Temple Ambler to host Green Careers Fair and BioBlitz

The need for professionals skilled in promoting sustainability and protecting and preserving the environment is critical, now more than ever.

The green industry is a booming field with potential in careers that students about to enter the working world may not have even thought of.

"Temple has numerous majors that are, of course, on the front lines of finding the perfect balance between the built and natural environments," said Susan Sacks, Manager of Research and Grants at Temple University Ambler and Co-Coordinator of Temple Ambler's EarthFest series of events. "But the green industry is so many things — emergency management, historic preservation, conservation, natural science, stormwater management, transportation planning, urban agriculture, protecting national parks. For someone that wants to make a positive impact on their communities, the diversity of the field leaves career possibilities wide open."

On Friday, October 4, Temple University Ambler EarthFest and the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University will present a Green Careers Fair from 12 to 2 p.m. in the Ambler Campus Learning Center Room 202 and 203. Students interested in attending the Career Fair are asked to register for the event online.

"The Green Careers Fair is geared toward undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines. The best way to learn about any profession is from individuals who are in the field experiencing it every day," said Sacks. "Our goal has been to put together a group of professionals that are able to convey the broad range of green careers available. Students will have the opportunity to meet with and learn from representatives from a variety of green industry fields including conservation, horticulture, landscape architecture, planning, zoology, emergency management and more!"

Organizations involved in the Green Careers Fair include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), Academy of Natural Sciences Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) program, the Elmwood Park Zoo, the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, the Barn Nature Center, ProRanger Philadelphia, Weavers Way Co-op, Upper Dublin Parks and Recreation and Shreiner Tree Care. Additional career representatives are being added, Sacks said.

ProRanger Philadelphia is a partnership between Temple University and the National Park Service that offers students a series of summer internships and eligibility for non-competitive hiring as a law enforcement ranger after graduation and completion of program requirements. The program boasts a 100-percent job placement rate for students who have successfully completed the program and is open to all college majors.

According to Anthony Luongo, Director of Temple's Criminal Justice Training Programs and Associate Director of the ProRanger Program, ProRanger Philadelphia is recruiting its next cohort for fall 2019 — the deadline in Monday, October 14.

"It is a program open to anyone who would like to develop the professional skills and training necessary to protect and conserve a variety of resources in the National Park System. The Temple students in the ProRanger program come from multiple disciplines and backgrounds — criminal justice, environmental science, anthropology, history, horticulture, film — which is what the National Park Service wants," said Luongo. "Temple's diversity and the strength of our academic programs, I believe, are the primary reasons the Park Service wanted to partner with us. Our students are culturally aware and interested in working in a variety of environments and protecting our national treasures."

According to Betsy Payne, Manager for the Academy of Natural Sciences' Women In Natural Sciences (WINS) program, and Kimberly Godfrey, Coordinator for WINS, the Green Careers Fair is an opportunity to share some of their personal experiences in several aspects of the industry in addition to promoting the importance of mentoring programs like WINS.

"We are both marine biologists by education. I was the manager of a nature center; I also worked at the University of Puerto Rico — all of these experiences helped move me toward where I am today," said Payne. "I want to emphasize the importance of mentoring in the sciences, particularly providing mentoring to students who don't see themselves in the sciences; they may not even see themselves in school. Many of our students come into the WINS program saying they really don't know about science or even have an interest in it, but they go on to discover their passion and find their career path. We had one student who was determined to become a Supreme Court justice — now she wants to study environmental policy."

Women In Natural Sciences is a free after-school and summer science enrichment program at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Since its founding in 1982, WINS has introduced hundreds of high school girls to future careers in science and other professions by providing hands-on science workshops, career and college exploration, and positive youth development. The program's mentoring and support has resulted in 100 percent of WINS students graduating high school and over 96 percent attending college.

While the program continues to focus on science, college, career exploration and positive youth development activities provide the girls with a well-rounded experience, said Godfrey.

"Our goal is to foster an encouraging environment built on mutual respect. The initial program, WINS I, includes 25 students, while WINS II has 46. After completing the first phase, our WINS II students have the opportunity to work with the public at our exhibits in addition to working with Academy scientists behind the scenes and presenting at conferences. We're able to provide experiences that they wouldn't get in the classroom."

Students attending the Green Careers Fair will also have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on experience they won't find in the classroom.

BioBlitz 2019 at Temple University AmblerOn, October 4, Temple Ambler EarthFest and the Ambler Arboretum will additionally present the Fall Arboretum BioBlitz from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

"A bioblitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. We want people to realize that the Ambler Arboretum is more than our signature gardens — it encompasses the entirety of the campus," said Kathy Salisbury, Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University. "Our bioblitz will take place over a 10-hour period in a 15-acre section of the Arboretum that includes woodlands, meadows, wetlands and creeks."

During the BioBlitz, scientists, faculty members, students, teachers, families, and other community members will work together to get an overall count of plants, animals, birds, fungi, and other living creatures in an area past the Ambler Campus Learning Center.

Individuals who have never been part of a bioblitz and can't tell one insect or leaf from another need not worry, said Spinella Sacks. The BioBlitz will include field guide instruction; guided walking tours along the Arboretum's forest trails; and hand-outs identifying leaves, trees and insects. Additional activities designed to maximize visitors' experience and the BioBlitz results are also being planned, such as bird, mammal, reptile and insect walks.

"This is an event that is very much about citizen science. We want everyone who is interested in the environment, science and biodiversity to join us," Spinella Sacks said. "Everyone involved will be taking pictures and samples and, depending on what they are looking at, they will identify it themselves or bring it to experts for identification; then it will be compiled into a database. The wonderful thing about a bioblitz is that everyone can help!"

Visit ambler.temple.edu/BioBlitz to register for the event and learn more. For additional information about the Green Careers Fair and/or the Fall BioBlitz, contact duffyj@temple.edu or 267-468-8108.

Be sure to visit ambler.temple.edu/community to learn about additional EarthFest and Ambler Arboretum events and programs that will be held in 2019.