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Cornell Youth Environmental Scholars Program

The Cornell Youth Environmental Scholars Program is an environmental research program for Chinese high school and university students. The goal of the program is to enhance students' environmental knowledge and academic achievement. It is jointly organized by Youth Lead, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences International Programs and Civic Ecology Lab at Cornell University. The program includes a 12-day Green City Summer Camp, a four-month Environmental Research Online Training and an Environmental Research Competition. Through the Green City Summer Camp, students will not only learn about sustainable cities but also practice their critical thinking skills. Joining the camp at Cornell in Ithaca, New York will also enable students to experience the learning atmosphere of an Ivy League university, network with professors and students at Cornell, and learn about different majors and research fields. During the Online Research Training, students will extend their summer camp study to learn about social science research methods, independently conduct research projects, and write research articles. Finally, students who complete the research articles will participate in a Cornell Environmental Research Competition judged by professors at Cornell. Winners will receive trophy and recommendation letters.  

Cornell Green Cities Summer Camp

Dates: August 9–20, 2019.

Overview: Urban residents want to live and work in sustainable, just, and livable cities. However, while the urban population is rapidly growing, cities face major challenges related to climate change, failing infrastructure, increased pollution, environmental justice, and food security. Yet cities are also sources of innovations and solutions to environmental problems. This course will discuss various approaches to make cities more sustainable, and help students understand how they can enhance the sustainability of their own urban communities. Course participants will review theoretical ideas about sustainable cities: from the “garden city” movement in the early 20th century to contemporary “biophilic cities” and “green urbanism.” The course uses examples from all over the world to illustrate urban environmental practices. During this course, students will create comparative case studies, in which they will synthesize similarities, differences, and patterns of urban environmental solutions across two cities: New York City and their own city. Case studies can focus on various environmental topics, such as urban nature, green infrastructure, environmental justice, sustainable transportation, renewable energy, recycling, resource management, and sustainable economics. The course includes lectures on the Cornell University campus (6 days), and field trips in New York City (4 days). On the final day of the course, students will present their comparative case studies.

Course Goals: Through this course, students will: (1) Construct comparative case studies by applying ideas from the course to real-life cities and communities. (2) Analyze the “green cities” field as a STEM subject that integrates social and natural sciences. (3) Experience learning in an academic environment on a university campus, and in real-life communities in New York City.

Learning Outcomes. Through this course, you will:

  1. Evaluate different approaches of making cities greener – including related to food security, transportation, energy consumption, waste, and green infrastructure.
  2. Review main green cities trends from historical and contemporary literature – such as biophilic cities, sustainable cities, garden city, green architecture.
  3. Understand theoretical ideas that explain individual and collective sustainable behaviors in cities – including social norms, the theory of planned behavior, environmental identity, self-efficacy, and social capital.
  4. Create and present a “green neighborhood action plan” for your own neighborhood, focusing on one of the sustainability topics (CO2 reduction, sustainable transportation, urban agriculture, community organizing, etc.).

Cornell Environmental Research Online Training

Dates: September 2019 to January 2020

Overview: The Cornell Environmental Research Online Training provides a foundation in research methodology. As an extension of the summer camp, students will learn the terminology, logic, and procedure to conduct research. The training will be offered in both Chinese and English.

Goals: Students will enhance their critical thinking skills, research capacity and academic writing.

Outcomes: Through online training program, students will gain the skills to design and conduct research independently, and write up articles or reports for the research results.

Cornell Environmental Research Competition

Dates: February 2020

Overview: In the end of the Cornell Environmental Research Online Training, students will have a chance to participate in the Cornell Environmental Research Competition to present their research in English. Cornell professors will provide feedback to students’ research articles and online presentations.

Goals: Through defending their research in this competition, students will not only enhance their understanding about the research methodology and improve their critical thinking, but also practice their English writing and communication skills.

Outcomes: The award-winning students will receive the competition trophies and recommendation letters. The outstanding articles will also have an opportunity to be published in domestic and international journals.

For registration, please contact:

Mr. Mi Yan http://civicecology.org  Email: ym424@cornell.edu WeChat: 13366273696