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Museum of Life and Science to host second Youth Climate Summit

For Immediate Release – February 16, 2023 | 11 am

Media Contact:
Matt Pusateri, Senior Director of Marketing
(919) 220-5429 x390



DURHAM, NC — More than 100 teens from North Carolina high schools and community groups will gather at The Museum of Life and Science for the institution’s second Youth Climate Summit on February 19 – 20.

The Summit will feature opportunities for pre-registered students to learn, network, and make their own plans for climate action. This youth-led event is planned in large part by a dedicated group of teens who meet at the Museum after school to shape every aspect of the Summit. Interactive exhibits and booths will highlight community partners and science initiatives, including Keep Durham Beautiful, Piedmont Wildlife Center, Sunrise Movement Durham Hub, and more. Sessions will highlight topics encompassing climate resilience, environmental justice, lobbying, and different paths to climate action. Teams will then apply what they learned and create their climate action plan: an actionable carbon reduction plan to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in ways that are salient to their local community.

“This is a youth-led event,” said Madeline James, Associate Program Manager for Nature and Sustainability at the Museum. “One of the amazing things about it is that the kids have planned the event. And they have so many genuinely amazing ideas — they don’t have the same kind of jaded outlook that adults have. They’re so inspirational.”

Past student participants have gone on to create school gardens to provide food for their cafeterias, expanded recycling and composting programs, examined energy-saving opportunities by conducting carbon audits for their schools, and presented to school boards about their activities and potential financial savings.

Presenters at the Summit will include professor of urban planning at UNC Dr. Danielle Spurlock; Xuewei Wang and Katherine Burley from Data-Driven Envirolab; Kati Henderson and Amal Dadi of Duke Gardens; Citizens Climate Lobby Triangle Youth Team; and Julia Gartrell from Radical Repair Workshop.

The Eco Fair on Sunday, February 19, is open to the public and is included with museum admission. Details are available at

The Museum of Life and Science recognizes the importance of this initiative by the youth in Durham. The commitment and leadership of young people are valuable assets toward climate resilience. Communities, schools, local organizations, and governments are natural partners in implementing these solutions in our backyards and working together towards a sustainable future.

“The Summit is really multi-faceted this year,” James said. “It will include some meaningful experiences that hopefully they will take with them and lead to their participation and leadership with hands-on climate action.”

More info, including the Summit schedule, is available at


About The Wild Center and the Youth Climate Program

This Youth Climate Summit is inspired by The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program, which works to convene and empower young people worldwide to take climate change action. Since hosting the first Adirondack Youth Climate Summit more than 11 years ago, the model, developed by The Wild Center, has inspired over 60 summits in 11 states and five countries, and that number is growing fast. For more information on The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program, visit


About the Museum of Life and Science

Located less than five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Our 84-acre campus includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast, and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits. Our interactive experiences include Dinosaur TrailEllerbe Creek RailwayHideaway WoodsInto the MistEarth Moves, and Aerospace, which features one of the largest collections of Apollo-era NASA artifacts in the state. The Museum is also an AZA-accredited zoo, home to rescued black bears, lemurs, endangered red wolves, and more than 60 species of live animals. Last year, the Museum celebrated its 75th anniversary and its ongoing commitment to the communities of Durham, the Triangle, and North Carolina. To learn more, visit