In the spring of 2019 students from Dr. Pat Farrell's GEOG 3401: Weather & Climate class connected with individuals in the Duluth community to talk about the idea of climate justice. The students created videos from these interviews and shared them at the March 2019 Our Climate Futures: Meeting the Challenges in Duluth two-day conference. The conference examined ways that climate change may affect northern Minnesota, with a focus on its economic, social, and infrastructure impacts. Check out all the Voices for Climate Justice 2019 videos here.
Mikayla Erickson, Environment, Sustainability & Geography major, was one of the students in Pat Farrell's class. Below is the video she made as well as her thoughts on the project.
Describe how this project came together for you.
While this project was made possible by Professor Pat's commitment towards climate justice and her students, we would not have had this opportunity without her. Pat reached out to ten individuals within the Duluth community who were willing to talk to us students about the idea of climate justice. There was a wide range of people we got to speak with as a whole class, while we split up into groups of 3 to focus on one person to interview. Starting the conversation of climate justice and climate change is very important right now and hearing from people form the community about how they are managing with these climate stresses already can help bring us towards better choices as a class and a community just by spreading awareness.
What did you value most about going out into the community and conducting the interview?
I value all of the people who put their time and thoughts into our interview questions, as well as Pat who went out of her way to make us students part of the Climate Change Summit. I also value how I got to learn about climate justice issues within the Native tribes, as well as local communities/areas to help us understand we cannot do this without the help of everyone.
Has this class/project influenced your plans for after graduation?
This class has made me think about natural resources in another light, while we may not think of the tribal land as sacred they have grown up living off the land and I think that many of these things are being forgotten. I interviewed Tansey Moore a lead climatologist for the 1854 Treaty Organization and have applied to an internship through there as well.
Include any additional comments about your project or the Weather & Climate class.
Pat pours her heart into the students, which makes learning with her just amazing! I love this class!