Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Rhode Island: Program Overview
Climate Change and Sustainable Development for High School Students
In a world constantly connected to iPhones, email, Twitter, and Facebook, students at BELL RI intentionally unplug for the better part of two weeks in order to explore the shores and marshes, forests and fields of the Haffenreffer Estate in Brisol, RI and to learn about their individual leadership potentials and that of others.
Each summer, a group of highly motivated students investigate and grapple with major environmental issues, all relating to global climate change. The vast majority of environmental issues today, be it water resources, local food initiatives, ocean management, or energy production, are linked, in some way, to climate change. Our goal is to learn about these global issues by way of local experiences and examples in order to equip and empower students to act on these issues back home.
Learning at BELL is experiential and challenging. Student will:
- Study water quality and coastal resource management by walking out to the shores of Mt. Hope Bay
- Explore entrepreneurship and local food movements by visiting a local sustainable farm
- Quantify the presence of invasive species in adjacent forests with field surveys
- Construct the land use history of the property using landscape clues
- Understand the concept of situational leadership style and gain insight into your preferred leadership style
- Strengthen your ability to work effectively in small groups
- Enhance your group problem solving skills
Students will enroll in Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Sustainable Development
Your Action Plan
We believe that it is not enough to understand complex social issues. Instead, effective leaders ask themselves, "What will we do with what we know? How will we serve others? How might we work for long-term social change?"
At the Leadership Institute, we help our students define the issues that they are passionate about and construct an Action Plan to address them. We work with you to set realistic goals, identify mentors and resource people, and anticipate challenges.
We encourage you to think about some potential Action Plan topics before you come to BELL, but most students don't actually know what their Action Plan will be until they start working on it at BELL. Your instructors will help you design an Action Plan that fits your interests and skills.
Examples of BELL Student Action Plans:
- Received a grant to install solar panels on a High School
- Developed composting systems or recycling programs
- Constructed a wind turbine at school
- Eliminated Styrofoam in county buildings
- Published an educational article in an online teen magazine
- Coordinated an e-waste collection
- Implemented Meatless Mondays in a school cafeteria
Review students’ final reports on their plans in our digital Action Plan library.
Your program fee includes:
- Tuition fee for all courses
- All lodging as part of the course
- Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
- All transportation, field trips and site visits as described in the program description
- Transport to the Haffenreffer Estate from Brown University on arrival day
Your Program fee does not include:
- Transportation away from Haffenreffer on Closing Day
- Classroom materials (textbooks, notebooks, pens, etc…)
- Items of a personal nature
- Pre/post-program accommodations
- Air travel to/from Providence, RI