(EXETER, CA) - On Saturday, May 7th, SRT's EARTH Academy EARTH Technicians completed the year-long EARTH Academy program with a graduation ceremony at SRT's Kaweah Oaks Preserve.
The EARTH Academy program teaches high school students from across Tulare County about their local environment through classroom sessions and field trips, with opportunities to collect data and work with environmental professionals. EARTH Technicians celebrated their graduation from the program with a soil health event. Students led the program of demonstrations and discussions with the general public, presenting information they learned throughout the academic year.
"We were thrilled to see over 60 individuals participate in the soil health event and learn from our EARTH Technicians," said SRT Director of Education and Volunteers Bud Darwin. "These exceptional students continue to amaze us and bring hope for the future understanding of soil's health in climate health."
Students’ demonstrations covered how infiltration rate, microbial life, and runoff relate to soil health, particularly in Central California, a geographic region so dependent on healthy soils.
Soil expert and Soil Carbon Coalition cofounder Peter Donovan guided students through the demonstrations and subsequently led a discussion with attendees about how soil health relates to our lives more than we might think. "From the food we eat to the relationships we form with others, soil is a factor," Donovan said.
Finally, EARTH Technicians were individually awarded for their hard work and completion of the program by “walking the stage” at Kaweah Oaks Preserve and officially graduating. After a morning filled with learning, Technicians and participants refueled with unlimited tacos for lunch and some beautiful weather.
"Our EARTH Technicians have shown immense leadership and critical thinking skills through their questions and demonstrations. We are so proud of the progress they have made this year, and hope they feel inspired to remain involved and make a difference in their communities," Darwin said.
If you are interested in future EARTH Academy opportunities, watch for upcoming information about the summer program. Details to be announced in the coming weeks!