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2021 Jasper Ridge Environmental Education Scholar Award winners: Sydney Lee Schmitter and Sriram R Narasimhan

2021 Jasper Ridge Environmental Education Scholar Award winners: Sydney Lee Schmitter and Sriram R Narasimhan

We are pleased to announce Sydney Lee Schmitter and Sriram R. Narasimhan as the recipients of the 2021 Jasper Ridge Environmental Education Scholar Award. Both students have engaged in meaningful environmental education activities both at and related to Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve by leading outreach efforts with the Redwood Environmental Academy of Leadership (REAL) program and their leadership with the Stanford SEEDS student chapter. Sriram is an alumnus of the BIO/ESYS 105 Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve course (2020) and Sydney has been volunteering with the Stanford SEEDS chapter since February 2020.

Throughout the entire 2020-2021 calendar, Sriram and Sydney worked closely with REAL teacher Mr. Chris Beetley-Hagler to organize, design and deliver four virtual environmental education sessions for the students in the program. They engaged the students with dynamic virtual lectures and activities on topics such as The Green New Deal, Climate Justice, Indigenous Wildfire Management and Plant Communities at Jasper Ridge. Over the course of the year, both Sririam and Sydney kept inviting more and more Stanford students to join the virtual activities and continue to communicate resources and opportunities to the Jasper Ridge, Stanford and SEEDS community.

Mr. Beetly-Hagler asked his students what they thought about Sriram and Sydney leading the virtual sessions and they expressed many forms of gratitude for their time and for introducing them to new topics. One student voiced: “I appreciate it very much, I like when other guests, are in the class, we don’t have that many guests, so it is fun.” Another student followed that “I really appreciate that they make us learn new things”. For example, during one of the Climate Justice sessions, students were introduced to the Sunrise Movement: “I learned for the first time that this group focuses on providing a safe space for young people to empower themselves and work on Environmental Justice issues to establish positive and systemic change through grassroots community organizations and it is run by young people of color”.

Their nominator described their contributions beautifully: “Even during the difficult and challenging times of COVID-19, Sriram and Sydney found a way to provide environmental education and outreach opportunities to broader audiences and historically under-represented groups in STEM fields. I am convinced that they embody excellence in outreach and education, one of the primary pillars of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.”

Congratulations Sydney Schmitter and Sriram Narasimhan!

Photo at top of page: Sydney Schmitter (left) and Sriram Narasimhan (right).