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Pushing the Limits: Change
This public program asks your community to consider how climate change and extreme weather may affect your local or regional economy and jobs. One way to adjust to these environmental changes is by seeking a career in a sustainable field, or — even better — in a field that builds resiliency and protects the environment. We’ll explore ways you and your community can develop innovative, solution-oriented ideas for resiliency-building. 
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Scenes from “Pushing the Limits: Change”

 

Program Video
Since he was a teenager, Bren Smith knew he would spend his life at sea. But after working for years as a commercial fisherman, he realized the industry wasn’t sustainable and he had to switch gears. He tried his hand at oystering, but after two hurricanes wiped out his business, it was time to change tactics and build a new solution for the future.

With his never-give-up attitude, Bren adapted yet again by developing a 3D kelp farm. Now he grows shellfish and seaweed in columns, using a method that helps protect his livelihood from the ravages of weather. The vertical farm model is storm resistant, spatially efficient, and even creates a barrier that protects coastal communities. To make this crop economically viable, Bren and his wife team up with chefs to introduce kelp into restaurants. To secure an innovative and sustainable future, Bren mentors agricultural student interns about how to compost and fertilize with kelp.

Bren’s ideas have gotten so popular that he started a nonprofit organization to help set up 3D farms in every coastal state in the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world. His method is a new but familiar way of life, and helps the world adapt to a changing environment by thinking creatively about jobs and bringing a new food source to the table.

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Watch Bren’s story here, or select the video icon at the bottom of the page to download it to your computer.

Note that the button on the bottom right of the video will make the video go to “full screen” mode. In full screen mode you will have the control at the bottom of the screen to advance and rewind. After viewing, you can select the esc key to escape full screen.

Alternatively, you can select the video icon at the bottom of the page to download the video to your own computer, which is a better option if you have limited bandwidth. We recommend downloading (now or later) all of the videos and resources to use during your library programs. Downloaded videos are .mp4 files. If your computer does not open and play them automatically, you may need to download a free video player, such as Quicktime or VLC.

Bren Smith
Pushing the Limits: Change
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To support your implementation of Pushing the Limits: Change, you can download this document, which contains:

  • A list of additional suggested booksarrowsdownload icondownload MS Word icon
  • A set of discussion questions that can be customized to your community’s interests

 
Marketing your Program
We recommend starting your planning and marketing at least 2-3 months before your program date. Please note that instructions for appropriate credit are included in the Marketing Plan Template which you can find in Professional Development Unit 4. At minimum, the following program credit line must appear in all published materials relating to Pushing the Limits:

Pushing the Limitsis a library hosted reading, viewing, and discussion program for adults in rural and under resourced communities, made possible by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.”

Program Resources

DOWNLOAD BREN’S STORY HERE
This video is approximately fifteen minutes long and may take several minutes to download. We recommend that you download all the files for your public program, rather than stream them from this website.

DOWNLOAD PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
Download a 45 second video that you can use to promote the program through your own website.

DOWNLOAD ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Download a list of articles and other short readings related to this topic. You and your science partner may want to use these as additional examples in your program, or they may lead to ideas for customizing the programs for your own community.

 

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