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Youths solving environmental problems at Schweitzer conference (Released: 4/22/96)

by Renu Sehgal, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- What do you do with a closed landfill? As adults grapple with this serious environmental issue, a teen-ager from Colorado has come up with an ecological solution.

Sherri Jeffries, 18, of the Canon City High School Environmental Club in Canon City, Colo., turned a recently closed landfill in her area into a park. The park, begun in 1995, already has hiking and horseback riding trails, a spring and a bluebird trail to encourage the return of Mountain and Western Bluebird populations.

For her outstanding efforts, Jeffries will be awarded the International Environmental Youth Award by The Albert Schweitzer Institute for the Humanities during a conference at the University of Connecticut. The institute's third annual Global Perspectives Conference is part of UConn's continuing series of events in observance of Fifty Years After Nuremberg: Human Rights and the Rule of Law. It will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. May 10 at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

The institute, based at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, seeks as part of its mission to promote realistic solutions to environmental problems and to create an environmentally literate global community in which individuals, institutions, governments and corporations all take ecological responsibility. The award is given to an individual or group of students between the ages of 12 and 18 who have researched and implemented an original project promoting environmental action in their community anywhere in the world. Jeffries was chosen from applicants in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The conference will feature 12 workshops presented by students, teachers and environmental experts. Here are the subjects:

  • The ABC of Impact Studies. Project Oceanology staff in GROTON will demonstrate how to monitor the environment;
  • Aquaculture by Kids. Bridgeport's Vocational Aquaculture staff and students will show how to set up fresh and salt water tanks to study animals and how to harvest the sea responsibly.
  • Birding Network. Wayne Moshier of RHAM High School, which includes Andover, Hebronand Marlborough, will use a telecommunications link to learn about birds in certain neighborhoods and to collect valuable data to help protect their habitat.
  • Beach Clean-up Around the Globe. Nina Hansen of the Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor will demonstrate how the Internet was used to link students around the globe to clean their beaches and share data.
  • Earth 2000: Steps for Action. Danny Seo, the 1994 Award winner from Shillington, Pa., will teach how to lobby effectively and raise money to sponsor your work.
  • Follow the Green Brick Road. Laura Briggs, director of the Wethersfield Nature Center, will teach how to design a nature trail and what kinds of animals could be encountered along the way.
  • Don't Grow It Alone. Ian Morris, of Wallingford's Choate Rosemary Hall, will show how to turn a vacant lot into a community garden and how to share the ''fruits of labor'' with those less fortunate.
  • Birds of a Feather. Meet threatened and endangered birds of prey with Jim Sirch, of the Fairfield Audubon Society. He will also show how to rehabilitate live birds.
  • Seemore Scallop. Wayne Turner and students from the Westport Water Works teach how they tried to increase the blue-eyed scallop population by improving their habitat.
  • Get Your Act Together. Windsor High and Canton Intermediate School students tell how they banded together to for an environmental club.
  • Project Search. Wanda Moccio and Westhill High School students from Stamford illustrate how they monitor inland wetlands and used their skills to perform their own investigations.
  • Nature of Connecticut. Joel Meisel, a UConn alumnus and a member of The Albert Schweitzer Institute of the Humanities environmental committee, will focus on nature photography.

The conference is not open to the public. Reporters wishing to cover the conference should call Patricia Ford at (203) 697-2744 or Renu Sehgal at (860) 486-3530

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