Toyota and the National Audubon Society on Thursday announced that a TogetherGreen Fellowship award will be given to Dr. Anna George, director of Chattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute. After a competitive nationwide selection process, the career environmentalist will receive a fellowship award for her week-long teen summer camp that will explore conservation problems and solutions in Chattanooga.
TogetherGreen, a conservation initiative of the National Audubon Society and Toyota, selects 40 high-potential local leaders annually to receive a $10,000 grant. With the funds, Fellows conduct community projects to engage diverse audiences in habitat, water, or energy conservation. In addition to receiving support launching their conservation initiatives, the Fellows also benefit from specialized training and the opportunity to become part of an exciting alumni network of conservation professionals.
“Anna is an environmental hero. She and the other TogetherGreen Fellows help people engage with nature. They look like America: diverse, passionate, and patriotic,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Anna is a leader, and we’re pleased to give her a chance to invent the future.”
George’s “Conservation Leadership in Action Week” grant project will engage students from regional schools in major environmental problems and enable them to take a direct role in solving them. Students will participate in paddle, hike, snorkel, and bike trips, sample local foods, and learn how to prepare meals healthy for both them and their environment. They will also work in small groups with conservation leaders and teachers in their community to develop projects that can be instituted in their own neighborhoods when they leave camp.
“The goal is to foster a passion for the environment and to provide a safe place for students to discuss and tackle some of today’s pressing environmental problems,” Dr. George said. “It’s part of a long-term strategy to integrate conservation into the daily lives of Chattanooga's teens.”
In an extensive career as an environmental advocate, Dr. George organized the first three meetings of the Southeastern Fishes Council (a gathering of scientists and managers that identifies rivers for fish conservation), initiated a partnership with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Conasauga River Alliance to restore wildlife habitat in northwest Georgia, and leads a twice-yearly, hands-on program in regional rivers that gets area students involved in improving their watershed, among other conservation ventures.
The TogetherGreen Fellowship Program invests in high-potential individuals from all backgrounds, providing them with resources, visibility, and a growing peer network to help them lead communities nationwide to a healthier environmental future. To date, 200 environmental leaders from across the country have been awarded TogetherGreen fellowships. These leaders have worked with nearly 500 organizations and engaged over 100,000 people in community-based conservation action, achieving results in habitat, water, and energy.
A complete list of the 2012 TogetherGreen Fellows and details about their conservation projects can be found at www.TogetherGreen.org/fellows.