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The Year of Conservation: 2017-2018

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune,” a 28-year-old Theodore Roosevelt told the people of Dickinson, Dakota, on July 4, 1886.

Roosevelt’s challenge continues to resonate today—and a new generation of global leaders has answered his call. Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year, the Pace Academy community is thinking critically about CONSERVATION, the Isdell Center for Global Leadership's (ICGL) fourth annual global theme.

Students, faculty and staff are exploring conservation as it relates to the ICGL’s five focus areas: Science & Technology, Culture & Arts, Social Entrepreneurship & Business, Community Engagement & Environmental Sustainability, and Public Policy & International Relations. Teachers are incorporating conservation issues and study into their curriculum with the goal of building awareness, fostering understanding and encouraging engagement.

Together we’re exploring the relationships between conservation and climate, food and water, our previous ICGL themes; traveling near and far to see conservation efforts in action; talking to scientists, naturalists, activists and economists; and attempting to understand conservation’s impact on our own lives.

Conservation: a careful preservation and protection of something; especially planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction or neglect.


For seniors Don Boddie and Molly Richardson and junior Abby Ray, the 2017-2018 school year includes months of research, travel, and conversation as they strive to comprehend issues of conservation at home and abroad.

Selected as the fourth class of Isdell Global Leaders (IGLs) following a competitive application process, these students have been charged with bringing back to Pace their findings and observations and leading their classmates in improving conservation efforts at Pace and in their own lives.

ICGL Director Trish Anderson, Associate ICGL Director Zeena Lattouf and Upper School science teacher Kevin Ballard are working with our IGLs in an independent study course, preparing them for two conservation-themed study tours.

The group’s adventures begin in Yellowstone National Park, home to 60 percent of the world’s geysers and an array of wildlife. In recent years, America’s first national park has undertaken conservation efforts related to water, energy, fossil fuel consumption, recycling, environmental purchasing and waste reduction—and IGLs will learn from leaders championing these efforts within Yellowstone.

Then, on a spring study tour to Baja, Mexico, IGLs will dive into conservation initiatives related to the area’s rich marine life, much of which is now protected as part of the Pacific Islands Biosphere Reserve, established in 2016 along the peninsula’s western coast.


  • Engineering Eden by Jordan Fisher Smith
  • The Rise of the American Conservation Movement by Dorceta E. Taylor
  • The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey Through the Realm of Vanishing Cultures by Wade Davis
  • Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland by Miriam Horn