Ya-Ling ChangTeaching Assistant, Kaohsiung American School
- 30 Under 30
This year, I participated in two big EE projects (promoting national EE policy and national outdoor education) and one international EE youth leadership program. My main role is to coordinate our teammates, plan EE activities and programs, and provide strategic plans, all which impact national policy, the formal EE network, government, principals, and school teachers. The EE 30 Under 30 community continues to broaden my global vision of EE as I obtain news and resources from different countries, and get to know other young people who are working on effective EE initiatives. I recommend emerging leaders in EE to build up strong EE networks, share resources with each other, and cooperate with different fields to create larger EE impact. My work relates to number 4: Grow global EE leadership by helping with the Taiwan-US EE young leadership program. Additionally, the two big EE/outdoor education (OE) policy projects I participate in relate to number 6: Connect and Collaborate for Change by connecting central and local governments to gradually improve the quality of school EE/OE through national curriculum.
Ya Ling's Original Bio
Ya-Ling is a passionate and dedicated environmental educator with a marine ecology and environmental management background. She is also a well-trained instructor for the global and native overfishing teaching module (for middle and elementary school students) in Taiwan. Recently, her animal artwork has been exhibited as part of a large EE campaign in October 2017 in Taiwan.
Ya-Ling has conducted ecological investigations in mangrove forests and witnessed serious water pollution. She realized how the animal population changes in various polluted regions from the river to the ocean. With this experience, her concern for the environment and what she learned from the lab made her start to emphasize the importance of knowledge transfer from scientists to the public. She began trying to solve environmental problems by understanding more about environmental communications to people and society.
After graduating from University of Queensland with her MS of Environmental Management, she worked in a lab focused on the health of coral reef and coastal impacts. In addition, she helped train students as “Coral Ambassadors” to represent Taiwan and to visit the U.S. as part of an exchange program for middle school students. Her great achievement was conducting the application work for the National Environmental Education Award and helping the National Marine Museum earn the top honor. She believes that carrying out quality EE and promoting people’s awareness of marine biodiversity are the keys to success in environmental conservation.
Ya-Ling's work is now focused on EE policy and strategy for the Ministry of Education (MOE). In this role, she has brought a selected team of top EE promoters (principals and teachers) from Taiwan, as representatives of the Ministry of Education, to go abroad to Korea as part of an exchange program with Korean principals, teachers, and nature centers. In addition, she is part of an initiative to promote EE in schools by systematically linking it to the National Curriculum, and to extend the insights of EE teaching in regard to social, economic, political aspects for different learning stages of school children. Since the mechanism and law for school EE already exists, she aims to upgrade the strategy for designing basic through advanced levels of EE and to help all the counties and cities build their recognition of their land and environment.