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Research and Policy Making

From UCSD to Washington, DC

In our continuing effort to educate students in taking the lead and effecting change, our "Global Environmental Leadership and Sustainability” program is going a step further in teaching students to understand the environment and help initiate change in a way governments can follow to ensure a livable environment for ourselves and future generations. Students come to understand the roles and responsibilities of the different branches of the federal government, the legislative process, and how to be advocates in making policy changes that will enable this nation and others to improve and sustain our global environment.

In this course students spend the first week at UC San Diego, studying environmental changes first hand with researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and perform data collection and statistical analysis. Students also review how the government works and how to advocate policy changes. They put into practice what they’ve learned during the second week, when the group flies to Washington, DC to meet and speak with members of Congress, presenting an issue that is pertinent to their communities. Presentation skills, writing an issue paper and learning lobbying techniques are incorporated into the training and preparation for the Capitol Hill visits.

Through hard work and evening leadership activities, students learn how to advocate for themselves and their community, be it as future scientists, environmental educators, or simply concerned, informed and action-oriented citizens who voice their opinions in a professional and productive way.