny High School of Digital Media and Design participated in an on-the-beach field experience, hosted by Birch Aquarium, and heard from a panel of environmental professionals and scientists that included CCCIA postdocs Yassir Eddebbar and Angelica Rodriguez.

The trip provided students an opportunity to engage with scientists in order to build understanding around the vulnerability of marine protected areas (MPAs) to climate change impacts.  Coastal marine habitats will be altered by prolonged episodes of ocean warming, salt water inundation, and rising sea levels.  As a consequence, organisms will likely need to adjust their habitat to maintain the balance of environmental parameters that they thrive in.  Where shorelines have been hardened or developed, they may not be able to shift, begging the reassessment of MPA boundaries and guidelines.  Such management quandaries were addressed by panelists from California’s Ocean Protection Council and the Port of San Diego

Following this visit, the students will design media, including an infographic and a physical media art piece, that will seek to raise awareness around the topic of MPAs through accurately communicating the science and encouraging community action.  The project will ultimately culminate in a video documentary of their year-long process.

CCCIA is thrilled to see such young students engaged in this critical discussion and look forward to their contributions.  Fueled by our commitment to cultivate dialogue between climate scientists, decision-makers, and communities, as well as support the next generation of climate leaders, we will to continue to be a knowledge source and sounding board for the thoughtful ideas the students come up with!