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All the motivation in the world


In 2002, at the age of 15, Alysia Garmulewicz had a life-changing experience: she joined a student expedition to Antarctica to learn about global warming. “Seeing that profoundly beautiful and fragile environment being affected by climate change motivated me to take action,” she says.

That new-found consciousness inspired Garmulewicz to organize a climate-change conference for Canadian youth in 2005. Supported by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and her family, she raised more than $120,000 for the gathering and attracted attention from environmental bigwigs such as Elizabeth May and David Suzuki’s daughter, Severn.

Now 21 and finishing her undergraduate degree in climate change and sustainability at Carleton University in Ottawa, Garmulewicz knows her next stop: a master’s in geography and the environment at the University of Oxford in England as the recipient of a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Not one to limit her horizons, Garmulewicz is also the founder of the Changing Climates Educational Society, a not-for-profit group involved in projects such as the organization of the World Changing Careers symposium to be held in Vancouver this July.

“Developing career paths that work toward a sustainable future,” Garmulewicz says, “is one of the most powerful tools we have to change society for the better.”

For more information, visit www.changingclimates.org.

— Margo McCaffrey

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Did you know that a 2005 National Survey determined that one-third of adult Canadians can be considered “geographically illiterate”?

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“Geography is the lens for the soul of the earth. With the knowledge of geography, one can examine the earth’s past, assess the present and predict future situations. You can literally be ‘lost’ without geography!”



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