CSU East Bay’s Concord campus recently hosted a science themed summer camp that prepared students to care for the watershed, Delta and planet. For a week, 42 Contra Costa County high school students attending the 2011 Environmental Sciences Camp had an opportunity to explore renewable energy, water management, habitat conservation and the impact of plastics on the ecosystem.
Contra Costa County is a natural merging point for fresh water, saltwater, grasslands and mountains generating tremendous ecological biodiversity. The county is also on the frontlines of efforts to balance the preservation of vast natural landmarks and open spaces with population pressure and industry demands. Through a mixture of activities, speakers and field trips, students saw various aspects of what it is to work in “green” jobs meeting today’s environmental challenges. This included a look at how wastewater is treated, filtered and reused as well as a hands-on lab demonstrating the mechanics of solar energy.
At the Dow Wetlands, students had a chance to explore estuaries, freshwater ponds and grasslands. Students collected data from water sampling and wildlife observations and hiked the newly constructed path that links the Antioch Marina to this 471-acre wetlands dedicated to preservation and student learning.
The camp was a chance to cultivate student interest in the environmental sciences. The hope is to encourage more students to pursue a university education in science, technology, engineering and math. Ultimately, the camp aims to produce future green industry leaders in order to maintain California’s vast natural resources and prominence as a center for innovation in numerous environmental sciences fields.
Hosted at CSU East Bay’s Concord campus, the camp was made possible by a consortium of industry and education partners, including the Contra Costa Community College District and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership. Funding for the camp was provided by Chevron while the Delta Diablo Sanitation District, Contra Costa Water District and Dow Chemical Company donated the materials, research and expertise instrumental to the camp’s success.