Live well. Feed the planet. Protect the future.
Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, have arguably faced a more heated investigation than any preceding age group – including those of the much-discussed Baby Boom era.
As our global youth remains on the receiving end of an awful lot of stick – from zero-hour contracts to their assumed ASBO culture; from an elitist property ladder to an obsession with conventional ideals; from restrictive political systems to global media outlets intent on demonising those set to lead tomorrow’s world; it’s fair to say that Generation Y has had it pretty tough…
But listen up millennials – labels are just labels, and while international generalisations may try to tarnish us with the fatal brush of negativity, no one can take away the fact that we are the most dedicated, idealistic and environmentally-conscious generation that has ever lived.
“At first glance, this makes sense: Gen Y is connected and aware in ways Baby Boomers never were,” writes Beth Buczynski for Care2. “They know about industrial pollution and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They shop at Whole Foods, wear organic clothing and shun bottled water. But does all that really translate into being better stewards of the planet?”
And the unassailable answer is a proven yes.
Image courtesy of Lincoln University
Our globally-connected, computerised society has allowed us to become environmentally aware at the mere click of a button. But ultimately, it’s our international providers of higher education that soar the impact of our global consciousness to new and dramatic heights.
Lincoln University, New Zealand’s specialist land-based university, is one such institution, inspiring students to nurture their environmental passions via its innovative LUGeneration programme, supported by the idea of challenge, connect and conversion.
These three pillars underline virtually every aspect of the Lincoln education – but nowhere is it more fitting than in the realm of environmental science.
Lincoln is fully-committed to educating students about the challenges faced by the modern world. From the wicked problems of agriculture to the restoration of widespread damaged ecosystems; from global housing market pressures to climate change awareness; from agribusiness and the future of farming to the reduction of food waste and beyond, Lincoln University has every angle covered, preparing students from all walks of life to stand and face environmental challenges and help reshape the world.
As an integral part of a global network of elite universities, Lincoln has access to a number of exclusive resources that allows it to connect students with unrivalled opportunities. Whether it be trough cutting-edge advice on their future career, helping them seek relevant work experience to support their studies, or providing unparalleled industry contacts and letting students liaise long before they even graduate, Lincoln offers students everything they need to connect with each and every environmental challenge and then work towards global, impactful solutions.
The final pillar emphasises that Lincoln is the perfect setting to convert these ideas into tangible and professional realities. Take Chloe Hood, for example, an Environmental Science student with a passion for water conservation and protecting habitats.
Image courtesy of Jeff Hopper
“I grew up loving the ocean,” she says, “so I was interning at Heal the Bay for their education department. Heal the Bay is an environmental not-for-profit organisation, [who are] mostly focused on saving water and water sheds. I was working with kids coming in for field trips, and I was learning about how to show them the ocean habitats, or learning about how much fresh water we have on our planet and how we need to conserve that…”
Chloe grew up in Northern California with a deep-ingrained love of Earth’s waters. From her first encounter with tide pools and seeing all the different organisms in them, she wanted to learn about climate change and what can be done to help.
While many believe it would have been an easy decision to hone in on this passion, it isn’t always a simple path to taking what you love as a child and deciding to make that your future. While Chloe originally wanted to major in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, she wavered slightly and almost went into Medicine.
But now Chloe is making waves in ocean research and she’s yet to even finish her studies! Through Lincoln’s transcendent industry connections, she’s already spent time working with groups like Heal the Bay and Sustainable Youth, inspiring children to work towards sustainable, positive change.
Image via Heal the Bay Facebook
“You get kids who’ve never been to the ocean, they’ve only seen it…on TV, and they get to come in, they get to do touch tanks, and when you get them to maybe, you know, touch a Sea Cucumber for the first time and they’re really freaked out about it, or touch a shark when they’re like, “oh my gosh, I’m never going to see a shark in my entire life”, it’s really cool!
“It’s great to see them inspired because maybe they will be a part of the generation in the future that can make a change in our world, and that could be with the ocean, or that could be with climate change. Whatever it may be, it’s really neat to see them starting to love our world as much as I do.”
The goal of Lincoln University’s LUGeneration is to inspire global youth with stories of people, just like Chloe, who are already making a difference to the challenges facing our world. It seeks to show them how much our environment depends on their help – that it needs them, now, to: feed the world, protect the future, live well, and become an intrinsic part of the LUGeneration. The generation that will make the change.