Lobo Youth Summit

The Lobo Youth Summit is inspired by the award-winning short film Almost Ancestors

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The youth are our future, and we want to help them become confident, informed, and assertive advocates for lobos. Gen Z is emerging as the Sustainability Generation. They care about environmental issues and make decisions based on values and principles. This program taps into the innovative spirit of Gen Z, harnessing their ability to access information, collaborate, and mobilize action. The Lobo Youth Summit invites students to become solutionist thinkers, creating well-researched and impactful social action campaigns for lobos. We already received inspiring responses from students like Samantha and Vinesh, showcasing the potential of this program to shape the future of Mexican gray wolf recovery.

 

How it works

With only 241 lobos in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, lobos need protection. The number one killer of lobos is illegal poaching. We need to expand their boundaries and improve their genetics for the species to survive.

High school and college-age students are invited to create social action and community media campaigns in response to some of the issues highlighted in the Almost Ancestors film. 

They will present their ideas at a student summit where they will have the opportunity for feedback and to reflect on other presentations. Successful students will receive up to $500 to turn their ideas into reality. These campaigns will be part of both a virtual and in-person exhibition.  

If you are a student or teacher interested in taking part, please register your interest here 

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The Lobo Youth Summit Creator and Project Leader

The idea of the Lobo Youth Summit was conceived by Claire Musser, Executive Director of the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project, with over 18 years of teaching experience across the UK, the Cayman Islands, and the USA.

Claire Musser is the Executive Director of the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and a Master of Arts in Anthrozoology, where her research explored Mexican gray wolf recovery from the perspective of the individual wolves. With over 18 years of teaching experience across the UK, Cayman Islands, and the USA, Claire uses her creativity to blend the arts and sciences. As a transdisciplinary teacher, Claire creates meaningful interactive learning experiences linked to real-world problems. As a certified environmental educator, she has presented at educational conferences and published articles about the benefits of using STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) to create meaningful educational experiences. She encourages her students to be solutionist thinkers, empowering them to take positive actions in conservation. Claire is a lifelong learner and also a Ph.D. student. Her current research focuses on multispecies entanglements, where she combines photography and anthrozoology to explore human-wildlife conflict and coexistence. 

 

Teacher and Student Testimonials 

"As a university student studying global change and environmental management, I'm extremely excited by this project. As issues like climate change and all the contributing factors that affect these overwhelming threats to our planet and various lives continue to grow in severity, we must look towards future generations to help guide us to better, more innovative solutions if we want to achieve long-lasting environmental change. We can only hope to make a real difference by empowering more students to take our futures into our own hands before it's too late. Often, I think people don't realize how much weight their ideas hold. This project is an amazing opportunity to show youths the real-world impact they can have in becoming a force for positive change. By participating in this project, my generation can take those first steps to discover what they can do to truly change the world as individuals and as part of their community. I'm looking forward to seeing these students' passion and drive to save our planet as they come up with new and innovative initiatives to preserve our world for generations to come!" Sidney, student at the University of Arizona

"Being an amateur wildlife photographer and loving nature, I know that by restoring the wolf population and making sure they are healthy, we will be able to restore an ecological balance that was taken away; and the opportunities to experience a fuller natural landscape is something I believe is truly impactful to my life." - Vinesh, BASIS Mesa Junior

“Growing up on a family farm has allowed me to see the impact that every animal has had on the local environment. I hope to see the massive positive impact that reintroduction of lobos will have on the environment.” - Jacob, BASIS Mesa Junior

“Since I was raised in a developing community, I have seen firsthand the effect that humans have on the animals in our environment. I have witnessed the local coyote population be pushed out of their native ecosystem and disappear completely. This initiative would allow me to make sure that in the future, more animals will be able to live safely in their home, and it will allow me to develop the leadership skills necessary to do so further into the future.” - Joaquin, BASIS Mesa Junior

“The Lobos Project allows for me and my fellow students to learn how to advocate for the environment and inspire others to work towards a healthier world.” - Bird, BASIS Mesa Sophomore

“I’ve always been fond of wolves. I even took a vertebrate zoology course, which expanded my understanding of them and other animals too, and to see lobos, a species so close to home, be on the verge of extinction, knowing I can make a change, motivates me to take action and help them.” - Ashwyn, BASIS Mesa Junior

"My greatest desire in life is to have a world where everyone can coexist peacefully, both with each other and with nature. As I learn more about the cultural importance of tending to the Earth, I feel more strongly that we all have a responsibility to do so, both to the land and the people living here. That is why the Lobos project matters to me." - Samantha, BASIS Mesa Senior

"I love the idea, and I think it is something that we, and most high schools, would definitely have a population of students interested in... It would be really cool to have a school put on a film festival-type event/gallery with submissions on display." Science Teacher, Scottsdale Unified School District 

"This is exactly the kinds of activities we envision students getting involved with." Science Teacher, BASIS Charter Schools

 

Event Sponsorship

We, and the schools, need your support to create a successful Summit.

If you would like to become an event sponsor, please visit the Almost Ancestors website

if you would like to sponsor a student social action project, please register your area of interest here.