IMG_8085.jpg

Meet your Director, Aubrey Peterson Hague!

Aubrey is a sophomore at UConn and is a biological sciences and anthropology double major. She has been involved with Model UN since her sophomore year of high school, and joined UCMUN as soon as she came to UConn. Previously, she was an assistant director for UNEP and is returning as the director of UNEP for this conference. Aside from UCMUN, Aubrey participates in leadership workshops through the UConn Leadership Office and plays intramural soccer. When she’s not living in the library, Aubrey enjoys playing tennis and staying active, along with watching copious amounts of The Office and Gilmore Girls on Netflix. She encourages delegates to reach out to her before the conference at aubrey.peterson_hague@uconn.edu and can’t wait to meet everyone!

 

Meet your Topic Specialist, Julia Kendzierski!

Julia is a senior environmental science major with a concentration in global change and a minor in political science. In the future, Julia hopes to do work with an extension program, making science accessible to the public. This is her second year participating in UCMUN; previously she was the administrative assistant for UNEP. Outside of UCMUN, Julia participates in Disney Club and conducts research about amphibians under Dr. Urban. In her free time, Julia likes to watch vines, visit Horsebarn Hill, and swim. She is looking forward to the upcoming conference! Please don't hesitate to contact her with any questions at julia.kendzierski@uconn.edu.

IMG_8084.jpg
 
 

Topic A: The Coral Catastrophe

It is no secret that global climate change is drastically changing ecosystems and weather patterns all over the world, but what many neglect to see is the extensive damage climate change is causing to coral reefs. Coral reefs have been dying, or “bleaching”, at an alarming rate since the first spike in ocean temperatures in 1998. Coral bleaching happens when the symbiotic relationship that coral has with zooxanthellae,a type of algae,ceases to exist. When environmental conditions like temperature and pH of the water are no longer suitable for the survival of the zooxanthellae they leave the coral and find a new home, leaving coral bare and white (hence the term “bleaching”). Coral reefs are the foundation for the entire ocean ecosystem. All sea creatures’ survival and longevity relies on coral reefs, and  human rely on those fish for means of economic production. Coral also helps humans by absorbing and storing CO2 emitted, and regulating the pH of the ocean; as more coral dies the issue of global climate change continues to become more dire. The mission of the UNEP is to find an environmentally sustainable way to preserve and protect the remaining coral reefs from bleaching and by doing so save both oceanic biodiversity and the lives of humans who depend on the survival of coral reefs.

Topic B: Air Pollution in Industrialized Nations

Although numerous countries have made a conscious effort to decrease air pollution in the past, many industrial and developing nations still have alarmingly high AQI (Air Quality Index) ratings. Some of the most prominent areas of air pollution exist in cities in India, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. When the concentration of air pollutants becomes too high, a physical smog can be seen. This smog is very damaging to both the health of people and the natural environment; all living things need clean air to live, not air overcome with CO2 emissions and countless other hazardous products. This hazardous air is a product of highly industrial areas who release an excess of harmful chemicals directly into the air from their production facilities. Not only does this heavily polluted air stunt the growth of living organisms, but it is also a great contributor to global climate change. The UNEP must take action to  combat air pollution in industrial nations in order to reduce climate change and its threat to society.