Geography Student and Ohio State Alumnus Named Delegates to U.N.
Emily Nosse-Leirer, an undergraduate majoring in geography, and Hudson McFann, an Ohio State alumnus (BA, geography, 2010) were part of a youth delegation attending the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the Rio+20 Conference on June 22, 2012
The summit, also known as Rio+20, marked the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit (the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development), which also was held in Rio. Nosse-Leirer and McFann were part of a team of 22 people from 18 to 26 years old representing SustainUS, a nonprofit youth- and volunteer-run organization advancing sustainable development and youth empowerment in the United States.
Nosse-Leirer is studying geography and pursuing a minor in economics. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she became interested in the environment and climate change after spending a summer working and studying in New Orleans. Seeing the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and interacting daily with people who were committed to helping the city recover and become more resilient, Nosse-Leirer is currently conducting research on the relationship between poverty rates and the low elevation of neighborhoods in the city and the way that city planners seek to address issues of environmental and social justice in a time of volatile weather and politics.
“Sustainability isn't just an issue for climate scientists: it's an issue for everyone and anyone who cares about food and water security, about human rights, and for anyone who cares about the future of our planet,” said Nosse-Leirer.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, McFann earned a BA in geography from Ohio State in 2010. As an undergraduate, McFann coordinated environmental advocacy and awareness initiatives as president of Students for a Sustainable Campus and served on the President’s Council on Sustainability Advisory Group. In 2010-2011, McFann conducted independent research as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Toronto. He is currently a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Beinecke Scholar at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His master’s thesis research focuses on the impact of the Khmer Rouge revolution on children in Cambodia.
As a member of the SustainUS delegation to the UNCSD, he advocated for commitments from the international community to addressing the effects of armed conflict on sustainable development. “I was determined to focus broader attention on the enduring environmental impacts of war and to urge governments to address their vast consequences,” said Mr. McFann. “The ecological importance of peace and nonviolence is too often underemphasized and, unfortunately, the Rio+20 negotiations reflected this. Bold commitments to address, for example, the effects weapon contamination are absent from the conference outcome.”
More information about the delegation can be found on at http://www.sustainus.org/agents