University of Vermont


Deep Dive on Day 1 @ AASHE 2012

by David Manago '13, Davis Center Eco-Rep


After such an amazing day and night at the AASHE Student Summit on Sunday, I thought it would be difficult to match its quality for the second day. Fortunately, the Monday events undoubtedly matched the high standards set the previous day. Additionally, the presentations, workshops, and events were far more diverse than the Student Summit.

Fry Street QuartetThe best part of my morning was the Monday keynote of The Crossroads Project featuring Robert Davies and the Fry Street Quartet. The intermingling of a very moving presentation with the harmonious playing of stringed instruments was nothing short of amazing. He spoke to the disconnect we experience when the systems of our lives seem to operate irrespective to the systems uncovered by science.

He highlighted our stubbornness to accept the hard truths regarded as scientific fact. The audience really enjoyed this speech and I heard far more positive feedback from attendants about his message as opposed to Hunter Lovins’ keynote.

With the calming effect of the keynote speech in the morning, I was ready for more. One of the best presentations of the day was on Sustainability Career Paths for Students in Higher Education. With the audience being 90% students, it was clear that this is a topic in the forefront of the minds of recent and soon to-be graduates. The presenter was focusing on the framework of green jobs and the emerging categories in the green workforce.

This was very helpful for me, as I’m very motivated to secure a job in the coming months prior to graduating this spring. The workshop offered tools and techniques for finding the jobs we truly want, and encouraged us to work with our career services office to improve their efforts in securing us green jobs.

As for my peers in the audience, it was tough to tell whether they were engaged in the material. I was sad to see 25% of the students leave during the presentation. But for those of us that stayed and actively participated in the workshop - we're certainly better off for it. The students who left the presentation better hope we don't compete for the same job!