Jacksonville Teen to Attend Climatology Summit
|Josh Morrison, a local Jacksonville teenager,
is pictured here with Jonathan Herbert, a geography professor at JSU, whom Morrison mentioned along with the geography department
in his winning essay qualifying him to attend The Weather Channel’s Forecast Earth Summit in Washington, D.C. as an Eco-ambassador. Photo: Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star.
By Matt Kasper
Star Staff Writer
Reprinted here in its entirety.
JACKSONVILLE — Attending a climatology conference may not be at the top of
the fun list for most teenagers.
But 16-year-old Joshua Morrison is looking forward to being in good company
Dec. 7 to 9 as one of 20 participants attending The Weather Channel’s Forecast
Earth Summit in Washington, D.C.
The conference will focus on environmental education and include a number of
activities and discussions about climate change, according to organizers.
Participants selected for the summit, known as Eco-ambassadors, were chosen
based on a 200-word essay contest that started in October and ended in November.
Freshman, sophomore and junior students were asked to explain in a 200-word
essay why the environment is their passion and what efforts they have used to
make the planet “clean and green,” according to a press release.
“As The Weather Channel we are trying to communicate the environmental
message,” said Marla Hoppenfeld, vice president of public relations for The
Hoppenfeld said the first year event is based on the Forecast Earth show
which started a year and a half ago.
“We want to start empowering (teenagers) with knowledge,” she said.
The summit title is based on the television show Forecast Earth: This Week, a
weekly television program on climate change.
Eco-ambassadors at the conference will collaborate on a series of public
service announcements set to air on The Weather Channel network.
But the Jacksonville High school sophomore did not discover the contest by
Instead, Morrison said he found out about it surfing the Web.
“I was just Googling, then I found the Web site,” he said.
Morrison, who is the son of Renee Morrison, assistant director of JSU EPIC
and Field Schools, said he wrote his essay on how he has tried to help the earth
He said he mentioned his group Gaming Environmentally Educated Kids GEEKs in
the Woods, which focuses on educating children about the outdoors, and how they
have come together to work with the JSU Field Schools.
About a week ago, he said the number of contestants was narrowed to 40.
A few days later, Morrison said he was notified he would be one of the 20.
The opportunity to meet with “powerful people” who can make environmental
changes is one of the things he said he is looking forward to, along with
learning more about how global warming affects weather.
Jonathan Herbert, a geography professor at JSU, said he was happy to learn
Morrison mentioned him and the geography department in his essay.
“I was just impressed to see that he had won, “he said.
Renee Morrison said she is proud to see her son putting himself in a position
that can influence people his age in the future.
“I’m seeing him and he’s pretty humble about it,” she said.
“He knows he’s part of his team and speaking for his generation.”
In the meantime, Morrison said he is anxiously awaiting the trip:
“I haven’t even received my itinerary yet.”
About Matthew Kasper
Matthew Kasper covers Jacksonville, Piedmont,
Ohatchee and Alexandria for the Star.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com
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