Environment Minister Calls For More Scientists As Earth Day Is Celebrated

Shontes Hall (right) of the Forestry Unit shares information about his Department with Minister Miller (left) and State Minister Lightbourne at the first STEM Career Fair organized by the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection on Earth Day.
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Nassau, The Bahamas – The Bahamas needs more scientists, marine biologists, oceanographers and persons in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Shontes Hall (right) of the Forestry Unit shares information about his Department with Minister Miller (left) and State Minister Lightbourne at the first STEM Career Fair organized by the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection on Earth Day.

The Hon. Vaughn Miller, the Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources sounded the appeal to high school students, Monday, April 22, at the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection’s first STEM Career Fair in recognition of Earth Day 2024.

“In The Bahamas we have a special challenge. We are fortunate that God has blessed us with over 100,000 square miles of pure paradise but we currently do not have enough skilled individuals to steward God’s gift to us.

“We need more scientists, we need more marine biologists, we need oceanographers, we need persons in the field,” said Minister Miller.

“The purpose of today is to present to you young scholars a diversity of career options for your consideration.  If you are good at Math, there is a career option for you; if you are good at English there is a career option for you also.  Whatever field of interest that you may have, there is a career option for you.

“We need everyone to focus on the environment to promote its health and to ensure that everyone is sufficiently aware and engaged in the protection and conservation of our natural resources.”

Several government agencies, NGOs and private sector agencies participated in the Career Fair held at the National Training Agency.

DEPP Director Dr. Rhianna Neely urged the high school students to visit the booths which showcased opportunities and careers that are available for young people and to ask lots of questions.  “There are opportunities here. We are looking for talented individuals to come and join us to make sure that we preserve and conserve our Bahamas for you and everyone that comes behind you,” she said.

The Hon. Zane Lightbourne, State Minister in the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources encouraged the students to embrace every moment: “Take seriously every aspect of the day, whether you have an opportunity to learn or to contribute. You are the future of this country. We are depending on persons who are interested in science, our natural environment, resources, flora and fauna. Everyone here is teaching you so you can take us to the next step. We don’t have all the answers. I encourage you to continue to be awesome, curious and bold. Take leaps that will take yourself and this country way beyond the 21st century,” he said.

Minister Lightbourne commended the students, organizers and lecturers for their efforts: “Today, the awesome display and diversity in all aspects of our environment is a testament to how seriously we in this country take conservation and our natural resources.  I commend you for that.”

More than 192 countries around the world celebrate Earth Day annually on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection and conservation efforts.

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