Jessica Aquino með fyrirlestur á Vísindum og graut

Föstudaginn 26. mars kl. 13:00-14:00 mun Dr. Jessica Aquino, lektor Ferðamáladeildar Háskólans á Hólum flytja erindi í fyrirlestraröð Vísinda og Grauts. Erindi Jessicu, The Garden Project: Approaches to Youth Community Development and Placed-Based Education fjallar um rannsóknarverkefni í samfélagsþróun með unglinga í forgrunni sem unnið er á Norðurlandi vestra.

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Community development is seen as both a process (developing the ability to act collectively); and an outcome where the collective action leads to improvement in a community (i.e. physical, environmental, cultural, social, political, and economic). Youth community development focuses on the rights of youth to participate in a meaningful way in shaping their future and the future of their community. The goal of this research is to explore the connection of placed-based education, youth community development, and youth programs to help build community engagement and capacity; and uses the guiding research question: How can the creation of a community garden help with youth community development? Applying a qualitative research approach, reflection and group discussion was used to further understand from the perspective of the youth the outcomes of a garden project led by a youth nature club located in Northwest Iceland. Findings show that overall the youth were surprised by how much they liked gardening and how easy it was to create a community garden. This study contributes to the discussion of youth community development more generally and focuses on place-based education as an approach to help build capacity and connection to nature through youth programs.

Dr. Jessica Aquino is an Assistant Professor at Hólar University in the Department of Rural Tourism. She has a Ph.D. in Community Resources and Development, M.S. in Recreation and Tourism Studies, and a B.S. in Conservation Biology. Her research interests are in community and quality of life; sustainable tourism and responsible tourism practices; volunteer tourism; and the potential contribution that tourism has on community development and responsible management of natural areas. Dr. Aquino is the founding director of a non-profit youth nature club called Húnaklúbburinn (see The aim of the club is to enable community engagement, develop an awareness in environmental stewardship, and assist youth in taking a more active role in shaping their future, and the future of their community.