Video: Eco-Interns Facing Sustainability and Resiliency

(Susan Adams Speaks)

Good afternoon. I'm Susan Adams and we welcome you to this breakout session as part of the Sustainability Summit. For those of you who have never participated in WebEx before, please use the Q and A option to ask your questions. This will be collected and answer towards the end of the presentation. Captioning is available as needed in the chat function, use the navigation bar that pops ups at the bottom of your screen to access these functions. At the end of the webinar, you'll be asked to fill out an evaluation. Please fill it out when it pops up on your screen, your feedback will help us improve future events. This webinar will be recorded and will be available on our website after it has been transcribed and caption to comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Our guest speakers today are Oriana Silva, and Amina Yusuf. They are sustainability and turns from different countries and are facing challenges and growing professionally at Dallas College.

(Silence)

(Oriana Silvas Speaks)

Uh, good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the Eco-Interns Facing Sustainability and Resiliency. Presented by Sustainability Interns at Dallas College. So, I am Oriana Silva. The sustainability intern for Dallas College, Brookhaven campus. And I am Amina Yusuf an sustainability intern at the North Lake campus. Great. So, today we will talk a little bit more about how we perform as interns, here at Dallas College. So, we as you see here so we are Dallas College, North Lake campus and Brookhaven campus sustainability online interns, since March 2020. So we learn how to use different platforms. To host our meetings, webinars, and other activities online. For example, like Microsoft teams and Skype, WebEx, etcetera. In addition to that, we've had every meeting so far online. And as Gloriana mentioned, have learned to use many different software tools and user modes.

Great, so we before the pandemic start we were hosting the RCE International Youth Meeting. So in this meeting, the main purpose was connected with RCE ambassador to exchange ideas and foster collaboration. It was held in February 25th of 2020. And the main theme of this meeting, was Public Health and Environment. As the speaker panel, we have faithful friend, of Dallas County Health and Human Services. Richard Esparza talked about disease management and also he presented about COVID-19. About the precautions that we have to follow even if it was declared it as a pandemic. Also, we have the sustainable social media that I present, the climate solution project by Allen Solomon. The RCE Monarch project that was an activity project uh, in partnership with the Master Naturalist (Inaudible). were we check and verify that classic grows our windmill garden at Brookhaven campus. And we also have Awareness Initiatives in the city of Fort Worth. The Environmental Engineer, those where students from high school, Nimitz High School. They talk about how they feel about solar panels in their high school. Also, we have the Lake Cleanup up speaker panel for the Richland campus. And also at the end we had the Health Challenges in Chennai, India. She was a doctor, Dr. Uma Maheswar and she was it professor, CDN, she talked the prevalence and issues that her country was facing at that time. So as you can see, our panel was pretty variant. We cover public health and different perspective and how these affect the environment. And we go over two hours in this original and this international meeting. We have attendees from almost every continent. And you can say like around 15 countries. And so it was a blast, it was amazing this meeting.

So, for the next other activities that we host before COVID, were the Dallas Arboretum and the Botanical Gardens Skype visit. Were we have a great learning experience with the Vice President. We were be to learn a little bit more about plants, fruits, vegetables that they are growing there, and lean how animals are affected because of the seasons.

We also have the Clean Up with the Green Team Coalition at Brookhaven Campus. We collect a round five trash bags and once a volunteer activity, and we get the benefit of our community college. And that's great. It is behind Brookhaven campus, it is between Brookhaven and Addison city, town excuse me. And then well, that was pretty dirty and so we took all those bags out.

And then we start the 50 year for 50 days Earth Day campaign. So since this year was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We went to host a big celebration. And so we came up with this campaign where we host difference, different activities, different webinars during this 50 days. So it start from March 3rd until April 22nd, which was Earth Day.

Then we had the Eco-Workshops for elementary and middle school students. The current Farmers Branch ISD students went to Brookhaven campus where we teach, where they taught about recycling lunch ways, the importance to preserve the environment, how can reduce the use of plastic in the word lunch back, and also the Zero Hunger awareness. Why not? So many students are used to throwing away their food, their lunch And because they don't want it or they are allergic to certain components. So we talk about the importance to not trash this food. That there are many other students that are struggling with that, that have food insecurity.

Then the last activity that we host at Brookhaven, was the Safe Spring Break Fair. So, we talk about plastic fabrication, house away plastic. And there during the spring break. And we also talk about sustainability awareness. We get that interaction with students and faculty and all staff. And we gave them some giveaways and memorabilia. Then after March 13th, we have to move everything online. So we came up with the idea to create student journal of a sustainability. So welcome to the Sustainable Age, the student journal. The first sustainable journal founded by Dallas College students. This student-led journal provides an environment for students to develop academic research concerning different areas like social justice, human health and well-being, philosophy, science technology, engineering, and math, climate action and business. So here, students from freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year, not only for Dallas College, also students from the entire North Texas area, can develop their knowledge and their research about these topics.

Other tools that we use during this pandemic is the SDG Action Manager Performance in Dallas College. The SDG action manager is developed by B lab and these also part of the UN Global Compact. So, these help us to, to shape, to know how much or how many things do we have to achieve to complement the SDG indicators. So that means that it's self assessment. So, we have to answer so many questions. according to our policies, activities, and procedures that we, do in this case, Dallas College. So now if we goal on fire to achieve the sustainable development goals. So according to these our primitive improvement in the baseline score, we have this 62%, which is pretty good. We still have to make some progress. 1, 100% of the targets and indicators. In the online, so far in the social media we created the Let's Grow Vegetables and Fruits at Home. This is a video series in partnership with Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. We went there and we took some pictures and then we make videos and show how to grow those vegetables and fruits that are growing and are eaten. And you can do that the same at home. So it is a way to engage students and people from the community to do something, for the environment. Something healthy and good for everyone because you're planting at home. And so this is more educational and also part of this years hunger goal. Also, I would like to talk about The Windmill Garden. The Windmill Garden is the pollinator and vegetable garden at Brookhaven campus. And we, we did monitor tracking activity with a Master Naturalists and (inaudible). Also there, we have volunteer activities with students, faculty and staff. And those activities are most related to clean up the garden and ground seeds. Right now, we are trying to put the gardening to a vegetable garden too. So it is amazing displays.

Other activities that we host for a students is the iNaturalist Competitions. So, so far, the Dallas College has conducts two iNaturalist Competition, being biologists at home, (inaudible) summer And iNatiralists during the Fall. The purpose of this competition is to encourage people to bond with nature, as well as to connect to scientists around the world. So to join the competition, it is easy, you have to download the iNaturalist app on your cell phone, sign up in the app. Search for the project under the projects tab. So you have to type name, click join, and you are all set to begin the competition. So for the first competition, in summer we got 17,448 observations. Around 3 thousand species, 1,033 identifiers and 36 observers in total. For iNaturalists during the Fall we have right now 13 members. And will it started on October second and it ends November first. So this is the criteria and the project requirements for this fall. So we have the taxa as animals, plants. The location is worldwide So if you are part of Dallas College or other university, but you are not in the United States and you can still participating this bracket. And so we have in total here 6,429 observation, 6,429 observations. How do we engage students and participate to them through these activities? Well, we have three main web, social media, and this one is a sustainable Brookhaven website. We have around 1,400 followers. And you can see there the links there of our webinars, activities, videos, any other news concerning sustainability in Dallas College will be posted in that social media. The same with the sustainable, North Lake, this is for Instagram. So we create more sustainable in North Lake College community. This is following, It has 1200 followers overnight. And we also promote the sustainability awareness and videos through that social media. And some of the data of the followers. While we have gender follower 56% male, and 44% women. The age of followers so, we have between 13 and 17 8.8%. 18 to 24 is 28%. 25 to 34 is 29%. 34 to 44 is 18%. 45 to 54 is 9%. So that means that the age, the college age range, which is between 18 to 30-35, are our most important or outward range of follower. So as you can see here the videos and how can we, how we use the hashtag and tag, others organization or our college to these videos to get more views and comments. And the same with the sustainable North Lake. We also have twitter, @bhcsustains. The office of sustainability and programs. And we also share here information about Dallas-Fort Worth so, it's not only the activities or webinars that we host. Also about sustainability in the north, north Texas area.

So now I will give the floor to my colleague, Amina. She is going to talk a little more aashe.

(Amina Yusuf Speaks)

Hello everybody, thank you, Oriana.

So, the first project that I would like to talk to you today, about is the aashe star's project. And it stands for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and rating system, also known as stars. And what does it is? It is a system that had been devised first, universities across the country from colleges, community research universities to maintain and report how they use sustainability on campus and around the college. Aashe stars, is a self-reporting foundation tool, that measure, that universities use to self-report sustainability programs from students Sustainability, education to campus sustainability measures, physical or online. On the next slide. I have an example of one sort of sustainability operation I have been doing for aashe stars. As I am doing the self recording for the North Lake campus and Dallas college as a whole. The greenhouse gas inventory is the first credit operations that I worked on for Dallas College and has the distinction of being the first ever community commuter steady of Dallas college students. For example, Dallas College and North Lake campus especially, is known for its offering of students a DART bus GoPass. Since students need a variety of ways to get to the campus from go passes two independent transportation. And it can be hard to measure exactly how many greenhouse gases are released in how many carbon emissions are released each year. The results are surprising. For example, in the 2018-2019 Executive Summary, the carbon footprint was found to be 1.16 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per student. It's important that we get this data because it lets us know ways that we can reduce carbon gas emissions for students and the campus as a whole.The next project I would like to talk about is the Shared Air Network. Similar to the greenhouse gas report, it reports that air quality data through homemade air monitors. Made, these air monitors are worked on by the several organizations in the DFW area, from Dallas city, from Irving city officials to community college students, to collaborating with other universities such as UTD.The Shared Air Network is a network of local organizations and all of these groups to work together to collect data and promote air monitor education and awareness. We will achieve this by building air monitoring devices across the DFW area. For example, there is, there are several installed at North Lake, Brookhaven and other college campuses. And the eventual plan is to build a kit for students to construct air monitoring devices to create a broader range of data without ever leaving their home. This increased air quality data will be analyzed by STEM students and faculty and compiled into a course that will be made available to the public. In the process, students and residents who will be made aware of the air quality of their environment and how they can affect it.

My next project that I would like to talk about today is the SAGE scholars. This is a program unique to North Lake. In the past years, SAGE scholars had to build a program where courses can be tailored to students, to have sustainability themes from history to art to science. Students who undertake the SAGE Scholars Program will receive a special cord at graduation and a certificate proving that they have learned sustainability in all areas of their education. Since the merging of the seven campuses into one, a new stage of program has been need to be made. I am working with several others to make and revamp the SAGE Scholars program for students to have new knowledge and new credentials and to build a foundation for SAGE students in the generations to come. But the next project that I would like to talk about is that TRACS Summit. The TRACS Summit It is a yearly coalition of sustainability experts from across the nation and perhaps even beyond the nation to work together to discuss and report on how they are individually and conveniently working together. It's indeed the 17 SDGs Sustainability Development Goal shortened as SDGs, that TRACS Summit will be held on March 29th through March 31st. You can learn more at Texas campus sustainability.com. And I would like to invite each and all of you to join it and register for this summit, which will surely be a event that will cover many bases and unite many people in the cause of furthering sustainability. My final project that I would like to talk about today is the Romero Garden. Similar to the Windmill garden at Brookhaven. The Romero Garden is a garden at North Lake that also grows vegetables. It is on-campus. And not only is it a plot like the one in the picture, but it aims to further the environment awareness amongst students by planting plants wherever available, from trellises to patio areas available for students viewing. Since the campus has closed down, because of COVID-19, renovations for the garden had not stopped. We are still working to restore to the garden and its surrounding areas and revamp it by adding new vegetables uprooting the old ones, at planting new plant in several areas of the campus. And researching and developing new programs to engage students, whether they are on campus or not.

So that does about wrap it up. Thank you all for attending. Below on this next slide is the contact information for each of the intern at Brookhaven and North Lake campuses. If you have any questions, I invite you to contact us. And now I would like to open up the floor for a Q and A session. Again. Thank you all for attending. And I hope this conference has been enlightening for each of you.

(Joy Wambua Speaks)

Hey, everyone, I had technical difficulties while joining but I would like to go through some slides.

(Oriana Silva Speaks)

So, can you present yourself Joy?

(Joy Wambua Speaks)

Yeah, so my name is Joy (inaudible). I am sustainability intern, just like Amina and Oriana. And I'm happy to be here today and got to go through some of the sustainability projects that we've been working on. Okay.

So so far we've worked on iNaturalist competitions and the Dallas College has conducted two of those. Uh, the first one was being biologists at home and the next one was iNaturalists during Fall. Just one minute. The purpose of this competition is to encourage people to bond with nature as well as to connect to scientists around the world.

Next slide.

So the iNaturalist for you to join the competition, all you need to do is download the iNaturalist app and then you sign up. And then you search for the project under the Project tab, for example, being biologists at home, and then you click Join and you're all set to go. So this is the first competition that we worked on. The name was being biologist at home, as I have said, and we had 17,448 observations and 49 people participating. And this was during the month of July to August this year. The other competition that we had was named iNaturalist During Fall, and this happened October to November. It is ongoing right now and we have less members this time. And most of the people said that they couldn't join because of the cold right now in participate while finding observations. So this are the project's requirements. So as you can see, the taxa that we're looking at is animals and plants and the total observations that we have for the competition iNaturalists during fall is 6,429 observations.

Next slide.

So we also work on social media, so we have instagram pages. This is sustainable Brookhaven for the sustainability group at Brookhaven campus. And they have one thousand four hundred and thirty-three followers. And what we post in this social media platforms is different sustainability videos talking about our projects or the sustainability development goals. And we also post on different images of sustainability. And this is the sustainability page for North Lake And we have 1,247 followers. So when you look at insights in the, in the social media, the gender of followers, we have 56% women and 44% men. Sorry about that. So the age range of followers, the most followers we have under the, are between the ages 25 to 34.

Next slide.

So, this is one of the video, these are some of the videos that were posted in their sustainability North Lake and sustainable Brookhaven Instagram pages. And yeah, so this is Oriana and then the next one, it's me. Yep. So Brookhaven also has a Twitter account where they also post on different sustainability subjects and posts. And everyone is welcome to follow and see the different images posted there. Thank you. So if anyone has any questions, you're welcome to ask or write them on the chat. And again Amina said thank you so much for joining this presentation today. To contact us the e-mail for Oriana Silva, which is one of the sustainability interns. But you've heard talk and This is their emailed for Amina, also my fellow sustainable intern. And then the last one is my e-mail. And you can also follow us in our social media and sustainable North Lake and sustainable Brookhaven and also follow the Twitter account for Brookhaven.

(Susan Adams Speaks)

I don't think we have any questions coming in. Is there anything else you all would like to add?

(Amina Yusuf Speaks)

It appears we have our first question. What is your favorite part of the internship? I would like to go ahead and answer with my version of it. And I would say that my favorite part of the internships is the outreach that we've been doing. Before I became a student intent, I really didn't know much about the sustainability efforts in programs. Various ones that we have across each campus and how they all connect with each other. And there is such a wide world beyond my campus and I'm glad that I was made aware and continuing to learn about it. And I would like to hand the question over to my colleague Oriana with her version of her answer.

(Oriana Silva Speaks)

Okay. Thank you. Well, my favorite part of the internship is the education. So following the average also, we indicate ourselves. so it is great how we are becoming more. I'll tell you that too, because we learn by our self to many things about sustainability. So we, go into the websites research data and we analyze them. Can we come up with solutions or conclusions about how system really impact our world, or it's specifically our college. So I like, I do love that part that I have taught myself. And also I have taught people and I inspire people to follow this sustainability lifestyle. So I will give that questions to floor to my colleague Joy.

(Joy Wambua Speaks)

So my favorite part of the internship is that I get to walk on social media. Which is one of the things I like most. So my favorite thing is making videos. And another thing I like about this internship is all the things we've learned about sustainability and also the people that we get to reach and help learn more about sustainability. So yeah, that's my, that's what I like most about this internship.

(Amina Yusuf Speaks)

That's a great question. And another question we've been asked is, of all the projects you worked on, which project has been the most difficult or challenging? I would like to say that the project that I have personally worked on was the greenhouse gas project. While it was very invigorating to work with so much data and know that I was collecting such real-time information on students. It was also very challenging for me because such a data heavy project required programs like Microsoft Excel, which I was not at the time comfortable with at all. Over. It, learn to work with it better. And I'm glad I have because it is a very valuable skill to have in your professional life. Next, I would like to yield this question to my colleague Joy.

(Joy Wambua Speaks)

So the project, but most challenging to me was the iNaturalist competition that we're doing right now. Since I tell a bit of a challenge getting a lot of people to participate. Everyone was kind of reluctant because of the season that we are in and welcome Oriana to answer this question.

(Oriana Silva Speaks)

Thank you. I will say is hard to pick that up in Dallas College (inaudible) manager. It is a challenge because I have to go through reading policies, policy papers, also procedures, and have to contact people for outside stakeholders to see how Dallas College is doing, towards sustainability. So it's not only reading policies is also measuring and looking at data and then analyzing and answering questions. So, is an entire process that even though it's not published, we have to do it rightly and we have to attach information that support our answers to those questions.

I see a question that says, How can more students get involved with the (inaudible) youth network? Okay, great. For the RCE Youth network it is the original center of expertise. I'm part of the network and as youth ambassador. And one of the projects that I'm leading is this sustainable age district (inaudible) environment to involve students from other campuses, from other colleges or universities around the North Texas area. And also for outside the North Texas area. so, in this certain journals we have writer from University of North Texas, Southwestern University and Dallas College. Right now we are trying to reach for new students to the University of Texas in Dallas. So in this project is great because you are double up on English skills, English writing skills, and also your learning and teaching others about sustainability. So this is a way that if you can be involved in, can also learn em. So the other question that I see in tab is, where can I find more information about the Shared Air Network? (inaudible) to Amina Yusuf.

(Amina Yusuf Speaks)

Thank you, Oriana. As my project I am always glad to have people to learn more about it. So the shared air network, or at least will be made with the end goal of involving Dallas college students and students in the DFW area, with our end goal being the plan to send air monitoring kits to students at home. If you would like to know more about the Shared Air Network, I strongly encourage you to contact me at my DCCCD email, which was shared in the slides and I will be happy to send you more information about it.

(Oriana Silva Speaks)

Just going to jump in and add something. I have the link up for our student journals if you would like to take a look and read our articles.

(Amina Yusuf Speaks)

Adding onto that, RCE Youth Network we are always, of course, here searching for ways to reach out to youth between the ages of 15 and 24, in addition to the state scannable aid and other various social media presences, we are or or at least we're in the process of creating student from an online through programs like the Netflix watch party, which was a week endeavor in which we watched a sustainability related motion picture and then discussed about it. If you would like to learn more about that, please do contact Oriana at her DCCCD email.

(Oriana Silva Speaks)

Thank you. Do you have any other question?

(Susan Adams Speaks)

We still have a bit of time if anyone has any more questions or if you would like to share more information about what you're working on?

(Amina Yusuf Speaks)

I'm sorry, could you repeat that question? I didn't hear you very well.

(Susan Adams Speaks)

We still have a bit of time if anyone has any more questions or if you have the presenters have any other information that you would like to share with us all? Oriana or Joy I'm not seeing any other questions. Is there anything else you would like to share or I see we've got your site is in the chat for anyone who needs it.

(Oriana Silva Speaks)

I like to share the presentation from early morning. I will share the link. If you like to take a look at it. Really good research. And I hope to spend the next month.

(Susan Adams Speaks)

Are we ready to wrap it up?

(Armina Yusuf Speaks)

Well I suppose that is all the Information that we have to share today. Again, please do contact us if you have any further questions. And once again, thank you all for attending and watching our presentations today. And thank you for having us Susan.

(Oriana Silva Speaks)

Thank you so much. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

(Susan Adams Speaks)

Yes. Thank you all.

(Amina Yusuf Speaks)

Likewise.