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Opportunity for students displaced by Katrina to assess climate vulnerability of Southeast US

WASHINGTONWorld Wildlife Fund and the Allianz Foundation for North America today announced a new opportunity for high school students displaced by Katrina and now residing in nine U.S. cities to assess the climate change vulnerability of the Southeastern United States.

As these displaced students know from being on the frontlines, were all increasingly vulnerable to climate change, said Dr. Lara Hansen chief climate scientist, World Wildlife Fund. Now they have a unique chance to shape the future of their regionby exploring the science of whats happening and using what they discover to inspire action.

The project will give college-bound youth displaced by Hurricane Katrina an opportunity this spring to learn more about the science of climate change by working closely with scientists, use scientific tools for exploring and explaining regional vulnerability, and address decision-makers.

Todays studentsprimary stakeholders in the earths futuredeserve a voice in decisions being made now, said The Reverend Christopher Worthley, executive director, Allianz Foundation for North America. Because theyll be heirs to the environmental legacy of climate change, we have a responsibility to empower them to face the challenges ahead.

Through this project, 25 students will be chosen from public schools in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA; Gulf Port, Jackson and Biloxi, MI; Mobile and Birmingham, AL; Atlanta, GA; and Nashville, TN to assess the vulnerability of the Southeastern United States to climate change. Participants will receive a $1500 stipend and an HP laptop computer for their college studies. Selected students will also attend Climate Camp in June 2008 as well as a Youth Summit in Washington D.C. July 7-11, 2008.

This fall, teachers in these cities can send a letter to to nominate students for the program.

Nationally, teachers can use a curriculum on climate change designed for high school students to integrate climate change into their lessons and equip students for future responsibility and leadership. It is now available from World Wildlife Fund online at or via email at by request.

These lessons are thorough, offering every type of activity I can imagine to help secondary students and teachers explore global climate change, said Tami Coleman, coordinator for Project Conservation Education Now for Tennessee Students, Tennessee Department of Education.


Contact: Kathleen Sullivan
World Wildlife Fund

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