San Diego Green Schools 2008 Youth Forum

"Planning Our Future: Tag! You're It!"

The 8th annual San Diego Green Schools Youth Forum was held on Saturday, April 19, 2008, in the Environmental Services Department's Ridgehaven "Green" Building Auditorium. Fifty students from high schools throughout San Diego County attended the event. The purpose of this year's forum was to highlight the academic and career opportunities in the environmental field as students begin to think about life after high school.

Welcoming the students and introducing this year's guest speakers were Al Hurt, Vice President, Western Region Operations, Engineering & Environment, Inc. and Linda Giannelli Pratt, Chief Program Manager, City of San Diego Environmental Services Department.

Councilmember Scott Peters, District One, spoke on current issues that will affect the sustainability of the region. Afterward he took questions from the students.

Matt Rahn, Director of Research and Education, College of Sciences, SDSU and Jane Teranes, Associate Director, Environmental Systems Program, UCSD highlighted the opportunities for students when they are selecting their academic courses in college. Both speakers identified a wealth of options available to students in a variety of academic programs that can intersect with environmental protection, including such studies as business administration and engineering.

Kamala Kuresman, Business Development Manager, Nolte Associates, Inc.; Julie Byford, Environmental Coordinator, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Ambassador, Sea World; and Christina Schaefer, Director of Biological Resources, Technology Associates International Corporation discussed the wide range of career opportunities after college, and emphasized the many ways to create a "greener" business as well as a "greener" environment.

Paul Manasjan represented the City of San Diego Airport Authority, and gave a personal description of his career path that lead to his current title as the Airport's Environmental Affairs Director.

The recurring theme, presented by all of the speakers, is that students need to find out what they are most interested in, and follow where it leads. Environmental studies can be woven into almost all academic programs. Environmental protection and sustainability can and should be a component of every career.

The attendees were also treated to a "DECA" project presentation by Rancho Bernardo High School Students, Chris Condron and Tirion Harrison. Their presentation discussed the positive results of a business focusing on its environmental "green" image and awareness.

An "Ecological Footprint Quiz" was distributed to help students realize how much of the earth's natural resources they use and waste. Energy and water consumption, fuel, and waste created from their current lifestyle were all taken into account. These factors were then calculated to reveal the impact on the environment if everyone in the world practiced their same lifestyle. The outcome was defining how many planets it would require to sustain that lifestyle.

At the end of the forum, students were given a Youth Forum tote bag and a pair of shoe laces made from recycled soda bottles, and two energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The 8th Annual San Diego Green Schools Youth Forum was funded through a Partnership of the City of San Diego and Sempra Utilities. Youth Forums are held every spring at the Environmental Services Department's "Green" Building.

For more information, contact Kathie Pishny at 858-627-3334 or by email.


Photo of 2008 Youth Forum
Fifty students attended the 2008 Youth Forum
Photo of 2008 Youth Forum
Councilmember Scott Peters, District One, speaking to students and taking questions about current issues that will affect sustainability of the region.
Photo of 2008 Youth Forum
Youth Forum speakers (from left) Paul Manasjan, San Diego Airport Authority Kamala Kuresman, Business Development Manager, Nolte Associates, Inc. Christina Schaefer, Director of Biological Resources, Technology Associates International Corporation Julie Byford, Environmental Coordinator, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Ambassador, Sea World Al Hurt, Vice President, Western Region Operations, Engineering & Environment, Inc. (not pictured) Jane Teranes, Associate Director, Environmental Systems Program, UCSD
Photo of 2008 Youth Forum
Speakers: Matt Rahn, Director of Research and Education, College of Sciences, SDSU Al Hurt, Vice President, Western Region Operations, Engineering & Environment, Inc.
Photo of 2008 Youth Forum
2008 Student Panel Members
Photo of 2008 Youth Forum
DECA students from Rancho Bernardo High School
Photo of 2008 Student Projects
2008 Student Projects
Photo of Powerpoint presentation
Powerpoint presentation