top of page

BAYCS 2023

The 4th annual Bay Area Youth Climate Summit is on October 14th, 2023.

Located at the California Academy of Sciences!

baycs cal.png
4th Annual Bay Area Youth Climate Summit
Saturday, 9 AM - 3:30 PM, October 14, 2023

Join us on October 14th for the 4th annual Bay Area Youth Climate Summit, hosted at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco! We are calling all youth, educators, & climate leaders from the Bay Area & beyond for an incredible day of knowledge-building, community resilience, climate optimism, & action! The event will include guest speakers, workshops, & lunch activities! Subscribe to our newsletter + follow us on Instagram to get updates on the summit! We can't wait to see you there! Register at the button below



a quick look at what the day includes

Arrival & Check-In

Head to the California Academy's main entrance and find our check-in table to get your schedule.

Opening Session & Keynote

Join us for an introduction to the day and hear from our keynote speaker, the former Climate Advisor to the Obama White House, Molly Kawahata!

Workshop Session #1

Attend the workshop in your schedule to learn from an amazing local climate organization/speaker. 

Lunch & Activities

Eat lunch (or go out and grab some) and check out the many amazing and interactive lunch activities!

Workshop Session #2

Head to your second workshop of the day to learn a different aspect of climate activism. 


Join us back in the West Garden for a fun Kahoot, raffle drawing, and closing!

Workshops & Speakers

Check out the many different options for workshops and speakers!

Morning Workshops
Navigating (Environ)Mental Health in the Era of Warming

Presented by Dr. Debra Safer & Kyle Lane-McKinley, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford

Room: Board Room

Responding to the climate catastrophe may be the single greatest challenge that the human species has ever faced, and it will surely require all of the creativity, empathy, and good will that each of us can muster. And yet, the very same factors that are harming the global environment also present new and exacerbated harms to human mental health. In this presentation, Dr. Debra Safer and Kyle Lane-McKinley of the Climate Change & Mental Health Special Initiative of the department of Psychiatry at Stanford University will facilitate a conversation which identifies and unpacks the threats to mental health that climate change presents, and, conversely, how practices which support strong community resilience and wellbeing can result in positive feedback loops which protect us from the worst impacts of climate change.


Presented by Ashia Ajani, Mycelium Youth Network

Room: Ed Lab

Youth Led Climate Resilience & Remediation in the SF Bay Area & Beyond

Mycoremediation is the act of using fungi to heal contaminated soil and water. In this workshop you will learn the answers to the following questions. How can we harness the power of mycoremediation at school sites? What are other forms of bioremediation that are underexplored? How has Mycelium Youth Network's Youth Leadership Council harnessed the power of Youth Participatory Action Research and science to think about local climate futures?

The Promise of Nature Observations on California Biodiversity & Climate Policy 

Presented by Dr. Rebecca Johnson, California Academy of Sciences

Room: Alcove

Do you love to take pictures of nature? Join this workshop, led by Cal Academy researcher and naturalist, Dr. Rebecca Johnson, to uncover ways to understand the plants and animals you see and how such observations help inform decision-making and conservation planning. Take part in discussing the work of the Academy's Center for Biodiversity and Community Science and the Thriving California Initiative, and get outside to apply your own observations to Cal Academy’s rich botanical exhibit!  


Presented by Sophia Marie Poulos, & Amy Auerbach, Remake Our World

Room:  Level 1 West Conference Room

Denim by Nature

In the workshop, you will learn how to be a sustainable fashion advocate with us! Our workshop will be hands-on as you will learn how to deconstruct a pair of jeans and use the denim to make flowers or feathers for accessories. These keychains/earrings necklaces will be your take-home reminder of the natural elements and a connection to the possibilities that can come from waste and how we can protect our ecosystem.

Interrogating California’s Energy Corporations Through Wildfire Accountability & Utility Reform

Presented by Katy Morsony, The Utility Reform Network

Room: Level 2 East Small Conference Room

Katy Morsony will discuss wildfire prevention, affordability, and their impact on California's clean energy transition. She'll also highlight the importance of affordable utility rates in maintaining essential services and housing stability, drawing from her experience as an energy lawyer challenging billion-dollar utility programs.


Presented by Ezra Romero, KQED (NPR), & Gerry Diaz, San Francisco Chronicle

Room: Level 2 West Small Conference Room

Climate Reporting in the Era of Polarization & Paralyzation: A Panel Discussion

As the climate crisis and its effects accelerate, stories chronicling “unprecedented” disasters and the toll of the continual burning of fossil fuels flood the news media. Just this summer, Earth experienced its hottest temperatures ever, prompting fires globally. Youth growing up in the context of such catastrophes are inundated with paralyzing news reports, leading to inaction. With rising levels of news-induced eco-anxiety, what do the responsibilities of a climate journalist become? How do climate reporters consider their stories’ impact? What strategies do climate journalists implement to inspire action? How is climate storytelling changing? Join us for a panel discussion with climate reporters from KQED & the San Francisco Chronicle! Engage with them through Q&A and a “pitching” session where you can voice your ideas. 

Deep Dive: Marine Mammal Care & Conservation 

Presented by Joelle Vallejo, The Marine Mammal Center

Room: Level 2 West Large Conference Room 

Dive into the work of The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal hospital! They advance global ocean conservation through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. You’ll have the chance to put yourself in the shoes of various members of the Center and learn how they safely interact with marine mammal patients, feed them at the hospital, and navigate discussions about topics like climate change. We hope you leave this workshop inspired to play your own part in ocean conservation!

Afternoon Workshops
Empowering Climate Action: Understanding San Francisco’s Environmental Ordinance Process

Presented by San Francisco Environment Department

Room: Board Room

As a city agency, the SF Environment Department advances climate protection & enhances quality of life for all San Franciscans. The Department is charged with implementing the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) through the values of Equity, Credibility, Collaboration, Innovation, & Impact. In this workshop you will become experts in SF's fascinating & complex CAP, while stepping into the shoes of a commissioner & learning how to pass environmental ordinances through a scan tool!


Presented by Dana Nuccitelli & Andrew Chou-Belden, Citizens Climate Lobby

Room: Ed Lab

Driving Change: Cleantech Policy & Impact Workshop

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a climate change organization that exists to create the political will for a livable world by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power. In this workshop, we will be focusing on how policy work can shape the cleantech market and in turn make a tangible impact in the daily life of citizens. Join to learn about the encouraging progress being made in deploying clean technology solutions, forecasts predicting how fast they will continue to grow, policy solutions that would help accelerate these trends, and the best actions you can take to help solve the climate crisis!

Radically Imagining Brighter Futures Through Queer Ecological Theory

Presented by Jaye Mejía-Duwan, Ph.D. student University of California, Berkeley, Rausser College of Natural Resources

Room: Alcove

How can queer theory and queer politics radically reshape our understandings of the environment, climate change, and the place of humans in the natural world? Queer people and queer communities, especially those lying at the intersection of other marginalized identities, are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate. At the same time, queer politics and queer theory offer unique and important perspectives on interdependence, belonging, survival, and coalitional possibilities. In this workshop, we will explore the field of queer ecology and its deep applicability to climate action. Along the way, we will draw from queer theory and queer activism to interrogate and trouble normative understandings of “the human,” “the environment,” “the Anthropocene,” “the State,” and “the future.”


Presented by Crystal Hernandez, Acterra

Room: Level 1 West Conference Room

Catalyst for Change: Empowering Climate Advocacy 

Acterra is a Bay Area-based organization dedicated to bringing people together to create local solutions to prevent climate change. Crystal Hernandez, an Electrification and Education Fellow with Acterra, will be leading a workshop on local advocacy and environmental justice. Learn about advocating effectively, utilizing public comment, using different letter writing strategies, and the intersection between advocacy and environmental justice!

Guardians of the Bay

Presented by Julia Dowell & Eric Buescher, San Francisco Baykeepers

Room: Level 2 East Small Conference Room

San Francisco Baykeeper defends the health of San Francisco Bay, its watershed, and Bay Area residents. This workshop will discuss the law and policy tools Baykeeper uses to investigate and stop water pollution, and ultimately hold industrial polluters accountable. You will have the opportunity to experience how we work from first identifying industrial water pollution, to gathering evidence, to stopping illegal and harmful conduct.


Presented by Youth United for Community Action

Room:  Level 2 West Small Conference Room

Mobilizing Youth Through Grassroots BIPOC-Led Organizing 

Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), is a grassroots community organization created, led, and run by young people of color, majority from low-income communities, provides a safe space for young people to empower themselves and work on environmental and social justice issues to establish positive systemic change through grassroots community organizing. YUCA will touch on current projects, history in the EPA, and how they do their campaign work. Then they will have an activity around youth organizing which will be led by our youth organizers. 

Deep Dive: Marine Mammal Care & Conservation 

Presented by Joelle Vallejo, The Marine Mammal Center

Room: Level 2 West Large Conference Room 

Dive into the work of The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal hospital! They advance global ocean conservation through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. You’ll have the chance to put yourself in the shoes of various members of the Center and learn how they safely interact with marine mammal patients, feed them at the hospital, and navigate discussions about topics like climate change. We hope you leave this workshop inspired to play your own part in ocean conservation!


Lunch Activities

climate breakout sessions & art-making activities

Clothing Swap

We will be hosting a clothing swap at lunchtime during the summit this year! If you have any clothes that you are not wearing anymore, bring them to the swap and you can trade them for new items. This is a great way to find some cool pieces and upcycle! Guidelines

Letter Writing

We will be providing materials and a script for letter writing and phone banking for House Resolution 262, supporting the teaching of climate change in schools, and House Resolution 259, promoting youth mental health and well-being in a changing climate. Contacting representatives is an easy and impactful way to amplify youth voices and bring your perspectives to the desks of policymakers! 

Climate Action Planning

We will be providing resources for reflection and brainstorming for your climate justice journey beyond the summit. BAYCS aims to inspire further youth involvement in the climate space that goes beyond our events. This activity focuses on leveraging your unique interests, skills, talents, and the things that bring you joy to enact social change in the climate space.

Ecological Art & Screenprinting

We will be hosting two art activities. The first is focused on climate intention and learnings, which we will hang together on a BAYCS 2023 tree. The second will be screen printing onto plain t-shirts, totes, or other clothing items. Please remember to bring clothes to upcycle if you would like to screenprint. 

Film Screening

We will be hosting a screening of Gen Z Mental Health: Climate Stories. This is a “short documentary that explores the mental health impacts of the climate crisis to young adults worldwide, and considers what resilience means when fighting for the right to a livable planet. The film captures the emotions of a generation that may be frightened, but is anything but hopeless, saving room for stories of love, community connections, and healing.” The director, Tehya Jennett, will speak about the film and answer questions.

Super Plants

Project Super Plants will be running an interactive session about CO2 emissions, the science behind Super Plants, and lead an interactive activity! They will be handing out seed packets for participants to bring home. 

bottom of page