IFAS News

University of Florida

UF CALS student speaks at the 12th UN Conference of Youth in Morocco

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Conservation, Environment, IFAS

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Rock Aboujaoude Jr., a University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) undergraduate student, presented to more than 2,000 colleagues from around the world at the 12th U.N. Conference of Youth in Marrakesh, Morocco. This international event was held as part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in November.

As part of his presentation, the third-year international food and resource economics major discussed his involvement with the nonprofit organization, Campus Climate Corps. Aboujaoude specifically addressed global economic development in regard to climate change. He stressed the importance of being an informed citizen who works with others to impact local and state government.

“I’m very passionate about the subject of climate change, and I believe this is where my future career will be,” said Aboujaoude. “Involvement in opportunities like this is in the interest of making society a better place in which to live.”

Aboujaoude attended last year’s Conference of Youth in Paris as a workshop presenter. His involvement with Campus Climate Corps, a national organization, gave him the opportunity to speak at both the 2015 and 2016 conferences. Aboujaoude said his biggest takeaway from the conference was learning how desperately other students wanted to come to the U.S. no matter which political parties or leaders are in power.

“I could see the hunger for our country in their eyes,” said Aboujaoude. “They wanted to learn all they could from us related to climate change, and how they could positively impact their country from that knowledge. My hope is that we can have that same thirst to fight for climate change education in our country like those students do.”

Students should have access to facts and not opinions, particularly when it comes to issues like climate change, Aboujaoude said. Through his volunteer work with Campus Climate Corps and the American Jacobin Club, he hopes he encourages others to be informed and engaged in solving big issues facing our country.

“Students like Rock highlight the significant impacts UF/IFAS/CALS has in our global communities,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “CALS is proud to have assisted in sponsoring Rock’s travel along with the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department. We encourage our students to take advantage of the many travel grants and scholarships for research and presentations, faculty-led research and study abroad programs, and exchange programs available within our college.”

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The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities. Visit the CALS website at cals.ufl.edu, and follow CALS on social media platforms at @ufcals.

By: Dana Edwards, 352-392-1963, dana.edwards@ufl.edu

Source: Elaine Turner, 352-392-1963, returner@ufl.edu

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