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Students Graduate From Earth Day Planting to Environmental Degrees

Students Graduate From Earth Day Planting to Environmental Degrees

Fifty-one years ago, young people planted trees for the first Earth Day.

Today, students are taking part in environmental law, science and other disciplines to heal the planet.

“You don’t have to be an environmental professional to help the environment,” Briana Allison, an environmental science student at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, wrote to VOA. “Everyone should find a way to get involved in preserving the planet we call home.”

Climate change is a huge issue for younger people. Those under age 30 are so worried about the planet that experts have given their concern a name: eco-anxiety. Stress about climate change affects their daily lives, said nearly half of 2,017 adults polled in 2019 by the Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association.

Allison is specializing in physical geology and what climate change has done to the coasts.

“It is important to point out that climate change contributes to issues like flooding and coastal erosion,” Allison wrote to VOA. “I personally have acknowledged that climate change is involved, and I make sure I bring it up when sharing my environmental passions with others.”

She continued, “I completed research over the topics and, in my conclusion, I mentioned the negative effects of climate change regarding flooding and erosion. I am committed to making others aware of it and not ignoring that this issue exists.”

Bongekile Kuhlase studies at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where she is earning her master’s degree in plant ecology. In an email to VOA, Kuhlase noted that it is important not to dwell on the past when it comes to today’s environment.

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