Current Environmental Issue

Learning Objectives

How do we balance quality of life with the quality of the environment? What impact do humans have on nature, and how can we protect it for future generations? How can we think critically about the issues facing our world today, and develop creative solutions for conservation and growth? Through examining a different Current Issue each year, students will apply their knowledge to real-world environmental problems, answering these difficult questions and more as they work together to build a more sustainable future.

Just like the ecosystems we study, human society and culture are incredibly diverse. In the same way that biodiversity makes ecosystems more resilient, these differences in human perspective and experience make us stronger as a global community. Every person’s story and relationship with the environment is important, and we must work together to ensure that everyone’s stories are heard, including the historically marginalized and economically disadvantaged.

Adapting to a Changing Climate 2023

For hundreds of years, New Brunswick’s economy has been strongly dependent on its primary resource sectors. Forestry, agriculture, fisheries, energy production, mining and tourism form the foundation for the socio-economic well-being of New Brunswickers. Climate change is predicted to have direct and indirect impacts on the natural environment on which these resource-based industries depend. These impacts may pose a threat to the viability of many New Brunswick resource-dependent communities.

The earth’s climate is constantly changing and has been doing so for billions of years. Although long-term fluctuations in temperature are normal and greenhouse gasses are emitted to the atmosphere from both natural and human-generated sources, the vast majority of climate scientists agree that the global warming observed since the mid-20th century (1950s) is cause for immediate concern. Human-induced emissions of greenhouse gasses are being released at a quicker rate than natural processes can remove them¹. Not only do climate models project an increase in temperature, but the models also predict increases in the frequency of hot days above 30⁰C (86⁰F) as well as changes in precipitation, extreme weather events, sea level rise, water stress, and ocean acidification. As a result, disruptive changes to ecosystems, the economy, and society are expected to occur on both local and global scales.

The changing climate is one of the most complex issues facing the world today. It spans many disciplines and aspects of everyday life: science, socio-economics, environment, health, politics, as well as moral and ethical values. The impact on New Brunswick’s economy and quality of life for its citizens will depend on how effectively we plan and prepare for the complex challenges and changes that will occur.

Students will learn about factors contributing to a changing climate, the effects of these changes on the environment and natural resources, and the unique challenges facing natural resource dependent communities. As they explore the impacts on human social and economic systems, they will learn about management strategies for mitigating and adapting to a changing climate, and the roles of innovative technologies and programs in responding to local and global changes.

¹ Bush, E. and Lemmen, D.S., editors (2019): Canada’s Changing Climate Report; Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON. 444 p.

Educational Resources and Articles – Adapting to a Changing Climate Study Guide


Past year – Waste to Resources 2022

Waste to Resources Key Concepts

Study Guide

Oral Presentation

  • Work collaboratively in a team to synthesize scientific information, create inventive
    solutions to real-world problems, prepare a comprehensive presentation about the Oral
    Presentation scenario, and present the proposed plan to an audience.
  • Organize information from credible sources and apply it to a specific scenario.
  • Speak clearly and confidently in front of a group.
  • Prepare and perform the presentation in the allotted amount of time.
  • Create visual aids using Microsoft PowerPoint or similar presentation software.
  • Answer questions about the presentation content accurately and thoroughly.

2022 Envirothon NB Scenario

Available to participating teams April 6, 2022.

Judges Evaluation Criteria for the Oral Presentation – Team should be familiar with the evaluation criteria and consider how to address each section while developing their presentation.

Envirothon NB Virtual Workshops provide more information to help focus the teams’ preparation for the oral presentation.

Virtual Presentations:

youtube

Waste to Biogas presentation

youtube

Waste to Resources Presentation