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Faculty NameWhat are your primary research interests? What kinds of careers are available to students with similar research interests?What projects are you currently working on? What courses are you teaching this year?Do you currently have any projects that would be open to undergraduates as internships/independent study?If you could give one piece of advice to new ENVS majors, what would it be?
Jeff BuryI undertake studies in environmental society, development, political economy, international extractative industries, and social change in Latin America. Careers for students interested in these areas include USAID (International Development), relief organizations, government and UN jobs. Graduate school in something more specific expands these possibilities.I have been studying receding glaciers in the Andes and their impact on local communities in Peru every summer for the last 14 years. These communities are being heavily impacted by climate change and they are not getting help, but the recently passed Cancun Agreements may provide them with some aid. I am also studying historical extractative industries in the Santa Cruz region and writing a book called Subterrainean Struggles with other colleagues.All my projects are open to students as internships. I recently hired two students to work with me on my climate change work.Go visit professors.
Weixin ChengAll of my research is centered around soil ecology and global environmental change. Students interested in these areas can go into terrestrial ecosystem management, land stewardship, ecological reserve management, environmental assessment, and academia, but they need to specialize in more than one discipline.I am working on a project funded by the US Dept. of Energy on how climate change impacts soil carbon and nitrogen processes in Kansan tallgrass prairies. I am also studying how root-soil interaction might be influenced by climate change and how the rules of root-soil interaction might be altered. This year I am teaching ENVS 23 – The Physical and Chemical Environment, ENVS 168 – Biogeochemistry and the Global Environment, and a senior seminar on soil quality and food security.Both my projects are open to students as internships.The ENVS major is very broad, and students need to pursue a specialty within the major in their time at UCSC.
Tim DuaneI have three main areas of research interest. The first is energy policy and renewable energy development. This is the area with the greatest variety of career options, which include working for regulatory agencies, environmental consulting firms, local governments, and project development for private companies. The second area is public land and resource management policy. Students with similar interests could work for such federal agencies as the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management, or state agencies that deal with resource issues. The third area is local/rural land use issues. Jobs available within this field include city planning, and working for private developers and consulting firms. Environmental advocacy and positions within NGOs are available within all three of these areas.The main project I am working on is a “Greening the Grid” proposal to promote renewable energy in the US. I am furthermore working on projects to study dam removal and salmon recovery relationships in the Pacific Northwest, forest carbon sequestration policy, and agriculture conservation in CA.None currently, but I am open to proposals from students.Do what you love (make sure you have passion about what you are studying) and do it for free!
Margaret FitzsimmonsMy primary research interests are agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and the use of ecological knowledge in natural resource management. I can advise students interested in careers with natural resource management or environmental policy.I am currently writing a book called Making Ecology Work. I also work with graduate students on projects involving sustainable agriculture and conservation. I am teaching ENVS 110, 130B, and 196 this year.No, but I am willing to sponsor students who already have projects planned.Get to know each other!
Greg GilbertMy research interests are plant ecology, disease ecology, species interactions, and ecology as applied in conservation biology. I also have experience in agroecology. Career options are wide-ranging and include working in resource management agencies, academic research, restoration ecology agencies, industry research, and risk management.I am working on a forest ecology research project on the UCSC upper campus studying population dynamics, species interactions, and temporal changes in ecological behavior. Another project I am working on is a graduate student training program to implement hands-on, inquiry based environmental education at Watsonville High School. I am also working on studying plant diseases and tropical ecology.Yes, my forest ecology research project always needs undergraduates and would be available to students as an internship or independent study. I am also willing to sponsor students for internships in science education.Get involved in working with faculty and graduate students with internships and independent study.
Brent HaddadMy research interests are freshwater policy, climate change policy, and renewable energy policy. Some examples of careers available to students interested in these fields are working for water agencies at the local, state, and federal levels, consulting, graduate school in law, business, water management or public policy, teaching, and advocacy.I am working to create desalinization viability guidelines for cities interested in desalinization as a potential energy source. I am also working on a pilot project for renewable energy in coastal communities. I teach ENVS 165 – Freshwater Policy, and a graduate level class, ENVS 210 – Political Ecology that I occasionally let exceptional seniors take by permission.One internship is available for the renewable energy project. Students interested in working with me should come to office hours.Prove yourself to your professors through excellent performance in class.
Karen HollI am interested in restoring damaged ecosystems. I have a background in biology and I am interested in how ecosystems work in CA and coastal grasslands, as well as rainforests in Costa Rica. Most students I work with go into resource management, state parks, land trusts, consulting firms, research assistantships, or graduate school.My main research project is the restoration of rainforests in Costa Rica. I am also working on a restoration project at Younger Lagoon. I teach ENVS 160 – Restoration Ecology and the senior exit ENVS 196 – Field Research on Coastal Habitat Restoration.I take a highly select group of students with me to Costa Rica. They must be fluent in Spanish. I also sponsor a lot of 2-unit interns at Younger Lagoon and for restoration agencies. Go to my website; available projects are listed there.Go talk to professors early on, and get hands-on experience through internship and lab work.
Deborah LetourneauMy research interests are agroecology and terrestrial ecology primarily focused on insect-plant interactions. People interested in these fields could enter careers in pest management, conservations, nature interpretation, or work for agencies such as the CA Dept. of Agriculture, the Nature Conservancy, or the CA Certified Organic Farmers. Graduate school can open up further possibilities for students.I am conducting two research studies. The first is a study on the effects of landscapes around farms on the diversity of natural enemies of insect pests on those farms. The second is a study of the ecology of the redwood understory and the effects of logging on the invasibility of introduced species.Both studies are open to undergraduates.Interact with your professors, go to office hours and don’t be shy.
Michael LoikPlant physiological ecology, and what we can learn about climate change from plants. Students could go into academic research, agriculture, forestry, restoration, management jobs, the National Park Service, and the US Forest Service with these interests.I am working on a project in Mammoth Lakes, CA to investigate the response of plants to different climate change scenarios. I am also working on a project comparing the four main deserts in their responses to different precipitation. I am also researching how greenhouses can harvest solar energy. I teach ENVS 162 – Plant Physiological Ecology.All of them, but students looking to work with me should take ENVS 162-Plant Physiological Ecology first.Get involved in research.
Daniel PressU.S. based environmental policy with concentrations in resource management, water management, land management, open space preservation. Also interested in environmental aspects of heavy industry and how they can reduce environmental impact. I am further interested in how policy tools are chosen, and how they work or don’t work. There are all kinds of careers in these areas at the local, state, and federal level. Students can go into environmental policy, hazardous waste management, public works departments, planning commissions, and to the private sector by consulting for commercial and industries on how to comply with environmental regulations. Working for NGOs that push for environmental policies is also an option.I am writing a book looking at the last 40 years of environmental regulation in the US, studying where it has succeeded and where it has failed, and how to improve it for the next generation. I am teaching ENVS 140 – National Environmental Policy. Spring quarter I will be on leave.My book writing project could use a research assistant.Develop as many skills as possible: writing, GIS, speaking, communication, etc. Be good at as much as possible and that means going out and doing the work.
Carol ShennanMy primary research interests are sustainable agriculture and agriculture and environment interactions in California and Africa. There are several career options available to students with these interests. Students could work for a nonprofit agency such as the Peace Corps or USA ID in agricultural development. Other options include working for a cooperative extension, lobbying groups, as educators, as a farm advisor, working for a sustainable agriculture non-profit, or for the Natural Resource Conservation Service.I am working on a system to develop alternatives to methylbromide, a gas injected into soil. Methylbromide is an ozone depletor that was meant to be phased out by the Montreal Protocol but has not been because companies have argued that there are no suitable alternatives. I am also working on a project on intergrated disease and fertility resource management. I am teaching ENVS 167 – Freshwater and Wetland Ecology this fall and ENVS 166 - Agroecosystem Analysis and Watershed Management this spring.I need undergraduates to help me run experiments for my methylbromide project. I have also sponsored students for internships at the UCSC farm and other off-campus farms.Be curious and ask questions.
Zdravka TzankovaMy interests are environmental policy and politics in the US and specifically marine conservation and policy issues. Students with similar research interests could potentially do policy work for an NGO, environmental advocacy, environmental policy work at the government level. Students could gain further opportunities for long-term careers in major environmental foundations, advocacy campaigns, environmental NGOs, or academia by going to graduate school.I am currently working on a few different projects. One project involves examining. ecolabeling in fisheries in aquaculture. Another is comparing natural responses to the environmental and ecological risks of marine aquaculture. I am also working on a project that takes a look at plastic packaging regulations and initiative. I am teaching ENVS 100/L – Ecology and Society in the fall and ENVS 150 – Coastal and Marine Policy in the winter.I have many projects that are open to undergraduates that come and go; students that are interested in working with me should come talk to me.I recommend going to graduate school to expand the types of careers that would be available to you as an ENVS major. I also highly recommended that you build connections with ENVS faculty and other ENVS students.
Chris WilmersMy research interests are terrestrial ecology, conservation biology, with a focus on animals. Career options are academics, research, working for non-profit organizations that do advocacy, veterinary work, government organizations doing research or outreach, teaching at the K-12 level, and environmental consulting.1. Mountain lion research project: looking at the effects of habitat fragmentation on the mountain lion population of the Santa Cruz Mountains. 2. Looking at the effects of climate change on wolves and elk in Yellowstone. 3. Small mammal research projects on UCSC Upper Campus with undergraduates.I regularly take on undergraduates for my small mammal research projects. Students interested in working with me should come to office hours, I usually take on a few interns each year.Don’t be afraid of math.
Erika ZavaletaConservation is my main interest. Within this field, I am interested in species and landscape conservation in terrestrial ecosystems, with an emphasis on plants. Geographically, my research is focused in CA, sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, Alaska, and Latin America. I am also interested in restoration. Potential careers include natural resource management, conservation research, science writing, and field and inquiry based environmental education.I am working on a project to research the effects of nitrogen pollution on sensitive ecosystems in the Bay Area. I am also looking at the consequences of species losses for both ecological dynamics and human well-being. Finally, I am looking a how to adapt conservation practices in the climate change era.I typically take on a few interns every quarter for any of my projects. I recently hired two interns for the first two projects mentioned. I have another intern looking at the effects on changing nitrogen levels on biodiversity on a nationwide scale.Hone your communication skills, both oral and written.
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