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Environmental Knowledge in Alaska and Mexico

Duck SoupDr Barbara Bodenhorn’s dual focus on communal organisation in Arctic Alaska and mountainous Mexico has facilitated a multi-year interchange between young members of these two regions. Working with Environmental Education specialist Dr. Laura Barraza and supported by the University of Mexico, the project initially united young people from Oaxaca and Michoacan in 2004/05 to explore questions of sustainability with local experts. The project, now funded by the US National Science Foundation, expanded in 2006 to include students from Alaska’s North Slope and broadened its focus from sustainability to climate processes. In Dr Bodenhorn’s words: ‘Through living with host families and engaging in hands-on work with scientists and community elders, these young people gain new understanding of global processes, enrich their appreciation of their own local communities, and establish enduring bonds with others whose worlds are very different from their own.’ Bodenhorn’s involvement with the Cambridge Climate History network is a direct outcome of this initial work.

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