Teenagers at a California high school were given a crash course in Antarctic Ambassadorship by polar stalwart Susan Adie as part of their environmental studies class.
The 150 Advanced Placement Environmental Studies students from Tesoro High School in Los Flores had invited Susan, a polar guide with more than 30 seasons South under her belt, to share her Antarctic experiences with them just before Christmas.
Susan, from Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island, is part of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators’ Education & Outreach Working Group and has dedicated her life to educating Antarctic visitors and polar enthusiasts. She was recognised for her efforts in 2015 when Adie Cove on the west side of the Antarctic peninsula was named in her honour.
She said: “The enthusiasm from these young people to learn was palpable and it was a great joy to share my experiences with them, as well as how they can be better advocates for Antarctica and its ongoing protection.
“Antarctic Ambassadorship is all about sharing your knowledge with others to inspire positive change to support our precious places. With many of the students I spoke to aspiring to work in marine and polar science, I am confident we’ve added many new ambassadors to our family.”
In May 2021 IAATO formalised its definition of an Antarctic Ambassador to be someone who:
- Loves and respects the region;
- Educates others by sharing their Antarctic experiences;
- Advocates for Antarctica when opportunities arise, and;
- Protects Antarctica by making positive changes at home.
The idea behind the L.E.A.P acronym is to empower everyone to LEAP into action as ambassadors, using their knowledge and passion in support of Antarctica.
Susan added: “It’s encouraging to see so many young people passionate about the environment and embarking on careers that will help shape positive change in support of precious wilderness areas like Antarctica.
“As individuals, no matter what our career paths, we all have the power to protect Antarctica. Our vote and our actions are our superpower, so I urge anyone, as I did the students of Tesoro High, to get vocal, to use their vote to bring in green policies and to take action at home to bring about change.”
Loni Salhus, AP Environmental Science & Biology Teacher at Tesoro High School, said: “I am so grateful that Susan came and spoke to my students. While some were hesitant at first as they have never had a guest speaker before, they all left with more appreciation, understanding, and passion for the environment than they had prior. It was a phenomenal experience.”