Click on links below to listen to Dayna’s story. Guaranteed, you’ll love it.
Dayna Baumeister is the co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute and a big-time advocate for bringing the principles of Biomimicry into the classroom.
Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. Dayna works tirelessly to bring systems thinking into the school system.
The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge is a new project-based learning experience and competition for students in grades 6-12. Piloted for the first time in 2018, the program challenges students to work in teams to devise a bio-inspired solution to a problem associated with climate change adaptation or mitigation. In 2019, 78 teams submitted projects for consideration by the judges. Stated one judge, “We would be wise to add these (and other) smart kids to the brainstorming table for countless issues we currently face. Their creativity, enthusiasm, ability to look to and be in awe of nature, and refusal to be daunted gives me hope for a more sustainable world!”
Dayna’s fascination with the natural world began with daily forays into the woods and mountains around her childhood home in Colorado. Since, she has fused a lifelong fascination with nature into a career that began after she received a B.S. in marine biology from New College in Sarasota, Florida. After several years exploring the intricate relationships of coral reefs, she turned in her wetsuit and headed back to the mountains. She earned an M.S. in resource conservation and a Ph.D. in organic biology and ecology from The University of Montana in Missoula, where she specialized in the dynamics of positive interactions among animal and plant life.
Cover photo: Barn Owl in Flight, Luc Viatour; Wikimedia Commons
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