Whether working as a third-grade teacher, working for the National Park Service, or working in her current role as an educator and environmental/social activist for the non-profit Where There Be Dragons, Nikki Jones has dedicated her life to making the world better.
To that end, Jones visited BB&N this week as part of the Global Speakers Series, where she presented to fourth graders and Upper School science students about the global water crisis.
"This isn't an uplifting topic," she warned the 45 students gathered in the Upper School community room. "But it's a really important one...and fair or not, this will be an issue that this generation needs to address."
Although she doesn't claim to be a math expert, Jones broke down the issue into numbers, noting that our current rate of clean water usage is not sustainable compared to the amount of clean water available across the globe. A common misconception that Jones addressed with both Upper and Lower School students is that although the water cycle is a closed system, it doesn't mean that we will never run out.
"There will always be the same amount of water, but the amount of clean, safe water for a growing population is shrinking at an alarming rate," warned Jones. Much of her presentation centered on explaining how the current rate of fresh water removal far exceeds the water cycle's speed and ability to replenish those stores, and how much of the water reintegrating into the cycle is polluted.
Jones noted that beyond drought and famine issues, a lack of clean water is leading to health epidemics, and even armed conflict over access issues. Her advice to students? Get educated, get involved, and act in whatever capacity you can.
Jones' visit was organized by BB&N's director of global education, Karina Baum.