The Virtual Fall Summit on Oct. 27 was a success! Four YES! teams from across Minnesota participated in three sessions during this Zoom event. Dr. Peter Neff, a glaciologist at University of MN, revealed the climate clues he found in ice cores collected during research trips to Antarctica. Students had lots of questions about the challenges of camping and conducting fieldwork in blizzard-like conditions! Peter also shared ways that we can help mitigate and adapt to our changing climate.
During Cathy “Cat” Techtmann’s session, students did the Beings on the Move activity to explore climate change’s impacts on plant and animal beings important to the Ojibwe and nonnative Minnesotans, such as Ogaa (walleye) and Wiigwaas (paper birch). Cat is an Environmental Outreach Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. She illuminated the value of integrating indigenous and scientific knowledge for understanding ecosystem changes over time.
Lastly, YES! regional coordinator Deb Groebner introduced students to different types of team projects, focusing on ideas for water-quality projects because all teams will complete a water-related project this year. She also covered the basics of writing S.M.A.R.T. goals for planning successful, rewarding projects that could help their team win the Water Stewardship Award or the State Championship during the YES! Spring Competition!
Our presenters were clear that any solution to climate change starts with an action that is free and available to everyone, at any time: talking with other people about climate change! Given everything they learned during the Virtual Fall Summit, students and coaches are better prepared for meaningful conversations with friends, family members, and people in their community.