Online Conference

Smithsonian's National Youth Summit: Dust Bowl

The National Youth Summit brings middle and high school students together with scholars, teachers, policy experts and activists in a national conversation about important events in America’s past that impact the nation’s present and future.


October 17, 2012



Smithsonian National Museum of American History


In the 1930s drought and intensive farming in the Great Plains brought about dust storms, crop failure, and human misery in one of the worst ecological disasters in America’s history. The 2012 National Youth Summit will unpack this story and connect it with current issues of drought, agricultural sustainability, and national and global food security.

The Summit will feature segments from award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’s forthcoming film The Dust Bowl. Huffington Post science editor Cara Santa Maria will moderate a discussion with: Ken Burns, United States Department of Agriculture ecologist Debra Peters, and Glenn Roberts, farmer and owner of Anson Mills. Panelists will take questions from students participating in the Summit, and offer their own perspectives on what history can teach us about our relationship with the environment.

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