A&F NewsletterSpring 2004
Impact on Brazil Forest
Saving 2,000 square feet of threatened forest land in Brazil might not seem like a big deal, but it is to Cowley Math & Science Club students. For the past seven years, the student organization has chosen to work with Human-i-Tees, an educational fundraiser, primarily because it is widely recognized for its commitment to environmental education and preservation and for incorporating social responsibility into its work.
In fall 2001, Human-i-Tees unveiled its Tees for Trees program. Since its introduction, partnerships with organizations such as Cowley’s Math & Science Club have preserved more than 2,100 acres of forest in the Jaguar Ecological Reserve located in Brazil’s Pantanal. Greg Nichols, Math & Science Club sponsor, said he was proud of the students’ efforts. “This is my first year doing this, and it’s pretty cool,” said Nichols, a math instructor in the Natural Science Department. “I don’t think the students realize the impact they are having on the world in which we live.”
The Cowley students raised nearly $1,400, which allowed Human-I-Tees and the Focus Conservation Fund to preserve 2,050 square feet of forest. About $500 came back to the club and will be used to pay for field trips, social activities and refreshments at club meetings. Nichols credited Pam Smith, a colleague in the Natural Science Department, for keeping students involved in the fundraiser throughout the years. Nichols said the Amazon Rainforest was depleting at such a rapid pace that it would continue to have a negative effect on the environment around the world. “That forest provides a lot of oxygen, and if the rainforests are depleted, the carbon dioxide increases, and that contributes to global warming,” Nichols said. “A lot of schools and organizations around the country are involved in this project. Hopefully, we will help in the preservation of forest area the size of a neighborhood or even a small town with continued support.” Nichols said it was important for young people to realize that their effort impacts the entire world. “Anytime you can get young kids to think beyond their own circumstances, that’s part of the whole college experience,” Nichols said.