Nearly 200 people from almost 40 countries gathered in Southwest Montana Sept. 13-17 to discuss how education can lead to sustainable solutions for global water issues. The Sustaining the Blue Planet: Global Water Education Conference hosted general sessions and interactive workshops, exploring innovations in water education; water, sanitation and hygiene; technology and water education; and water education in corporate sustainability.

NASA Educator Astronaut Ricky Arnold, Harvard University Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Dr. Frank Hu, and Danish actress and humanitarian Connie Nielsen are among the featured speakers.

Arnold presented the conference’s opening lecture, providing his view of the “Blue Planet” from space. Dr. Hu—along with researchers from the International Chair on Cardio-metabolic Risk —presented the results of new research about hydration and childhood obesity. Nielsen—who stars in the new Starz drama Boss opposite Kelsey Grammer—discussed her work on sustainable sanitation solutions with the Human Needs Project in the dense, informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya.

Other presenters and participants represented international organizations like UNESCO and UN Habitat, multinational corporations including Intel, Microsoft, Google, Nestlé Waters and Abbott, government agencies such as NOAA and NASA, and primary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities both in the U.S. and abroad.

Project WET Foundation, a Bozeman-based nonprofit, sponsored the conference. This foundation is dedicated to educate children, parents, teachers and community members worldwide about water. Project WET is active in all 50 states and in more than 50 countries.

projectwet.org/blueplanet