2015/16 Climate and Food Student Fellows

The Sustainability Initiative has announced the 2015-2016 Climate and Food Student Fellows sponsored by the UC Office of the President. The fellowships are on-campus internships to enable graduate and undergraduate students to contribute significantly to a select group of projects. The projects reflect some of the many ways UC Irvine is mobilizing to achieve the underlying goals of the UC President’s Global Food and Carbon Neutrality Initiatives.

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Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows

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Kimberly Duong, UCI Climate Action Planning Project

Description: The UCI Climate Action Planning Project involves two participatory action planning processes on the UCI campus during academic year 2015-16 related to carbon neutrality and campus sustainability. First, during fall quarter, student leaders at the Global Sustainability Resource Center (GSRC) will convene a multi-day Student Congress on community visioning and action planning. The Congress will coalesce a student-driven agenda for campus community action in 2015-16 on a wide-range of issues in these broad areas of student concern. Second, during winter and spring quarters, the UCI Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability, with support from the Sustainability Initiative, will lead a campus-wide participatory process on climate action planning, including a day-long charrette. The process will update UCI’s existing Climate Action Plan.

Student Project: To co-coordinate with fellow student leaders to create the fall quarter Student Congress and to work with UCI professional staff during winter and spring quarters to update UCI’s Climate Action Plan. Actions include research, stakeholder identification, outreach, program design and event planning, written and visual documentation, and follow up.

Kimberly is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has a B.S. from UCLA in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Environmental Sciences and an M.S. from UCI in Civil Engineering. Her research for the UCI Water-PIRE is focused on urban water sustainability, specifically on how urban water consumption is influenced by factors such as conservation campaigns and technological innovation in water efficiency. She is also president of the UCI chapter of Climatepedia, a not-for-profit student organization dedicated to climate change awareness and education. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and hiking.

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Sarah Geldmacher, UCI Regional Climate Resilience Project

Description: The UCI Regional Climate Resilience Project is an exploratory, community organizing project focused on climate change impacts, vulnerabilities, action, and activism from the deserts of Riverside County to the coast of Orange County, California. While climate change is a global problem, its effects are—and will continue to be—felt locally. Increasingly, municipalities are looking regionally for support, knowledge sharing, and partnership to address local climate challenges. Regional knowledge hubs, like the University of California, Irvine, can play an important convening, coordination, and scientific role in this work. The UCI Regional Climate Resilience Project seeks to better understand the matrix of existing activities regarding climate preparedness in Orange and Riverside Counties and their borderlands.

Student Project: To produce a broad inventory and analysis of the current state of climate planning (including mitigation, adaptation, and democratic decision making), activism, and action in Orange and Riverside Counties and their borderlands. This project may also include an assessment of existing collaborations, needs, and/or resources to maximize impact.

Sarah is a second year Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning candidate focusing in environmental planning. She holds a B.A from the University of Virginia in anthropology and Environmental Thought and Practice. Prior to returning to graduate school, she spent two years preparing landscape-scale conservation plans for the United States Marine Corps. It was her lifelong passion for the outdoors and wild places that inspired her to build a career environmental planning, with the hope of building sustainable regional networks of built and conserved spaces for the benefit of people, wildlife, and the planet.

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Rebecca Neal, Climate Engagement and Communications Project

Description and Student Project: Student selected to serve this project is expected to work with UCI’s Sustainability Initiative and Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability to communicate about campus and UC-wide sustainability goals and programs, to assess existing programs and efforts, and to engage students in those efforts. The fellow should also enable and empower students to provide feedback about campus and UC-wide sustainability programs. In addition, the fellow is expected to help shape and participate in a UC system-wide discussion and communication process among fellows. This process will be facilitated and overseen by the student representatives to the UC President’s Global Climate Leadership Council, who will convene regular meetings with fellows from all campuses. During fall quarter, the fellow will be UCI’s key student leader to promote student participation in the Cool Campus Challenge, a quarter-long, system-wide campus competition to reduce individual eco-footprints and pledge steps toward carbon neutrality.

Rebecca is a first year graduate student in the Masters in Public Health program. Her focus is Sociocultural Diversity and Health. While obtaining a B.S. in Applied Nutrition from Cal Poly University San Luis Obispo, Rebecca discovered the need for addressing health inequalities at the community and environmental level. She looks forward to designing innovative approaches to make healthy lifestyles accessible and sustainable. She one day hopes to create policy that will empower disparate populations to make more salubrious choices.

Global Food Initiative Fellowships

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Manny Preciado, UCI Garden Project
Description: UC Irvine hosts several urban agriculture efforts on campus, including multiple community gardens, a permaculture project, and an aquaponics project. The Global Sustainability Resource Center (GSRC) enables community skills sharing and education regarding sustainable and drought-friendly approaches to urban agriculture at these sites. GSRC hosts community seed-to-plate workshops on these skills together with a visiting eco-chef, and is increasingly being called upon to generate new learning opportunities in urban garden settings in broader Orange County. In addition, this winter quarter, together with a school-based center, GSRC will launch a new for-credit student internship to enable participating students to use the campus as a living laboratory for sustainability through urban agriculture.

Student Project: To work with sustainability faculty, staff, and fellow students to develop and carry out the UCI Garden Project. This is a hands-on, experiential learning internship engaging the range of skills essential to urban agriculture, both inside the garden and as a community organizer.

Manny Preciado is a first-year Masters student in urban and regional planning with a focus in environmental policy. As an urban planner, he wants to utilize urban farming as a means to help revitalize communities, provide communities healthy food at a low cost, assist communities to reconnect with nature, and create spaces that communities can be proud of and participate in. He is especially interested in trans-border collaboration between San Diego county in the United States and Baja Mexico on binational projects. One of his goals as an urban planner is to implement urban gardening as a tool to help build sustainable communities, particularly in low-income areas.

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Dhruti Khetani, Food Engagement and Communications Project
 

Description: UCI faculty, staff, and students from many disciplines participate in the UC President’s Global Food Initiative. Our campus plays active roles to promote food security on campus, zero waste in the dining halls, sustainable and healthy food choices, research in food justice and equity, and development of new food curriculum and experiential learning. During academic year 2015-16, various faculty, staff, and student-led groups will host several high profile events, conferences, and outreach and education campaigns to orient our campus toward the goals underlying the Global Food Initiative and showcase UCI’s leadership across the UC system. At the same time, counterparts at other UC campuses will be leading similar efforts that are designed to be engaged on our campus as well.

Student Projects: Two students will be selected for this project. The purpose of this internship project is to identify and leverage the synergy among these various food-related efforts at UCI so as to maximize cross-disciplinary learning, elevate our campus dialog, and broaden impact. At the internship outset, each student will develop a narrowed scope of work related to this broad purpose based on student interest and campus need. Actions include communications, marketing, outreach, research, writing, event planning, community organizing, and network building. In addition, one of the two selected students will be chosen to be the UCI Student Engagement Campus Representative to the Global Food Initiative, a designation that includes additional responsibilities in communications and engagement with student fellows across the UC system.

Dhruti is one of the three fellows of the Food Engagement and Communications Project. She is a business information management major.  Her passion for sustainability started in high school where she observed high food waste in the cafeteria. She bought it to her counselor, dean and a few teachers, but was dismissed by saying there is not much that could be done. She then attended a junior college, where she actively participated in the New Vendor Task Force and Go Green initiative to bring hydration stations onto campus. This is where she realized her genuine belief in the cause. Because food is where her knowledge for sustainability began, it remains her favorite sector in the large sustainability umbrella. She wishes to increase participation among students and work on projects that facilitate improvement of the food system.

 
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Laura Rood, Food Engagement and Communications Project

Description: UCI faculty, staff, and students from many disciplines participate in the UC President’s Global Food Initiative. Our campus plays active roles to promote food security on campus, zero waste in the dining halls, sustainable and healthy food choices, research in food justice and equity, and development of new food curriculum and experiential learning. During academic year 2015-16, various faculty, staff, and student-led groups will host several high profile events, conferences, and outreach and education campaigns to orient our campus toward the goals underlying the Global Food Initiative and showcase UCI’s leadership across the UC system. At the same time, counterparts at other UC campuses will be leading similar efforts that are designed to be engaged on our campus as well.

Student Projects: Two students will be selected for this project. The purpose of this internship project is to identify and leverage the synergy among these various food-related efforts at UCI so as to maximize cross-disciplinary learning, elevate our campus dialog, and broaden impact. At the internship outset, each student will develop a narrowed scope of work related to this broad purpose based on student interest and campus need. Actions include communications, marketing, outreach, research, writing, event planning, community organizing, and network building. In addition, one of the two selected students will be chosen to be the UCI Student Engagement Campus Representative to the Global Food Initiative, a designation that includes additional responsibilities in communications and engagement with student fellows across the UC system.

Laura is currently an undergraduate student at UCI majoring in chemical engineering. Laura transferred in 2013 from Santiago Canyon College, and she will be graduating in June of 2016. She is currently on the board for the SAGE Scholars Program and Engineers Without Boarders at UCI. After graduation she plans to attend graduate school for food science or biomedical engineering to further study the relationship between nutrition and disease. Her ultimate career goal is to work for the FDA or USDA to study the effects of consumer goods and products on the health and safety of the public and the environment.
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Clare Gordon,  Food Engagement and Communications Project
Description: UCI faculty, staff, and students from many disciplines participate in the UC President’s Global Food Initiative. Our campus plays active roles to promote food security on campus, zero waste in the dining halls, sustainable and healthy food choices, research in food justice and equity, and development of new food curriculum and experiential learning. During academic year 2015-16, various faculty, staff, and student-led groups will host several high profile events, conferences, and outreach and education campaigns to orient our campus toward the goals underlying the Global Food Initiative and showcase UCI’s leadership across the UC system. At the same time, counterparts at other UC campuses will be leading similar efforts that are designed to be engaged on our campus as well.
 
Student Projects: Two students will be selected for this project. The purpose of this internship project is to identify and leverage the synergy among these various food-related efforts at UCI so as to maximize cross-disciplinary learning, elevate our campus dialog, and broaden impact. At the internship outset, each student will develop a narrowed scope of work related to this broad purpose based on student interest and campus need. Actions include communications, marketing, outreach, research, writing, event planning, community organizing, and network building. In addition, one of the two selected students will be chosen to be the UCI Student Engagement Campus Representative to the Global Food Initiative, a designation that includes additional responsibilities in communications and engagement with student fellows across the UC system.
Clare Gordon is a first year history PhD student originally from San Jose, California. Her research centers on pure food and food adulteration in the United States. Specifically, she plans to explore American pure food legislation in the 19th and 20th centuries with a focus on consumer activism, gender and environmentalism. In addition to her academic pursuits, Clare worked as an AmeriCorps member building school gardens and developing garden-based curriculum in Mountain View, California. She also bring six years of experience with Whole Foods Market, and one year with the Food and Agribusiness Institute at Santa Clara University.
 

2017-11-03T10:47:56+00:00