Governor Cooper Call-in Day

Enviva, a corporation that manages wood pellet factories to provide a supplementary fuel source for European countries, is building a wood pellet factory in Richmond County that will result in mass deforestation and lasting environmental health consequences for the already-disadvantaged community. In a coordinated effort to combat this injustice, SEEC recently hosted a call-in event at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Hundreds of students called the offices of Governor Roy Cooper to encourage him to revoke Enviva’s permit to build their factory, and SEEC hopes to continue fighting this issue in the coming months. Watch the video to learn more!


SEEC Field Day

SEEC’s first Field Day was an afternoon filled with excitement as students at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics learned about different ways to promote environmental literacy and action! Through trivia competitions, recycling games, raffles (with prizes including succulents and solar-powered USB kits), and other entertaining activities, over 100 gifted students learned more about both environmental problems and solutions. This event demonstrably achieved our goal of informing future leaders about environmental stewardship, while engaging students in an interesting and light-hearted afternoon. Many more high school students are now involved with SEEC!

Stories Happen in Forests: A Live Storytelling Event

It was a night filled with inspiration for wanderers, stargazers, and defenders alike… On July 27th, SEEC partnered with the Dogwood Alliance to host an evening of storytelling and community-building in the spirit of forest protection and community justice! The event was held in Motorco Music Hall in Durham and featured live speakers with true, personal stories such as:

  • Gary Phillips, poet laureate of Carrboro
  • TC Muhammad, Hip Hop Caucus
  • Dr. Thomas Easley, Forestry professor and Center for Diversity at NCSU
  • Reverend Leo Woodberry
  • Danna Smith, Dogwood Alliance
  • Jodi Lasseter, Climate Justice Program Director, NC LCV
  • BJ McManama, the Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Margaux Escutin, Bear Afficionado and Durham Activist

The event was a huge success and over 300 people attended. SEEC has more events planned with the Dogwood Alliance! Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to get involved with other large organizations!

20448964_10156436854942926_8986885184119612566_o 20414214_10156436858887926_1683011612682254839_o

Paul Ehrlich: Ideas, Impressions, Impacts

Picture provided by the Nicholas School of the Environment
Post written by Kenneth Xu 

On October 18th, 2016, we attended renowned biologist Paul R. Ehrlich’s talk on “Surviving the Sixth Mass Extinction” at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. At 84 years old, an age that he humorously emphasized, Professor Ehrlich serves as the Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University and President of Stanford’s Center for Conservation Biology. In 1968, he published the controversial yet best-selling book The Population Bomb, which launched him to fame and paved the way for a career full of prestigious awards for leadership in biology and environmental research. He is both venerated and criticized for his unwavering devotion to his predictions of the Earth’s future.

We immediately noticed Dr. Ehrlich’s amusing personality and youthful vigor. He spoke passionately about not only overpopulation, but also more broadly about how to convince the general public and government to take action on environmental issues. He emphasized the importance of psychology, economics, and public policy in the environment movement, which piqued our interest in the role of social sciences in environmental action. The questions that he raised were similar to ones that SEEC had previously been wondering about: How can public opinion of environmental problems be changed? How do citizens convince politicians to represent their wishes? How can environmental education be implemented effectively?

SEEC serves as a direct response to these questions. At a time when environmental education is left in the hands of non-governmental organizations and grassroots nonprofits such as our own, we believe that the very existence of SEEC and the necessity of its mission reflects on the federal government. Given that even serious environmental problems are hotly debated, it’s unsurprising that the U.S. government largely ignores environmental education. Because sustainability is erroneously considered partisan by many Americans, which Paul Ehrlich constantly reminds us, political barriers are obstacles that SEEC has to deal with on a daily basis. How do we convey to parents that we are not only educating their kids on important issues but also giving them a jumpstart on their STEM education and transforming them into future leaders? We only have an inkling of an idea, though you can bet that we’re trying our best to inspire other young people and bring about tangible change. As Paul Ehrlich leaves the spotlight, SEEC is working hard to take his place.

Welcome to SEEC

Welcome to the blog for the Student Environmental Education Coalition (SEEC)! We are a North Carolina-based, grassroots, non-partisan, and entirely youth-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to cultivate a generation of environmentally literate students.

SEEC’s primary focus for these coming months is activism — we have recently been getting involved with prominent organizations like the Sierra Club and Dogwood Alliance to bring about change together! SEEC has had a very busy year, and with many more events on our calendar, here are just a few of our highlights:

  • Storytelling with Dogwood Alliance: On July 27th, people from all over North Carolina came together to share a night of storytelling and environmental dialogue. The night featured 10 awe-inspiring stories that spoke to the core of what protecting our environment is all about. SEEC and Dogwood hope to continue our partnership to organize future events in the Triangle community!
  • Governor Cooper Call-in Day: Enviva, a corporation that manages wood pellet factories to provide an alternative fuel source, is building a wood pellet factory in Richmond County that will result in mass deforestation and lasting environmental health consequences in the community. This would be disastrous for the environment, which is why we’re holding a call-in day to request Governor Cooper to revoke Enviva’s permit for their factory. Want to learn more? Watch this video:
  • Sierra Club: SEEC is excited to begin a new partnership with Sierra Club, an international nonprofit famous for protecting our environment! SEEC and Sierra Club plan on getting heavily involved in activism in the local community. For example, we are getting involved in protests against Duke Energy raising electricity rates by 15% to pay for their coal ash spill, when Duke should be taking responsibility for their own actions and paying for it themselves.

Stay tuned for more details and events!