Dominican Students Attend Sustainability Symposium

At the April 19th Sustainability Symposium hosted at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Dominican students Julia Jones, Lauren Santos, Lizzie Daly, and Eliza Christovich, members of Dominican’s Ecology & Stewardship Club, attended with Mrs. Joann Haydel, science teacher and the club moderator.

Also at the symposium were students from Jesuit High School, Sophie B. Wright, Academy of Our Lady, Holy Cross High School, Ursuline Academy, and New Harmony High School. They participated in collaborative sustainable and environmental initiatives, roundtable discussions, and engaged learning with the care of Earth.

Keynote speaker was Dr. Aimée K. Thomas, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans and a 1991 Dominican graduate. Dr. Thomas has an interest in promoting environmental awareness by researching the natural history of invertebrate species, particularly local and tropical spider communities, and effective communication of science through community-engaged learning research, teaching, and outreach.

Students choose three sessions on sustainability given by twelve local nonprofits: Dana Brown & Associates – Sustainable Landscape Design; Urban Conservancy – Environmental Justice: Creating Change that Works for Everyone; Grounds Krewe – Sustainable Mardi Gras Throws; Composting Network – Planting 101 with Brock; Glass Half Full – Glass Recycling for Coastal Restoration; Waggoner & Ball Architects – Building for Sustainability: Historic Renovation & Resilience; Pontchartrain Conservancy – Protecting Louisiana’s Coastline; The Green Project – Contamination in the Recycling Stream; Dr. Peter Yaukey, Holy Cross University – Bird Conservation in Louisiana; Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) – Oyster Shell Recycling for our Coast; ricRACK – Fashion and Textile Sustainability – Reuse and Repurpose; and EnergySmart – Energy Efficiency.

Following the sessions, there was a roundtable discussion about what the students learned and how they can implement environmentally sustainable initiatives at their schools. “Our students will take what they have learned and share the information at our next club meeting. It was a great way to celebrate Earth Week,” said Mrs. Haydel.