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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California, USA


Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California, USA
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Registered: December 2022
City/Town/Province: Lomita
Posts: 1
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The Aquarium of the Pacific's Teen Climate Council (TCC) hosted the Teen Climate Fest (TCF) on May 1st at the Aquarium of the Pacific. TCF provided an opportunity for middle and high school students and attending families to learn from professionals and businesses about climate change and the implementation of sustainability into various fields of study. Through our event, we hoped to inspire teens to take further action against climate change and to pursue a career in sustainability. In all, the event included 13 booths, a total of 198 RSVPs displaying community interest and engagement, and 108 attendees not including booths and panelists. From the very beginning of the event, the room was buzzing with networking and communication between guests, booths, panelists, and council members. Many guests asked about coming back next year and pathways to involvement and we had so many groups interested in presenting that we ran out of room in the event space to take on any more booths!

The event began in the Pacific Visions Theatre where two of our TCC members presented our program and the purpose of the TCF. We then heard from our five panelists: Dr. Peter Kareiva, Emily Yam, Kim Thompson, Raelene Child (Youth Leadership Long Beach), and Robin Aube (AltaSea). A primary focus of our panel, and the rest of our event, was to normalize the conversation around sustainability and climate change. Through questions centered around their careers and advice they would give to teens like us, panelists educated attendees on ways we, and the rest of society, can begin talking about the state of our planet and making a big impact through small actions. Allowing the conversation to continue outside, we merged teens with professionals in the Pacific Visions Gallery during the booth "fair" portion of our event. The gallery was full of booths, each sharing unique topics of interest and fields of study related to careers in sustainability. With a wide range of businesses, scientists, teen researchers, and organizations, the room had something for everyone and allowed attendees to get a taste of the wide variety of opportunities in sustainability and environmental science. Booths included AltaSea - Port of Long Beach, Bolsa Chica Conservancy - California Fish and Game, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Long Beach Office of Sustainability, Long Beach Green Schools Campaign, Laura MacPherson, Los Angeles City Planning, Culver City High School Robotics Team, USC Masters Students - COSIA BISC (6), Abigail Murphy - Abalone Research, Madison Theisen - Monarch Butterfly Research, Kira Bretsky - Phytoplankton Research, and Paloma Wizikowski - Agriculture Research. The Teen Climate Fest event would not have been possible without our sponsors. NOAA, 4Ocean, and Beyond Meat provided support through funding and merch to distribute to attendees.

The planning process for the Teen Climate Fest began when I first joined the TCC Visionary Committee in ninth grade. Three years and a pandemic later I led the TCC through finally putting the event on as Lead Chair of the TCC. Along the way, I gained important skills in communication, collaboration, and leadership that I will pass on to the next TCC generation. The Teen Climate Fest is now an annual event and will occur again in 2023 - this time on Earth Day - as a celebration of our love for our planet and an exploration of unique ways to minimize our carbon footprint.

When I first pitched the TCF to the Teen Climate Council as a young Visionary, I had no idea I would come through on the other side with such a wealth of knowledge to share. I can't wait to apply and expand on what I've learned during my work on the TCC in college and beyond because I know how rewarding the results of combined passion and drive can be.
Date: December 23, 2022 Views: 1169 File size: 15.4kb, 3585.5kb : 4032 x 3024
Hours Volunteered: 300
Volunteers: 16
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 14 to 18
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