Virtual Campfire Discussion

Overview:

The goal of the Campfire Discussion is to inspire open dialogue in which the attendees generate most of the discussion and knowledge sharing.

Campfire Discussions begin much the same as a traditional presentation, however, instead of the usual speaker at the front of the room sharing a provoking concept or idea, the National Youth Council has organised a panel of experts for attendees to ask their questions. This year, the topics mainly relate to the present-day problems in our Country.

Taking into consideration health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be hosting the Campfire Discussion virtually using video meetings within Google Classrooms. This will be the first of many Discussions the Youth Council will be hosting as we try to engage the Scouting Community, answering any and all questions pertaining to the topic of the Discussion.

Aims and Objectives:

  • To share insight and experiences of the panellists through a presentation on the topics stated below.
  • Climate Change
    • What is it?
    • What effects will it have on us?
    • What role can science and technology play in preventing it?
  • To provide attendees with answers to the questions at hand.
  • To provide relevant information on how young persons can get involved with fighting climate change

Presenters:

Dr. Derrick A. Balladin

BSc., MPhil., Ph.D., C. Chem, C.Sci, MRSC
Associate Professor
Mechanical, Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship (MME) Unit
The University of Trinidad and Tobago
O’Meara Campus
Arima

Dr. Derrick Balladin has a Doctorate degree in Analytical Chemistry and a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering/Analytical Chemistry from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad W.I; Post-Doctorate in Renewable Energy; he also is a Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist and a member of the international and prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr. Balladin has published numerous papers in international and local journals on the Enzyme Application, Development of Biosensors, Extraction and Evaluation of Natural Products, Solar Energy and its application (post-Doctoral studies), in the area of Chemometrics and Environmental, Health and Safety.

Dr. Balladin has lectured extensively to under-graduate chemistry students in Analytical Chemistry and Organic, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry at The University of the West Indies (Cave Hill Campus). At the Post-graduate level, he lectured Toxicology and the Measuring and Monitoring courses. He is currently the Co-ordinator and Associate Professor in the Environmental Studies Programme – Masters in Environmental Sciences and Management at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. At UTT he teaches, Environmental Chemistry; Pollution Management I & II; Environmental Impact Assessment; Environmental Monitoring and co-supervise the final Programme projects.

He was very pivotal in the foundational work required for the Accreditation of the Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology and Toxicology Laboratories at the IMA Dr. Balladin has extensive training in Estimating Uncertainties for Chemical Analysis {NIST, USA}; Laboratory Quality Management and Effective Internal Auditing of Laboratories {LabQual Training Services, UK} and in the Smithsonian Institute Environmental Leadership programme.

Dr. Balladin has a vast expanse of industrial, research and consultancy experience, having served in many local Analytical Chemistry/Environmental testing service providers, such as – Institute of Marine Affairs, CARIRI, and Kaizen Environmental Services (Trinidad) Ltd.

Hamish Asmath

Hamish Asmath is the GIS Officer at the Institute of Marine Affairs.

He has a Master of Science from the University of Toronto, Department of Geography, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad.

He has undertaken a wide range of spatial modelling and analysis and remote sensing projects with a focus on mitigating the impacts of climate change on our water systems and coastlines. These projects include watershed hydrology and estuarine hydrodynamic modelling of water and pollution flows, spatio-temporal morphological beach dynamics, landcover change mapping using Landsat and Sentinel datasets, and coastal vulnerability analysis.

He has also worked on developing natural carbon storage and sequestration estimates for Trinidad and Tobago as part of the national budgeting of greenhouse gases.

Chair:

Zachez Mahabir

Zachez Mahabir attended Naparima College, where he was an active member of the 1st Naparima Sea Scout Troop for seven years. After graduating he continued his involvement with the troop for a short time as a junior leader.

He also went on to pursue a Degree at the University of Trinidad and Tobago in Manufacturing and Design engineering where he chose to focus heavily on computer aided design and mechatronics. He later went on to complete a MSc in Innovation, Manufacturing Management and Entrepreneurship where he developed a model to predict flooding in south Trinidad using machine learning.

He believes that it is evident that the effects of climate change are greatly impacting Trinidad and Tobago. Being involved in scouting, he has been able to experience first-hand the effects of rising sea levels on our coast lines and thinks that it is our responsibility as young people to play our role in addressing the issue of climate change.

To Participate:

  1. The Virtual Campfire Discussions take place on Google Classrooms. Join the Classroom by clicking HERE
  2. Then complete the Registration Form
    • Participants under the age of 18 are required to download the parent approval form, complete it and submit it.

Aims and Objectives:

  • To provide attendees with answers to the questions at hand
  • To share insight and experiences of the panellists through discussions on the topics stated below
  • Youth Perpetrators of Crime
  • Youth Unemployment and Underemployment
  • Crime Against Youth

Panellists:

To aid with fulfilling the objectives, the following outlines the names and background of the team of professionals forming the Panel at the Virtual Campfire.

  • To provide insight and professional advice from the National Security of Trinidad and Tobago and from a Law perspective:
    Assistant Superintendent of Police (Eastern Division)/ Lawyer, Mr. Doodnath Jankee.

Over the last 26 years, Mr. Jankee has been serving as part of the Police Service of Trinidad and Tobago in the South and Eastern Divisions, climbing up the ranks through his hard work until he obtained his position of Assistant Superintendent of Police where he is currently in command of all Police Stations in the Eastern Division.

  • To provide insight and experience in the Environmental department, from the Ministry of Agriculture:
    Agricultural Officer 1, Mr. Renold Ramdial.

With over 27 years of expertise in the Agricultural sector of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Ramdial started off as an Agricultural Assistant 1, then was promoted, after 22 years, to  Agricultural Officer 1 where he is in charge of training Farmers and the general public in all aspects of Agriculture, and implementing all plans and policies regarding Agriculture, put in place by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago

  • To provide insight and experience as a Teacher from the Educational System of Trinidad and Tobago:
    Secondary School Teacher, Mr. Shivan Ramraj.
    (To be confirmed)

Mr. Ramraj has been a teacher in the Secondary Education System for 11 years to date and has taught in multiple Institutes both in the Northern and Southern Regions of Trinidad and Tobago. He has engaged tirelessly in the Youth Debate Clubs in all the schools he has taught in. producing numerous students in major Debating events such as the National Youth Parliament, RBC Royal Bank’s Young Leaders Debates and Clash of the Debate Titans 2017. He currently teaches English Language and Caribbean History.