I was honored yesterday to speak at the White House about my work with the University of Arizona’s Sky School. We are a residential outdoor science school located in the heart of the Coronado National Forest. Our mission is to connect K-12 students to science and environment, and so inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.
The trip east was part of an Obama administration initiative, Champions of Change, intended to highlight people and projects that are making a difference in communities across the country. My work was highlighted along with thirteen other conservationists from around the country, who I feel inspired to have met.
We were able to share our work with a diverse audience, including Sally Jewell (Secretary of the Interior, seen above, also with Sky School team member Pacifica Sommers) and Rhea Suh (the assistant Secretary of the Interior, seen below). Both photos are by the Department of the Interior. The Sky School model – connecting underserved students with authentic inquiry-based science education in the outdoors – is a replicable one, and I hope that our trip to DC will inspire others. My own inspiration for the Sky School comes from my AmeriCorps service at the McCall Outdoor Science School in central Idaho, where I was a part of a very similar vision.