Environmental Science Virtual Camp
Welcome to the 2022 Career Girls Environmental Science Virtual Camp. From April 28 – 30, Career Girls welcomed campers to the Environmental Science Virtual Camp. The camp focused on Understanding the Challenges to Human Environments, Advocacy, and Environmental Justice. This three-day camp was led by female role models representing an international, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary group of environmental science experts. Over half a dozen of our women experts served as delegates in the most recent Conference of the Parties (COP26), the United Nations annual climate change conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, this past Fall. Girls designed their own sustainable cities, participated in a mock COP, and learned how to turn the environmental issues we face into actionable plans for advocacy.
Watch this short video to enjoy camp highlights.
Thursday, April 28
Topic: Understanding Challenges to Human Environments
Learn from experts who are developing and applying STEM strategies to help cities manage environmental threats caused by climate change, such as floods, fires, and hurricanes. Learn how cities use STEM to manage these threats and explore the climate challenges that impact where we live.
Esther Obonyo, Ph.D.
Esther Obonyo is the Executive Director of the Global Building Network and an associate professor of engineering design and architectural engineering. Under her tenure as Executive Director since 2019, the GBN has established more than 35 industry, non-profit, and higher education partnerships across North America, Europe, Africa, and Australia to collaboratively catalyze research and education to make buildings more sustainable, more efficient, and healthier for people. Dr. Obonyo is also the lead for an international, Penn State-led consortium funded by the Belmont Forum to improve infrastructure resiliency, sustainability, and public health in disaster-prone, low-income communities. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Obonyo brings more than two decades of globally-focused work experience on buildings, including working as a Jefferson Science Fellow and senior policy adviser for USAID, innovation analyst with Balfour Beatty, and construction engineer for an emergency retrofit project for the U.S. consulate in Nairobi, Kenya.
Elisabeth is a firefighter and paramedic for Bend Fire & Rescue in Bend, Oregon. As a city firefighter she responds to a wide range of hazards including wildfires, medical emergencies, and water rescue. Elisabeth received her bachelor’s degree from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont.
After college, Elisabeth served as a member of AmeriCorps for two years. At AmeriCorps she developed a love of giving back to her community and was introduced to firefighting as a potential career. She then worked as a wildland firefighter on a hazardous fuels reduction crew in Crown King, AZ. During her time in Crown King, Elisabeth returned to school and received her EMT.
Elisabeth moved to Oregon where she took a job with the US Forest Service in Sisters and worked on a 10-person hand crew migrating fires and participating in prescribed burns. She also worked for a type 6 wildland engine, ground support for a heli-tack crew, and detailed in on a hotshot crew.
Idowu Jola Ajibade, Ph.D.
Dr. Idowu Jola Ajibade is an Assistant Professor in Geography at Portland State University. Her research focuses on how individuals, communities, and cities respond to global climate change and their different capacities for adaptation and transformation. She explores adaptation in the context of resilience planning, eco-industrialization, eco-gentrification, uneven development, and managed retreat. She draws on urban political ecology and environmental justice lenses to interrogate both conventional and alternative approaches to adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainability. She calls academics to partner with grassroots coalitions, frontline communities, indigenous groups, cooperatives, social entrepreneurs, and small businesses in building a resilient, inclusive and sustainable future. Jola’s work has been featured in many academic journals and media outlets including Science Friday, NPR, Yale Environment 360, Science, New Internationalist, and Vice.
Friday, April 29
Develop climate negotiation skills from women who served as delegates at the most recent UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. Girls will engage directly with an international panel of COP26 delegates who are helping to shape climate policy and create solutions to the climate change issues we face as a global community.
I am a professional gender and development expert with 6 years of working experience in Kenya and the United Kingdom. I hold a master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies from the number one world-ranked Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Voted as the most influential female leader of the year at the university and currently awarded the prestigious Chevening scholarship, I continue to be a passionate advocate for meaningful engagement of women and young people who are excluded and marginalized in development. I believe equality, inclusion and diversity are key to meaningful social change.
I have a specific interest and experience in social inclusion, gender equality, economic and social empowerment, climate change, learning and impact coordination, research-based advocacy, project planning and management. Currently, i am engaged in a research that is inspired by my masters thesis. In my previous work and consultancies, I have worked with University of Portsmouth, University of Sussex, British Redcross, ActionAid Kenya, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and German Doctors.
Ma. Cecilia Quaglino
Cecilia is a climate advocate from Argentina. She serves as a managing member of the Argentinian chapter of Fridays For Future, a global youth-organized and led movement founded by Greta Thunberg.
In 2021, she led the Local Conference of Youth (L-COY 2021) in Argentina and coordinated the creation of the Argentine Youth Statement on Climate Change, which was presented at COP26, the United Nations annual climate change conference. Following her studies in environmental engineering, she worked on the first microplastics research in her region, where she had the chance to published in Springer Journal, which is an academic journal.
Cecilia uses her experience in communications and outreach to advocate about the climate and environmental crisis through mainstream and social media and speaks at climate change conferences. Cecilia had the opportunity to train with former U.S. Vice-President and Nobel Prize recipient Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader and has won several prizes for her work advocating for the environment.
Haley is a climate researcher with a focus on justice and community climate action. She works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on just climate action, environmental education, and coordinating federal climate programs. She also works with local governments to conduct greenhouse gas inventories, vulnerability assessments, and climate action plans to better prepare governments and residents to address the climate crisis. She serves on the U.S. Action for Climate Empowerment Coalition coordinating team and has represented U.S. universities and organizations pushing for society-wide climate action at the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Haley is originally from Maryland and holds a B.S. in Ecology and Earth Systems from Bates College.
Saturday, April 30
Engage with an intergenerational panel of leaders in the environmental justice movement. Hear first-hand experiences about inequalities in the implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Explore how marginalized communities can come together and make their voices heard to ensure all communities become healthy environments to live, work and play.
Alexa White, M.S. is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has been traditionally trained as an agroecologist and biologist. Currently, she is interested in international environmental governance and biophysical indicators of sustainable agriculture. Alexa works with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to better understand how ‘Goal #2: To End Hunger’ is expected to impact the biology & management of small-scale farms. For her dissertation she is doing a comparative study between sites in Hawaii and Jamaica. In connection, she is the longtime Director of the student organization Climate Blue. Climate Blue’s mission is to support the University of Michigan delegation for the UNFCCC Conference of Parties and to educate students & the greater community about climate governance. Alexa has served as a UN COP delegate and attended COP21 in Paris, COP24 in Poland and COP25 in Spain. In addition, she is a researcher for the University of Michigan’s Sustainability Without Borders project in Kampala, Uganda where she works to improve water filtration systems throughout the country.
Kierra Goosby is the Chief Executive Officer of Golden Rod Consultants, LLC., an organization designed to help small businesses and nonprofits apply for and manage grant funding opportunities. Her background is in Plant Science and Biotechnology with practical experience in Agriculture through farmland management. She also has experience in school garden nutrition and small farm operations. She is a certified Project Management Professional passionate about helping organizations experience the intersection of thoughtful leadership and practical implementation.
Rona Kobell is the co-founder of the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative. She has covered the Chesapeake Bay and its people for 18 years, beginning at The Baltimore Sun, then at the Chesapeake Bay Journal, and most recently as the managing editor and lead writer for Chesapeake Quarterly magazine. She is an adjunct professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where she recently earned her Master’s of the Arts in Journalism. For five years, she co-hosted and co-produced a Chesapeake Bay show on WYPR. Her writing has appeared in Slate, Grist, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, National Parks Magazine, and many other publications. Her work has won two APEX Awards for communication excellence; one MARCOM Platinum Award for research-paper writing; the Lowell Thomas Award, Bronze, for national environmental travel reporting; the Rachel Carson Award for Women Greening Journalism, National Audubon Society; and several honors from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association. Baltimore magazine named her Best Bay Watcher in 2015. She lives in Towson with her husband, her two children, and her rabbit.
Felicia M. Davis is staunch advocate for measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency retrofits, green building, renewable energy solutions and an array of sustainable practices. In 2016 she co-founded the HBCU Green Fund to help finance green projects at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She has cultivated an extensive network of faculty, professionals and student climate, energy and environmental justice advocates. A lead organizer of the HBCU Geosciences Working Group, she also serves as co-chair for the National Technical Association 92 nd & 93 rd Annual Conferences. She is a founding board member for Green 2.0, dedicated to increasing racial diversity in environmental leadership and a Chattahoochee Riverkeeper board member, dedicated to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin. Additional projects under her management include the BIPOC Climate Scholars Project, HBCU Energy Fellows Project, and the Senegal, Ghana and Haiti Elementary School Weather Station Project. All are managed in collaboration with HBCU, environmental, and business partners. Until March 2021 she directed sustainability for Clark Atlanta University and served on the CAU Sustainability Council.
Felicia began her environmental career with Ozone Action and Greenpeace working on air quality and climate justice as the Georgia Airkeeper director. She served as the first director of Mothers & Others for Clean Air when it was housed within the Georgia Conservancy. She directed the two-million-dollar UNCF Building Green Initiative advancing sustainability for Black, Hispanic-Serving and Tribal Colleges and Universities. She is an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow, IGEL Fellow, and serves as a Steering Committee Member of the Intentional Endowments Network, PowerForce and Croatan Institute. An author of the Air of Injustice Report, she also produced the MSI Green Report, Sustainable Campuses-Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions, and the 2014 HBCU Green Report.
Climate Justice has been her primary focus since attending the 2000 UNFCCC Conference at The Hague followed by UN meetings in Dakar, Durban, Geneva, Cancun, Bangkok, Copenhagen and more with an international focus social, economic and environmental equity. She is a member of Gender CC Women for Climate Justice, a contributor to “gender into climate policy” a toolkit for climate experts and decision-makers.
As a social justice advocate and community organizer, Felicia also works to increase Black civic engagement and helped to mobilize turnout in Clayton County, Georgia for the 2020 Presidential Election and historic Georgia Senate Runoff Election, January 5, 2021. She serves on the board of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of the Clayton County Black Women’s Roundtable. Economic and gender equity are central to justice and for more than a decade Felica worked in partnership with the late Rita Jackson Samuels as a member of the Board of the Georgia Coalition of Black Women and vice president of Women Flying High, LLC a boutique consulting group credited with increasing women’s participation in Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport from 3% to 14% during the administration of Atlanta’s first Black woman Mayor Shirley Franklin.
Felicia’s favorite question is, “if we get it right what will it look like.”