PEI and Grand Challenges: The 2009 Summer of Learning Symposium

Carol Peters ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

On September 25, 2009, The Princeton Environmental Institute held its second annual Summer of Learning Symposium. It was a culminating event for the 107 undergraduate students whose summer internships, sponsored by PEI and Grand Challenges, focused on scientific, technical, policy and human dimensions of global environmental challenges in energy and climate, infectious disease and global health, sustainable development, resource conservation, biological diversity, and ecological health.

This past summer, participating students traveled to destinations in the United States and to 18 foreign countries on assignments with faculty-led research projects, academic institutions, NGOs, and governmental and community service agencies.

As interns, the students engaged in research, outreach, policy analysis, communications and other practical work experiences. The internship program and the assignments enrich students’ perspectives and prepare them as leaders.

The Summer of Learning Symposium was an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of individual students, exchange perspectives, develop a shared mission, and consider practical, achievable solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Emily Sung, Emma Yates, Stephen Pacala
Left to Right: Emily Sung ’11, a Development Grand Challenge intern and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major, presents “What is the Fynbos.” Emma Yates ’11, a Health Grand Challenge intern and Chemistry major, presents “Towards a Possible TB Drug Candidate: Direct Approach to the Synthesis of the Propellane Core of Pleuromutilin.” Stephen Pacala, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Director of PEI, addresses the interns.

We extend our congratulations to the students and our heartfelt appreciation to the faculty, colleagues, friends and community partners who made this year’s internship program and Summer of Learning Symposium possible.