Conference aims to boost environmental education

11/02/07 7:34AM By Melody Bodette

(Host) Leaders from a variety of fields believe education is a key way to expand Vermont's growing environmental economy.

The Vermont Environmental Consortium has invited leaders from education, state government and business to a conference about the topic this weekend at Norwich University.

Daniel Hecht is executive director of the consortium. He says research has shown that Vermont's existing resources in environmental education can be used to help expand the economy.

(Hecht) ``Vermont often talks about developing a `green brand' in environmental technologies or something, but the best opportunity, I think, is to create a green brand of environmental education."

(Host) Hecht says that many of Vermont's institutions have already positioned themselves as green, but more can be done.

Hecht says one example is the need for students to get experience in Vermont's many green businesses.

(Hecht) ``People wanting a good education will want to take an internship in their field. Right now, there's no systematic way to find an internship.  Well, here in Vermont we've got some 300 firms active in environmental firms and they'd make a great place to have an internship. we need a statewide internship board."

(Host) The Governor's Commission on Climate Change came to many of the same conclusions in its recent report. It says schools and the private sector need to work together to boost the green economy.

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