The Environmental Study Team at the Intersection of Folklife and Youth Activism


Ellen E. McHale (New York Folklore)

The Schoharie River Center’s “Environmental Study Team,” is an award-winning model for the engagement of youth in citizen science, especially for promoting water stewardship in the Mohawk/Schoharie Watershed. The EST methodology for experiential learning includes hands-on environmental science alongside folklife documentation. Joining folklife/oral history collection with scientific data collection provides opportunities to further place-based identity and advocacy among youth. The model has been used successfully by youth to advocate for stream ecology as well as to raise awareness of micro-plastic pollution. By partnering with the Smithsonian’s Stories/YES program in 2020, youth discovered opportunities for environmental advocacy through the digital humanities.

Part of 03-02 Environmentalisms from the Bottom Up: Knowledge Exchange in Appalachian Contexts, Thursday, October 13, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm