NVU-Lyndon scientists running to raise awareness of climate change

Local News

You’ve probably heard the expression if you ‘talk the talk’ you should ‘walk the walk’. Scientist at Northern Vermont University at Lyndon (formerly Lyndon State College) are doing just that but they’re walking, they’re running.

“People run for causes all the time,” said Dr. Janel Hanrahan, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences. “I thought why not run for something like climate change awareness.”

Earlier this year Dr. Hanrahan brought this idea to her atmospheric science student, alum, and NVU-Lyndon community. The response was overwhelming.

A total of 26 will participate in a half marathon in New York City on May 11th. They will be doing it, wearing these shirts, hoping to start a conversation.

“We think it’s really important that the general public understands the actual science. Because we think if more people really understand the urgency of the situation, we would be acting on it (climate change) much quicker,” said Dr. Hanrahan.

She leads a group of student scientist at NVU-Lyndon, as part of ‘The Climate Consensus‘. Their goal, to educate anyone wanting to learn the science of the changing climate.

“I am running for food security,” said Jon Hutchinson, who is finishing up the “junior core” of his undergrad studies. “I am running against food scarcity. Raising awareness for the impact that climate change has on our agriculture.”

Joining Jon Hutchinson is freshman Mason Dejesus. “I think of how it’s (climate change) going to affect my future.”

Mason Dejesus is running for his future, along with three other students who will run the half marathon in a relay.

Others teams are running for “their kids” and “our winters”. A total of three, two students and one professor, will run the entire half marathon. That leaves 6 teams of 4 running the half marathon relay.

“I always picture my parent’s retirement, how they’re retiring now, in this kind of safe world that we have. My future, my retirement isn’t going to be the same if climate change keeps continuing at the way it’s at,” said Dejesus.

As for Dr. Hanrahan, she is doing it for her son’s future, “because today’s actions will truly make a difference tomorrow.”

For many students like Jon Hutchinson, he has never run a race in his life. Dr. Hanrahan said they have utilized the college’s exercise sciences department to create a workout regiment for those racing in May.

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