Ontario, Canada -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/17/2014 -- Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program (YEAP) is a new program with a mission to connect youth with nature, to teach them its value, show them its beauty and to inspire them to preserve it. To achieve its goal, YEAP has partnered with the award-winning organization, Students on Ice (SOI), to offer its first-ever educational program on a two-week SOI-led expedition to the Arctic in July 2014.
YEAP is part of Biosphere Environmental Education, an organization founded and run by Dr. Shelley Ball, a professional biologist, educator, and photographer whose mission is to educate today’s youth about environmental and conservation issues and to inspire them to become the generation of change.
The SOI expedition will use a combination of field excursions, hands-on activities, and discussions to teach students about climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, human impacts on the environment and Inuit culture.
Ball explained that a core component of the YEAP that makes it unique, is that they will teach students the technical and creative sides of photography and videography, in order to document their expedition and share what they discovered during their journey.
But it’s about more than sharing stories about their trip. The program has been designed to also teach students how to create stunning visual presentations that they will present to area schools, clubs, community groups and others, once the students return home. In this way, students become “environmental ambassadors”, sharing their messages about the beauty of nature and the need for reducing human impacts on it.
Ball said the goal of the program is not to produce National Geographic photographers; it’s about teaching students to really look closely at nature, to understand it, appreciate it, and to develop important communication skills that will enable them to share their knowledge, experiences, and their messages of the critical need for positive environmental change.
“It’s been a dream of mine to take kids on expeditions into nature,” said Ball. “I believe that we learn to appreciate the earth’s natural environments by being part of them.”
Ball said she believes that people face a number of environmental crises today, such as global climate change, degradation of the world’s oceans, habitat loss and the extinction of species. She said that more than ever, people need a shift in attitude, one that recognizes that humans do have an impact on the planet and that they can work toward sustainability.
“The youth of today will become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Ball. “And the leaders of tomorrow will be the ones who can change the way they live, to lessen human impacts on the earth.”
To make YEAP a reality on the July expedition, Ball started a fundraising campaign on indiegogo.com. Her goal is to raise $25,000 by April 9, 2014.
The funds will primarily pay for expedition costs for Ball and her co-teacher, Angela Donato. Neither teacher will be paid to run the YEAP program.
About Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program (YEAP)
YEAP is a two-week Arctic expedition for high-school students where they will learn about the environment and the issues it faces. To learn more, visit http://igg.me/at/arcticYEAP2014/x/2930228