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Students and a panda mascot pose with bags of litter.Students and a panda mascot take pride in their clean-up along the Detroit River shoreline in this image provided by Kathy Nguyen of World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Program promises to get students back to nature and back to school

A partnership with World Wildlife Fund Canada will engage UWindsor students on issues of sustainability and the protection of nature, says the University’s environmental sustainability advocate.

Living Planet @ Campus is returning to University of Windsor and expanding to other college and university campuses across the country. The national program aims to enhance a culture of sustainability and promote the protection of nature by engaging post-secondary students in meaningful actions.

It was developed in partnership with University of Windsor along with 11 other post-secondary institutions, says Tanya Basok, a professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, and will provide students with opportunities to lead change during their campus experience.

“The partnership with WWF Living Planet @ Campus has been extremely beneficial to the UWindsor students,” she says.

Last year, she worked with the program to recruit student volunteers to remove litter along the riverfront, and seven UWindsor students travelled to Toronto in March to present their idea to advance sustainability at the fund’s Designing Change for a Living Planet meeting.

Isaac Tomlinson, a graduate of the environmental studies program, called the Toronto meeting an amazing experience.

“It was great to be able to network with like-minded people from different and similar fields as well as professionals and the amazing WWF staff,” he said. “I learned more than I could have hoped to and was able to flex many skills including presenting, presentation making, team work, time management, and networking.”

Program participants receive digital tools to track their impact and connect with peers, guides on leading such activities as awareness campaigns and habitat restoration, and funding opportunities for conservation projects. They may earn certification as a Living Planet Leader, demonstrating their skills and experience to move the needle on sustainability.

To learn more, contact Dr. Basok at sustainability@uwindsor.ca.