Youth & Young Leader Digest
connecting emerging leaders in conservation
june 2011

in this issue ::
:: Research: American Teens' Knowledge of Climate Change
:: Upcoming Events
:: Congratulations to....
:: It's Not About You
:: Eco-Quiz
:: Opportunities & Grants
American Teens' Knowledge of Climate Change

A national study of teens aged 13-17 on understanding of the climate system and the causes, impacts and potential solutions to global warming showed:


  • 54% of teens say that global warming is happening, compared to 63% of adults;
  • 35% of teens understand that most scientists think global warming is happening, compared to 39% of adults;
  • 46% of teens understand that emissions from cars and trucks substantially contribute to global warming, compared to 49% of adults;
  • 17-18% have heard of coral bleaching or ocean acidification, compared to 25% of adults.


  • 57% of teens understand that global warming is caused mostly by human activities, compared to 50% of adults;
  • 77% of teens understand that the greenhouse effect refers to gases in the atmosphere that trap heat, compared to 66% of adults;
  • 52% of teens understand that carbon dioxide traps heat from the Earth's surface, compared to 45% of adults;
  • 71% of teens understand that carbon dioxide is produced by the burning of fossil fuels, compared to 67% of adults.


 Read the full study >

Upcoming events

Youth Forum 2011 on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues
August 8-12 2011, Kathmandu, Nepal

This forum is designed to help build the next generation of leadership in sustainable mountain development and climate change adaptation in ICIMOD's regional member countries (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development).

It will offer a unique opportunity for students and speakers from across the Asia Pacific region to engage in addressing the challenges of applying and adapting broader principles of sustainability, climate change and mountain development to locale-specific solutions.  The emphasis will be on issues specific to mountain development in the Hindu-Himalayan region and beyond, especially in the context of ICIMOD's work and ongoing and planned regional and global processes on relevant topics.  Financial support is available!  Learn more >

Bioneers 22nd Annual Conference

October 13-17 2011, California, USA

Explore the forefront of positive change in deeply inspiring keynote talks, panels, workshops and intensives.

Connect with leading-edge people and ideas. Network with dynamic changemakers. Experience Moving Image Festival screenings, and networking receptions.

Discover powerful opportunities and strategies for creating positive change in your work, life & community. Learn more >

IUCN World Conservation Congress

September 2012 Jeju, Korea    

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature just announced their next World Conservation Congress, scheduled for 6-15 September 2012 in Jeju, Korea.  They have re-structured a bit since the last congress in Barcelona, Spain (2008) - incorporating feedback from that event.    


The Call for Contributions is open from now until 15 October 2011 -- so if you want to plan an event at this global conservation gathering, check out the detailed instructions and start planning!  Visit the IUCN World Conservation Congress website > 

Congratulations to.....

Earth Task Force

The Earth Task Force (New Vista High School, Boulder CO USA) recently won the 2011 Green Prize in Public Education from The National Environmental Education Foundation for its "comprehensive greening initiatives." Read more >  



TEDxHomer Teens

McKenzy Haber and the TEDxHomer teens recently won a "Technology for a Better World" prize, sponsored by Ashoka's Youth Venture and Best Buy.  Read more about these and other teens honored >

It's Not About You

An excerpt from NY Times Op-Ed by David Brooks 


I thought you might be interested in this recent Op-Ed piece about the pivotal and often confusing transition between university studies and 'the real world' - Emily

College grads are often sent out into the world amid rapturous talk of limitless possibilities. But this talk is of no help to the central business of adulthood, finding serious things to tie yourself down to. The successful young adult is beginning to make sacred commitments - to a spouse, a community and calling - yet mostly hears about freedom and autonomy.

Today's graduates are also told to find their passion and then pursue their dreams. The implication is that they should find themselves first and then go off and live their quest. But, of course, very few people at age 22 or 24 can take an inward journey and come out having discovered a developed self.

Most successful young people don't look inside and then plan a life. They look outside and find a problem, which summons their life. A relative suffers from Alzheimer's and a young woman feels called to help cure that disease. A young man works under a miserable boss and must develop management skills so his department can function. Another young woman finds herself confronted by an opportunity she never thought of in a job category she never imagined. This wasn't in her plans, but this is where she can make her contribution.

Most people don't form a self and then lead a life. They are called by a problem, and the self is constructed gradually by their calling.

Read the full article "It's Not About You" >

What kind of Environmentalist are you?
Check out this fun and funky quiz by the Rainforest Action Network.  Just a few short questions and it'll tell you what kind of environmentalist you are.  Here are my results:

You are a Classic Treehuggin' Hippie
You represent old school environmentalism. You care deeply for trees, animals, people...the whole kit and caboodle of Planet Earth. You can envision peace for all beings and you do your best to embody that vision each and every day. You may or may not have a gray ponytail, but, either way, you know people who do.

How 'bout you?

Opportunities & Grants 

Outdoor Nation Youth Summit(s)
Throughout the summer, Outdoor Nation will host Summits in New York, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver and San Francisco. Each 3 day Summit will focus on finding solutions to the challenges that keep people indoors and working on delegate designed projects.  Apply today >

Careers Abroad: Global Vision International

Are you looking for a job in the volunteer abroad industry, work experience abroad or training to allow you to look for work in the exciting fields of conservation, wildlife research, international education or managing international volunteers? Check out Careers Abroad for open positions >

Here are a few of the positions listed:
Volunteer Program Staff in Costa Rica's Manuel Antonio National Park (volunteer/internship, unpaid)

Regional Volunteer Coordinator (Paid position) in Cape Town, South Africa

Community Volunteer Program Manager (Paid position), South East Asia


:: Read past editions of the digest online ::




Reminder for contributions.  Please send contributions to me (send to by the first of each month.  Contributions can include:

  • Update on a project you are working on,
  • Call for collaboration or assistance,
  • Job/grant/scholarship opportunity that you have seen posted or have been awarded,
  • News on intergenerational collaboration or discussion on this important topic,
  • Announcements of conferences or other events.

I am open to other ideas for the digest as well!  Each submission should include your contact information and/or information where readers can find out more.  It can also include a photo (encouraged).


You can download the form for submitting a contribution here >

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