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Wednesday, December 1st
2:00 PM

“Road Home” from Glasgow Youth Summit; Voices of Optimism and Agents of Change

Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education

2:00 PM

"Road Home" from Glasgow Youth Summit; Voices of Optimism and Agents of Change. Conference Proceedings for The 4th Global Virtual Conference of the Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education.

The present compilation contains abstracts of research projects presented at the 4th Global Virtual Conference of the Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education held on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

2:00 PM

Session 1 Opening Plenary

Richard J. Koubek, Michigan Technological University
Scott Ferraro, Monach University
Diana H. Wall, Colorado State University

2:00 PM - 2:55 PM

The opening plenary focused on engaging in dialogue with leaders creating sustainable solutions at universities, in implementing Net Zero, driving forward curriculum, ensuring our campuses are living labs, and more. Youth leaders who attended COP26 moderated this session, bringing in diverse voices from youth participants in attendance. How can optimistic youth make change within their campus? What does COP26 mean for higher education?

3:00 PM

Session 2.1 Meatless Mondays in university dining halls: environmental impact reductions and student opinions

Natalie Buchholz, Colorado State University
Amanda Pastore, Colorado State University
Sara Chelewski, Colorado State University
Karan Mirpuri, Colorado State University

3:00 PM - 3:13 PM

We explore the impact of animal product consumption Colorado State University's (CSU) dining halls. Using the University’s dining hall order log, we quantified the impact of animal product consumption under “business as usual” conditions (pre-COVID-19). This data was used to survey student and dining hall staff opinions on introducing “Meatless Mondays” initiatives in university dining halls. Student surveys assessed opinions before and after being informed of the campus-wide impact of animal product consumption. Dining hall staff were interviewed to assess opinions on difficulty and resistance to implementing a Meatless Monday initiative. SDG Theme: SDG 15 – Life on Land Type: E-poster

3:00 PM

Session 2.2 Komodo National Park

Lily Letzel, Colorado State University
Kristin Karashinski, Colorado State University
Mateo Montelongo, Colorado State University

3:00 PM - 3:09 PM

We will be addressing the importance of Komodo dragons and the biodiversity at the park. SDG Theme: SDG 15 – Life on Land Type: E-poster

3:00 PM

Session 2.3 How Red Tide in Florida indicates global eutrophication problems and how we can fix them

Keana Shadwell, Colorado State University
Aubry Sapp, Colorado State University
Joe Ogsbury, Colorado State University
Robin Young, Colorado State University

3:00 PM - 3:09 PM

This project focuses on the UN’s SDG14: Life Below Water, target 14.1. Eutrophication is a big problem to ecosystems and communities, as it kills wildlife, creates imbalances in the trophic system, and degrades water quality. The Red Tide in Florida is an important example of pollution-caused eutrophication that is indicative of eutrophication problems globally. Luckily, there are solutions that we can work together to implement on a nationwide and international level, including policy change to regulate agriculture monitoring algal bloom, finding alternatives for fertilizers, and funding research. SDG Theme: SDG 14 – Life below water Type: E-poster

3:09 PM

Session 2.2 Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries

Shelby Baker, Colorado State University
Sophia Thomas, Colorado State University
Hunter Ritchie, Colorado State University

3:09 PM - 3:19 PM

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries: Wolong, Mt. Siguniang, and Jiajin Mountains is the largest panda sanctuary in the world. This sanctuary helps conservation efforts not only for pandas, but for forestry and bamboo, and other land species as well. Because pandas are such a "cute" species, this helps to inspire people worldwide to become passionate about their conservation efforts. This park has a rich history, and is sandwiched between multiple big cities, making it a refuge for wildlife and people alike. SDG Theme: SDG 15 – Life on Land Type: E-poster

3:09 PM

Session 2.3 Examining the Effects of Elevation Dependent Warming on Mountain Ecosystems

Owen Juell, Colorado State University
Emma Jordan, Colorado State University
Keegan Schealer, Colorado State University
Loni Graham-Ashby, Colorado State University
Pierce Graves, Colorado State University
Ananya Terala, Vanderbilt University

3:09 PM - 3:19 PM

With current climate change trends, high elevation areas are being impacted by elevation dependent warming at increasing rates. Differential warming in mountain ecosystems has impacted biodiversity, animal behaviors and migrational patterns, fundamentally changing high elevation ecosystems and their ecosystem services. Due to difficulties accessing mountain ecosystems, research has been limited throughout the world, indicating the need for further investigation. We use data and findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations and other independent organizations to examine the changing functions of mountain ecosystems due to elevation dependent warming through the lens of UN Sustainable Development goal 15.4. SDG Theme: SDG 15- Life on land Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:14 PM

Session 2.1 The Great Barrier Reef

Nathan Thompson, Colorado State University
Esmeralda Barrientos, Colorado State University
Spencer Tennant, Colorado State University
Aspen Arbuckle, Colorado State University

3:14 PM - 3:27 PM

A timeline of chronological events connected to the Climate Action, Life Below Water, and Quality Education SDGs. We will connect how climate change caused reef decay to education and restoration efforts, after people realized what was happening and then making climate goals and ecological goals. SDG Theme: SDG 4 – Quality Education, SDG 13 - Climate Action, SDG 15 - Life on Land Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:17 PM

Session 2.2 Framing the Development of Stable Institutions Confronted by Climate Change

Sarah Viders, Colorado State University
Brianna Bruyere, Colorado State University
Charles Doktycz, Colorado State University
Trevor Mueller, Colorado State University
Dominic Scariato, Colorado State University

3:17 PM - 3:29 PM

Through the framework of SDG 16 we aim to present a model for the creation of strong institutions that may best endure the negative effects of climate change as well as be best suited to bring about positive change in regard to climate issues. The creation of these strong and fair states originates from an emphasis on fair and effective communication across all levels of citizenship and collective political equality to bring about the most desirable outcomes for every individual within the state. SDG Theme: SDG16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Type: E-poster

3:17 PM

Session 2.3 Regreening Without Displacement

Induja Kumar, Colorado State University
Chandler Quaile, Colorado State University
Brendan White, Colorado State University
Isabel Sevilla, Colorado State University
Laura Lenhart, Colorado State University
Minna Munson, Colorado State University
LeAnna Warren, Colorado State University

3:17 PM - 3:29 PM

There is a growing desire to green cities through infrastructure adaptation and installation, but also through the actual planting of trees and creation of parks and greenspaces to mitigate the effects of climate change. Concurrently many organizations and academics are focused on protecting communities that are often forgotten and/or pushed out when improvements are made in cities. We want to echo this work by providing further examples of ways in which policy can strongly contribute to change in fair and equitable ways and promote solutions focused on protecting communities that are disproportionately vulnerable to displacement once greening begins. SDG Theme: SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:26 PM

Session 2.2 Gender Inequality: How Healthcare and Climate Change are Impacting Women in the Global South

Ashlynn Piwowarczyk, Colorado State University
Natalie Namba, Colorado State University
Maryam Aida, Colorado State University
Lipika Narisetti, Colorado State University
Lily Hauptman, Colorado State University
Eugene Agyei, Colorado State University

3:26 PM - 3:39 PM

Due to the healthcare challenges that women may face, as well as their unique roles in society, climate change poses a risk to the ability of women to gain access to healthcare across the globe. Furthermore, climate change certainly exacerbates other factors that marginalize women. Access to healthcare and climate change are inextricably linked, especially when considering the mental and physical health of women. Drought, for example, hinders the ability of women to collect water, placing a burden on their families. In the face of ever-increasing healthcare challenges, solutions must address mitigation and adaptation efforts. These solutions must include research, policy, education, and economic efforts. SDG Theme: SDG 5 – Gender Equality Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:26 PM

Session 2.3 Great Himalaya National Park Conservation Area

Greg Hassler, Colorado State University
Justin Hollis, Colorado State University
Glenn Stearns, Colorado State University

3:26 PM - 3:39 PM

This E-Poster will give an overview of Great Himalaya National Park Conservation Area. We will be focusing on the threatened animals located in the park, as well as how climate change is affecting the park and its inhabitants. Furthermore, with increasing industrialization occurring in the park and its surrounding areas, we will also focus on the people being sustained by the unique ecosystem found in the western Himalayas. These topics will revolve around the 3 SDGs we have chosen to highlight as we find them to be some of the most important conversations to have regarding this national park. Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:28 PM

Session 2.1 Jeju volcanic island and lava tubes

Nick Godsey, Colorado State University
Nichole Grau, Colorado State University
Jenna Cookson, Colorado State University

3:28 PM - 3:41 PM

Jeju volcanic island and lava tubes is a National Park on an island off the southern coast of South Korea. Formed through volcanic activity hundreds of thousands of years ago, the island is now a tourist destination with the park being the centerpiece but also boasting great beaches for surfing, 3 World Heritage sites, and many museums. Bringing in tourism is essential to this island with only 2 cities but also comes along with some difficult challenges such as increased pollution, energy needs, and public transportation on this island. Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:36 PM

Session 2.2 Life under water: Policies and Obstacles threatening our oceans

Nassy Khademimoshgenani, Colorado State University
Hunter Dowdle, Colorado State University
Olivia Barden, Colorado State University
Shannon Kirkland, Colorado State University
Allison Sewell, Colorado State University

3:36 PM - 3:49 PM

Oceans play a key role in climate regulation, transportation and recreation. Rising temperatures and ocean acidification significantly affect life in both water and on land. Over 3 billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, with ocean industries making up 5% of the global GDP. Our goal is to focus on the relationship between marine science, technology and human interaction in order to address illegal fishing, marine pollution, international policies within developing nations. Through our presentation we will explore both positive and negative interactions between policy and science impacting our oceans. SDG Theme: SDG 14 – Life below water Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:36 PM

Session 2.3 Khao-Sok National Park

Lauren Balsley, Colorado State University
Kyle Nolting, Colorado State University
Nick Lundburg, Colorado State University
Star Larkin, Colorado State University

3:36 PM - 3:49 PM

This presentation will discuss Khao Sok National Park; one of the oldest and most diverse tropical evergreen forests. Khao Sok National Park has faced many threats and conservation issues like logging, palm-oil plantations, poaching, etc. However, this presentation will focus on three of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals regarding the park’s threats and conservation issues; quality education, climate action, and life on land. Exploring the connection between mass tourism and climate change on economical, sociopolitical, ecological, and agricultural aspects of Khao Sok National Park. SDG Theme: SDG 4 - Quality Education, SDG 13 - Climate Action, SDG 15 - Life on Land Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:42 PM

Session 2.1 Is Your Cup of Coffee Green?

Ayush Chutani, Colorado State University
Leah Mendoza, Colorado State University
Bryce Weinell, Colorado State University
Sarah Perryman, Colorado State University

3:42 PM - 3:54 PM

The coffee industry is one of the many contributors to greenhouse gases. As time passes, climate change will pressure the industry to implement intensive practices to make up for decreased yield, only worsening coffee’s contribution to climate change. Therefore, we must evaluate areas in the industry, with higher GHG emissions and determine how we can better practices. Producers and consumers have begun to utilize sustainable practices. Through quantification, reduction, and offset, coffee companies can claim their coffee as “carbon neutral.” Consumers can choose to support these companies. A movement towards the production and consumption of coffee that has net zero greenhouse gas emissions, will allow for responsible consumption and production, through climate change mitigation. SDG Theme: SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:45 PM

Session 2.2 Water Under Climate Change: From Sustainable Management to Resilient Stewardship

Mary Sluder, Colorado State University

3:45 PM - 3:53 PM

Sustainable water management under climate change is ill-recognized given its importance, and it is unclear which policy instrument is optimal in promoting it. COP26 hosted the first Water Pavilion, and among presenters and attendees of Pavilion events, I interviewed a sample with water policy and management expertise. I collected data on the effectiveness and applicability of using bottom-up economic policies for sustainable water management. It seems this approach may be beneficial in certain contexts, but participants and event hosts emphasized that resilience in water is also key. Perhaps it’s time we move beyond sustainability and management towards resilience and stewardship. SDG Theme: SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

3:45 PM

Session 2.3 Burgess Shale Fossils in Yoho National Park

Rylee Sharkey, Colorado State University
Krystal Tran, Colorado State University
Martin Morales, Colorado State University

3:45 PM - 3:53 PM

The Burgess Shale Fossils found in Yoho National Park are some of the oldest, most well-preserved, soft-bodies organisms ever found. These fossils provide valuable knowledge of Cambrian organisms and the origins of multicellular life. The construction of The Canadian Pacific Railway ultimately led to the discovery of these fossils by making the Kicking Horse Valley accessible to tourists, adventurers, and most importantly to our story, geologists. The railway can be seen as a vehicle of exploration, but for the First Nations peoples, it was a vehicle of exploitation that had harmed the natural environment and exploited their artifacts and resources. Type: Short talk (e.g. PowerPoint, Google Slides)

4:00 PM

Session 3 Youth As Agents of Change: Youth Dialogue with Industry and Government Leaders

Brandon Jones, US National Science Foundation
Jeanee Beacham, Delphon Industries
Terence Jeyaretnam, EY, Clumate Change and Sustainability Services Australia

4:00 PM - 4:55 PM

Speakers: Brandon Jones, Program Director, Geosciences and Education Divisions, US National Science Foundation Jeanne Beacham, President and CEO of Delphon Industries Terence Jeyaretnam, Partner at EY, Climate Change and Sustainability Services Australia We engaged in dialogue with industry and government leaders on the following questions: How can we pull on levers to create change? What are key innovative approaches for making real world change? What do the outcomes of COP26 mean for industry and government, and how can youth get involved?

5:00 PM

Session 4 Raising Youth Voices and Ambition

Jacob Genuise, Colorado State University
Nassy Khademimoshgenani, Michigan Technological University

5:00 PM - 5:55 PM

COP26 has concluded. What happens now? Youth leaders who attended COP26 in person or virtually moderated open session. Summit participants were invited to share their ideas and questions on next steps following COP26. Engaged in open dialogue about the role of youth in determining a positive future.