A Garden City High School student is the winner of a contest that asked children to predict how vertebrate animals might look in the future due to the long-term effects of climate change.
Ryann Henry, a sophomore, took the top spot nationwide in the Future Engineers Foundation's Future Creatures Challenge, which received dozens of submissions. Participants provided two illustrations — one of their animal in its present habitat and one as an adapted animal in its predicted future habitat — and a short essay explaining their drawings.
Henry's submission was created using pencils and envisioned a "fossavoda," which was based on the fossa, a catlike carnivorous mammal found in Madagascar. Her "fossavoda" had webbed feet to help propel it through water and sensitive whiskers like a catfish to help it find food.
"I feel it's a very important issue that's going on right now," Henry, 15, said of climate change. "People are aware of it, but I think more needs to be done."
For winning, Henry received a Future Engineers T-shirt and an Amazon gift card. In addition, an endangered animal will be adopted on her behalf by the World Wildlife Fund.
Henry is a member of her school's Art Club, Italian Club and H.O.P.E. (Hands On Protecting the Environment) Club. She also studies dance at the Lynch School of Ballet in Huntington.