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Youth On Climate

Young people who have worked alongside staff in our halls, galleries and labs, share their views about our changing planet.

People and signs during a climate change march

Bella Guanche, 18, freshman at Boston College, who won a prize for her photo of Kudu in NHM’s student wildlife photo contest

I’m taking a course on sustainability in college. It’s called Complex Problems, and Planet in Peril. We recently did an ethical eating challenge to avoid beef and dairy every day, to open our eyes to the fact that cattle ranching, now in an industrial farming setting, is harmful to the environment because it increases methane emissions, which contribute more than you’d expect to greenhouse gases. We really need to make a change soon and quickly. We did organize climate strike [at school] and members of our class protested outside....The photo contest got me interested. As I’ve grown up, I’ve loved taking photos of the environment. Sadly, because of climate change, a lot of the ecosystems that I have been fortunate to see won't be there unless we act.

Zachary Grossman, who won a prize in an NHM student wildlife for his image of an African Penguin colony when he was a 4th grader in L.A.’s Westwood Charter Elementary School:

I don’t like that the glaciers are melting and global warming. I don’t like animals becoming extinct and how global warming is making that happen. I saw big chunks falling when went to Alaska. Sometimes we need to talk about how we are affecting the planet.

Rachel MrKaich, a Princeton University student, and recently, a summer intern with NHM’s Dinosaur Institute:

I was an ecology and evolutionary biology major when I applied to this internship. I think something I find interesting about dinosaurs is that even though they were real, they kind of fall into a fantasy category for me. Because I feel like part of the reason people are interested in them is because they're extinct and they were huge and very charismatic. But then some people don't really care about the charismatic animal species we have now that are going extinct. So I'm like, why are dinosaurs so intriguing when we have so many other animals that are cool out there that are endangered?