Alex Ip is just getting started on his Georgia Tech environmental engineering degree, but he’s already connecting with scientists and researchers around the world.
He created a website called The Xylom where scientists share personal stories about their work and talk about everything from conservation to race relations. Now he has the opportunity to broaden his network as one the participants selected for the Atlanta Climate Reality Leadership Corps training workshop.
Created by former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, the training aims to create a worldwide network of “activists committed to spreading awareness of the climate crisis and working for solutions to the greatest challenge of our time,” according to the corps.
“Climate solutions are heavily connected to my major. The changing climate brings along extreme weather and natural disasters, which would need us to build resilient infrastructure that can withstand the forces of nature,” said Ip, a first-year Tech student. “We have passed the point where only reducing our wasteful behavior could be a catch-all solution; we need to adapt and minimize the damage. As an environmental engineer, I have to be informed and engage with stakeholders so we could work together to tackle these pressing problems.”
Ip said approximately 500 people are slated to attend the three-day workshop in March, including other students from Tech as well as faculty members. Some will come from as far away as South America and Asia.
“As a person of faith, it pains me to see that many communities' livelihoods are at stake. I hope to become a bridge between environmentally conscious communities and religious communities in leading the fight for climate solutions,” he said. “We need both of them together to make an impact.”
Ip also hopes to connect with climate scientists and other researchers who might support or collaborate with The Xylom website and learn from other grassroots organizers.
“I hope that I can show by example how everyone could contribute their part and that we're not too late, as long as we put in serious effort to change,” Ip said.