Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bird Girl

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

At the age of 17, a British teenage birdwathcher urged students to "tackle the environmental crisis" during remarks made upon receiving an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of Bristol (UK). 

Mya-Rose Craig is the founder of Black2Nature (2016) an organization devoted to getting more Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) people engaged with nature. As a British Bangladeshi birder she noticed that there was nobody like her in the countryside watching birds. She organized a nature camp for VME children and teen agers from inner city Bristol. when she was 13 years old. These have continued.

Ms. Craig was nominated by Professor Richard Pancost, a biogeochemist in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bristol. In the BBC report about the award Pancost said that "'to bestow a comparable honour on someone who is only 17 years dold is not a decision we take lightly'" and that "he felt 'proud' to see her receive the doctorate as she had created a 'phenomenal amount of positive change' for nature," Pancost continued by noting that "'she is a champion for diversity and equity in the environmental and conservation sector, challenging institutions but also creating and driving transformative projects like Black2Nature'."

The full report from the BBC includes photographs and additional links, including information about the nature camps and why Ms. Craig is getting teen-agers involved in bird-watching. After a gap year, Craig intends to study politics and international relations at university.

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