The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Give For Youth microfunding submission has been approved by GiveforYouth.org. Voting will take place February 18th through noon (PST) on March 1st.
This microproject will support the participation of a corps of 12-16 year old National Park Service Biodiversity Youth Ambassadors in BioBlitz 2013 at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in New Orleans. Each year, 2010-2016, a student ambassador is selected to represent students attending their local annual BioBlitz, and three students have been selected to-date from Connecticut, Arizona, and Colorado. The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is developing a mentorship program that assists these students in spreading biodiversity awareness to their peers. Biodiversity Youth Ambassadors blog about their experiences, interview young participants on site, and continue to engage other students about biodiversity when they return to their home communities. Their attendance at the 2013 BioBlitz will maintain momentum around and between BioBlitz events and sustain the growth of the Biodiversity Youth Ambassador network into the future.
Funding will allow Biodiversity Youth Ambassadors from the 2010-2012 BioBlitz’s, their university student mentor, their teachers, and parent/chaperones to travel to the 2013 BioBlitz and most effectively “carry the torch” of this environmental youth network to the new 2013 Biodiversity New Orleans Youth Ambassador. Provision of travel expenses will allow Youth Ambassadors to participate in this event and to implement ongoing program development initiatives, as supported by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the mentorship of the Foundation’s university student intern. Participation in BioBlitzs can be life-changing for students. A BioBlitz is not only an important learning experience that generates significant scientific information about the biodiversity of a special protected place, but it also allows interaction with thousands of local students who will be inspired and enriched by the involvement of student ambassadors at the event.
The mission of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is to promote worldwide understanding of the importance of biodiversity and of the preservation of our biological heritage. Our objective is to foster a new generation of enthusiastic explorers, environmental policy makers, and informed citizens through innovative and inspiring research and education initiatives. We aim to cultivate a deep understanding and appreciation for biodiversity in young people so that it becomes part of their cultural DNA and how they live their lives. This microproject will foster and enrich the involvement of students in an important national park BioBlitz event in an effort to improve their understanding of the nature and diversity of all of life on Earth and why it must be conserved. Youth Ambassador participation will have far-reaching positive consequences as the Ambassadors spread biodiversity awareness and enthusiasm to students, schools and communities across the country.