Nicholas Allen | December 31, 2019
Dr. John Bruno, Professor in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of Biology, is an exceptional academic by any metric. From an impressive slate of academic publications; to a slew of popular science appearances, be they self-proclaimed rants, op-eds or otherwise; to representing one-third of the team of the ocean-focused blog SeaMonster, Bruno’s diverse engagement with both his marine research and academic community is a testament to his dedication as a scholar.
At World View, we’re proud to have gotten just a slice of his time outside the lab: he has presented at multiple World View programs, most recently 2019 K-12 Global Education Symposium which focused on the Sustainable Development Goals and making classroom connections for educators. His breakout session, entitled “Why Are We Losing the World’s Reef Building Corals and What Can We Do About It?” was a hit. Bruno, however, does a lot more than just present to K-12 educators at seminars and symposia—he takes the call to classroom connections literally.
Between research and instruction, Bruno somehow finds time to speak at a motley assortment of events: a middle school oceanography club, a high school summit featuring Project Drawdown and even video chats with classrooms through services like Skype a Scientist.
“It’s really fun to do this,” Bruno commented. He noted that his motivation for doing the kind of work that might never meet the public eye is a basic “sense of decency and responsibility.” Despite his initiative and his generosity with his time, Bruno pointed the spotlight elsewhere: “Teachers are the real heroes. They’re creating this next generation and that’s where the real hope is.”
Indeed, cultivating hope is a non-negotiable if we’re going to reverse climate change, especially if you know as much as he does about the current state coral reef ecology.
If you’re interested in bringing more global perspectives and resources into your classroom, check out World View to You!, which offers professional development delivered right to your school, and The OVERBook Project on the Environment and Sustainability, a World View Fellows program that created study guides with educator resources in connection with the Population Institute’s OVERBook.
Special thanks to John Bruno and all educators who engage with global issues with their careers, in their classrooms, and beyond.