When you work in an environmental field, you get used to the daily barrage or alarming news: dying whitebark pine…thinning Arctic ice…dwindling coastal wetlands, etc. Despite the great work we do at Biohabitats to restore the Earth and inspire ecological stewardship, it can sometimes feel like there is never-ending “doom and gloom” news ticker constantly crawling along the office wall.
That’s why it was incredibly refreshing to put together an issue of Leaf Litter which focused on the education of tomorrow’s practitioners in ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design. Nearly everything I heard from the students and professors with whom I spoke while working on the issue gave me hope.
Al Unwin, who teaches restoration ecology at Canada’s Niagara College, said that today’s students are more eager and willing than ever to take action on behalf of our environment. Students in Nathan Gauthier’s sustainability courses at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in Rwanda are not just engineering, design, and environmental science majors; they’re education, business, and political science majors who recognize sustainability as linked to their future professions. Every year since 2005, a new group of leaders emerges from a unique, international masters program in Sweden, and they are already changing the world. Our own summer intern Nick Cloyd said to me, “The movement is happening, and I do have hope. That’s why I’m in this field.”
Take that, ticker.