Earth Optimism Teen Event – A Focus on Food
Saturday, March 16, 2019, 1-5 pm
Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Free Event for Teens Ages 13-19
Sign Up Here: https://tinyurl.com/TeenEarthOpt
Come Celebrate Earth Optimism 2019: A Focus on Food!
Once again, Q?rius will be closed to the public and open only to a limited number of registered teens, plus scientists, curators, community leaders, and other experts in the field of food.
- Hang Out: Meet other local teens and enjoy FREE sustainable and local food!
- Be Empowered: Explore ways to make informed decisions about food: nutrition, health, sustainability, security, culture, and more.
- Be Informed: Talk with scientists, food experts, community leaders, and your peers about aspects of food you never thought of.
- Get Involved: Find out about Earth Day events, internships, places to visit, and local projects.
What Is Happening? Who Will You Meet?
Hear from teens about how they are making a difference in their communities.
Taste test a variety of foods that will make your tummy happy and expand your horizons. Hang out with other teens and talk with local restaurant and food organization leaders!
Participate in one of the following discussions to problem-solve with scientists, food experts, and community leaders.
Take the Smithsonian Recycling Challenge
This activity will be led by Dr. Eric Hollinger, an archaeologist who helps the Smithsonian study ways of reducing its environmental impacts by diverting its waste to recycling and composting.
Talk informally to any number of these amazing people who view food topics from a range of perspectives. Ask questions, share your ideas, and be inspired.
Ruth Bennet – Migratory Bird Center Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Ruth researches tropical agroforestry in Central America to figure out how coffee and chocolate production can provide better habitat for wildlife. At the Smithsonian, she works with the Bird Friendly program, which certifies shade coffee plantations that support migratory birds and helps those farmers sell their coffee for higher prices. Claro que hablo Español y bailo salsa!
Eva Boyle – George Washington University
Asha Carter – DC Greens
Emily Frigon – D.C. Market Manager, Hungry Harvest
Hungry Harvest is a recovered produce delivery service on a mission to end food waste and hunger in the U.S. Six billions lbs of food go to waste each year for cosmetic imperfections or surplus crops, while one in six Americans do not have food access. I work to bridge this gap by providing affordable produce to people that need it! Feel free to speak with me about internship opportunities and ways to volunteer in the food access space.
Julianna Greenberg – Food Recovery Network – UMD
Julianna is a senior at the University of Maryland studying ecology and sustainability and has been involved with Food Recovery Network since she was a freshman. She’s had many roles, but as the president her biggest job is volunteer coordination and scheduling. Through her work, and the work of many others, Food Recovery Network is able to save over 200 pounds of food each night from being thrown away. They help to distribute it to people in the greater DC area who need it.
Ellie Hart – Teen ambassador with Teens Dream and Global CoLabs
Ellie works on with the Plastic Pollution Reduction project to minimize single-use plastic consumption tied to food and drinks, by connecting DC-area teens so they can work towards common goals. They use their website and virtual meeting room, to connect teens and will be hosting an open house in May! She has connections with a lot of DC area environmental organizations, so feel free to ask her questions about other initiatives.
Pam Hess – Executive Director, Arcadia
Pam is the executive director of Arcadia which is working to create a more equitable, sustainable food system where everyone -- regardless of where they live or how much money they have -- has access to "the good stuff." Arcadia grows food on their farm (and have lots of high school volunteers who help with that!); train military veterans to become farmers; teach school children about healthy food and how to grow it; and run Mobile Markets in 10 neighborhoods that don't have grocery stores and have a high use rate of SNAP (food stamps). They accept and double SNAP so customers can afford more great food -- all of which was grown on their farm and other quality farms within about 120 miles of Washington, D.C.
Eric Hollinger – National Museum of Natural History
Paula Johnson – Curator of Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History
I am a curator of food history, which means I do research, collect objects and documents, and create exhibitions and programs around the history of food in the United States. Through artifacts and stories from the past, I help the public understand how the important challenges of today — food security, sustainability, nutrition, innovation, labor, cross cultural understanding, and food justice — have roots in the past that can help us navigate our way forward. Sometimes people think our exhibition on food history has actual food from the past that they can sample; I have to admit it would be kind of cool to taste grains, vegetables, and fruits from earlier eras and diverse places around the globe. Anyone interested in developing a new technology that could accurately replicate foods from the past?
Logan Kistler – Curator of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History
I am an archaeologist who uses ancient DNA and genomics to learn about the origin stories of our food. I think about how pumpkins only exist because of mastodons, I travel to villages in Brazil to learn about traditional agriculture, and I use big data and coding to test new ideas about the history of food.
Gary Krupnick – Curator of Botany, National Museum of Natural History
Dr. Gary Krupnick, head of the Plant Conservation Unit in the Department of Botany at the National Museum of Natural History, examines how data from herbarium specimens can be used in assessing the global conservation status of plant species. He is the Vice Chair U.S. of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, a collaborative body that encourages the health of pollinating animals in ecosystem health, agriculture, and food supplies. Along with the American Society of Botanical Artists, he co-curated the traveling exhibition, "Losing Paradise? Endangered Plants Here and Around the World," a convergence of art, science, conservation, and education.
Krithika Layagala – Conservation Commons, Global Co-Lab
Katharine Meade – Program Manager Office of Audience Engagement & Experience Design, National Museum of American History
Katharine creates and implements public programming at the National Museum of American History that uses history to spark meaningful conversation and expand perspectives. She focuses on food and agriculture history with the Smithsonian Food History Project. She also trains public programs facilitators and interns who run activity spaces, experiential learning, theater programs, and more.
Andre Radcloff – Smithsonian Science Education Center
David Rico – Cook, I-Collective
David Rico is a cook and member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He works for Jose Andres as a butcher and collaborates with a group of Indigenous Chefs called the I-Collective. He hopes to make Native Foods more accessible to the people of DC.
Malka Roth – Program Manager, City Blossoms Youth Entrepreneurship Cooperative Program
Mighty Greens is a youth-led, garden-based, entrepreneurship program of City Blossoms. A cooperative of young people (ages 14-19) that uses school gardens and greenhouses as spaces to learn how to care for edible and native plants while growing our business. Throughout the year we grow, harvest, and share some of the freshest produce and products in D.C.!
Dr. Bill Schindler – Director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington College
Dr. Bill Schindler is the director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab, an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and the co-star of the National Geographic series, "The Great Human Race." As an experimental archaeologist, primitive technologist, and chef, his research and teaching — both in and outside of the college — revolve around a comprehensive understanding of prehistoric and traditional technologies especially as they relate to food acquisition, processing, storage, and consumption. He believes that the better understanding of prehistoric life made possible through the archaeological record and a practical understanding of the technologies that created it can contextualize our place in the world and help provide answers to many of the issues facing us today. Bill is a strong advocate of traditional foodways and is constantly seeking new ways to incorporate lessons learned from his research into the diets of modern humans. His outlook on food has revolutionized the way in which he and his family eat and he attributes much of the health his wife and three children enjoy to the nutrient dense hunted, gathered, and fermented foods that comprise a significant portion of their diets.
Tambra Stevenson – Founder & CEO, WANDA: Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture
Curious and concerned growing up in Oklahoma, Tambra wondered why her family members were dying from diabetes, cancer and heart disease, which led her into research, policy, program development. As the founder of WANDA, her life's journey led her to restoring her divine feminine power, reclaiming her heritage foodways, and reconnecting to the land by advocating for women and girls in nutrition and agriculture. As a recovering band nerd and former Future Farmers of America card-carrying member, Tambra's early biology rap days have shifted into writing stories and songs through the "Where's WANDA?" children's book series to spark more healthy eaters, readers, and global foods leaders.
Sandra Tallent – FDA
Steve Velasquez – Curator of Culture and Community Life, National Museum of American History
I am a curator who studies food, food labor, immigration history, and Latinx history. I have worked on many exhibits including "Food: Transforming the American Table," "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964" — which deals with agricultural guest workers — and "Many Voices, One Nation," a 500-year look at cultural history through the lens of migration. I am currently working on entertainment history and a possible exhibit on lowriders.
Taylor Winkleman – Next Generation Global Health Security Network
Taylor is a veterinarian and infectious disease public health specialist concerned especially with the human-livestock-wildlife interface. She spends a great deal of time advocating for the voice of the next generation (students and early career scientists) to be included in the highest levels of discussion on global health. She also writes, creates podcasts, and does flying trapeze.
Ashley Rose Young – Historian of Food History, National Museum of American History
Dr. Ashley Rose Young is the historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. At the museum, you can find her hosting live cooking demonstrations with guest chefs and home cooks. Together, they use dishes to explore aspects of U.S. history ranging from the development of the transatlantic economy in the colonial period to the advent of refrigeration technology and Jell-O mania in the mid-20th century. Dr. Young is also a member of the curatorial team at the museum and is working on the "FOOD: Transforming the American Table" exhibition.