Preserving Our Waters is Topic of Fabien Cousteau Talk to Rochester-area Students

Oct. 29, 2012
The deep ocean explorer and business strategist will share his unique perspective on environmental sustainability.

Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, will appear at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) to present a talk to 80 middle-school students from the Rochester area on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Cousteau’s talk, titled “One Ocean, One People,” is aimed at promoting the importance of protecting our planet’s endangered marine habitats. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at both Helen Wood Hall and the Clinical Translational Science Institute on Crittenden Boulevard.

Growing up on decks of his famous grandfather’s ships, Cousteau was destined to follow in the family footsteps of exploring and tirelessly working to protect our planet’s marine environment. From his vast experience, coupled with a degree in environmental economics, he has refined a public policy platform grounded by a strong belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for innovative solutions that strike a balance between regional and global environmental problems and the realities of market economies.

The students, seventh graders from Young Women’s College Prep, are affiliated with the University’s Life Sciences Learning Center, which provides area  students with hands-on science activities that that focus on engaging, real-life issues. Part of the event will involve the students in a case-based lesson that requires them to perform simulated lab tests on water samples collected from a local neighborhood to determine which residents might be responsible for contamination of a local pond. Armed with the results, the students will then propose solutions to reduce pollution in the neighborhood. This local problem will then be connected to regional and global water quality issues during Cousteau’s presentation which follows.

After the morning activities, Cousteau will join the students for lunch and later, students will tour the University's River Campus.

Cousteau’s appearance is thanks to Time Warner Cable and “Connect a Million Minds,” their national effort to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in schools. Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” has been a sponsor of the UR Science Buddies After School Science Club Program for three years. Since it was established, the program has reached more than 1,000 local students. In 2011 and 2012, a total of 17 area schools and more than 700 fourth- and fifth-grade students participated.

The Life Sciences Learning Center is part of the Center for Science Education and Outreach and the Department of Environmental Medicine at URMC, serving the needs of area students and teachers with the goal to further science education and encourage science as a career choice. LSLC focuses on innovative science programming to engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based activities in real-world settings. Programs help teachers learn how to best motivate students, raise their confidence level, and erase misconceptions about science and biomedical research.