Dr. Gary Manfready, center, talks to students from Daleville High School during an ecology tour at Troy University's Dothan Campus.
More than 100 Daleville High School students spent Monday learning about the environment, ecology and conservation efforts as part of Troy University’s inaugural Earth Day celebration in Dothan.
The field trip consisted of a documentary screening and several tours of various TROY departments – including biology, chemistry and nursing.
Several students also walked along the Harrison Walking Trail, where they learned about ecology from Dr. Gary Manfready, an assistant professor in the University’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.
“This is the 49th year of Earth Day, and our first event on campus, so it was a really exciting time to bring students out to learn about ecological issues, sustainability, all the problems we’re facing with our planet,” said Dr. Jeneve Brooks, associate professor of sociology. “We were trying to figure out how to engage more with local high school students, provide interesting activities and get them on campus. We like to pair some of the concerns we have about the environment with fun activities.”
Brooks said the University plans to offer the activity yearly, reaching out to different local high schools in future installments. “This was our first Earth Day educational event for local high school students, and we hope to do this every year,” Brooks said. “We want to reach out to some other high schools as well, because a lot of different disciplines are being focused now toward environmental careers. A lot of creative minds are coming up with scientific and technological solutions, such as creating innovative products that biodegrade.”