BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Back from a weeklong service learning trip to
Louisiana, three University at Buffalo undergraduates took time to
reflect on their experiences on the Gulf Coast.
David Dodge, Gabrielle Kawalick and Ian Bick were among 17
students who took part in an "alternative winter break" this
January, volunteering in wetland restoration activities. The group
worked with indigenous plants at a local farm and hauled hundreds
of recycled Christmas trees out to waterways around Houma, La. (The
trees help reinforce wetlands, capturing sediments.)
Videos of each of the three students discussing their trip are
available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA48AE73F125B9195.
For the students, the expedition "was all about making
connections" between the bayou and Buffalo, said Jim Simon,
associate environmental educator with UB's Office of
Sustainability. As Simon pointed out, much of the seafood we eat
comes from Gulf waters, and many New York birds visit southern
wetlands during yearly migrations.
"Knowing that impact, I think the students are going to be
thinking more about how they can apply these lessons on
sustainability, leadership and diversity to UB," Simon said.
He and Jodi Stelley-Ceroky, an educational programming
coordinator with UB's Intercultural and Diversity Center,
accompanied the students on the trip that ran from Jan. 7 to Jan.
14. Terri Budek, community engagement coordinator of the Center for
Student Leadership and Community Engagement, organized the