ESHighlightsDr. Carla D'Antonio
Dear students, parents, alumni, and friends of Environmental Studies,
It has been two years since we sent a newsletter and despite over two years of pandemic disruption, and a year of ES having to work with a reduced number of staff, Environmental Studies is thriving. We had the largest graduating class in our history in June 2022, and the highest proportion of students graduating with honors and/or distinction in the major in our history. Read about it in on our graduation page. We also gave out more scholarships and internships than ever before and are excited by the amazing things our students have done some of which are shared here in the newsletter. Our faculty has been at the largest size that it has ever been and is now majority (66%) female (which incidentally matches our undergraduate dominant reported gender %) Weʻ ve been largely back in person in the classroom full time since Feb 2022 and are enjoying being together in person again. Finally, as of September, we are back to full staffing with some fabulous hires (see page on staff changes). Weʻ ve experienced some change in faculty as well...sadly saying goodbye to Dr. Helene Gardner who retired in June 2022, and to Ed Keller who after 44 years as an inspiring mentor and contributor to ES (twice as chair too), passed away peacefully this summer. Please see the tribute page to him. Finally, I want to thank the dedicated staff that have been with us since before the pandemic (Eric, Vivian and Erinn) for helping us through this difficult year where it was necessary to do more than your share to keep things running smoothly.
Some of you might remember that I was chair before and yes Iʻ m back although this time for just a short stint as chair as others get ready for the job You might ask why would I do this again?? Honestly, it is such an honor to help guide the continued growth and evolution of this amazing department, and to interact with the hundreds of students that we serve and the many alumni who help to sustain us. I feel lucky to be doing this job and this is especially true given the challenges of our world today. It is truly a time when we need to work together to overcome the disheartening things that are going on and to stay inspired to keep working for a better world. The students, faculty and staff inspire me ....virtually every day I have stimulating conversations with my colleagues, alumni, students and staff and it helps me to stay motivated to support the program as much as I can, and to do my part towards its future. It is easy to work hard when it is for something you believe in and something that inspires you...and you all are inspriing! So thank you for the hard work towards a bright future.Antonio Chair and Schuyler Professor Carla D
Enjoying Some Down Time in The Land of EnchantmentWritten by Professor David Pellow
I have had the good fortune of spending several weeks in the state of New Mexico, which is situated on the ancestral lands of the Indigenous Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache peoples. I hiked many mountain trails in the Sandia, Jemez, Santa Fe, Placitas, and Ghost Ranch communities, encountering warm welcomes from other hikers and their canine companions (one of whom I saw regularly and who insisted on planting their paws on my partner’s shoulders in a warm interspecies embrace!). I also came across jackrabbits, coyotes, wild horses, tarantulas, rattle snakes, and horned lizards on a regular basis, while logging some 300 miles on the
trails! Having noted all of this, I must acknowledge that so many of the popular narratives of environmental appreciation and commitment come through stories about hiking and camping in the outdoors, which reflects the privilege of able-bodied persons such as myself. But I want to underscore that there is a much broader range of ways that people can learn about, enjoy and care for our environment, including through reading, research, advocacy and leadership.
Another of the highlights of my time in New Mexico was a visit to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe a public, tribal land grant college that has mentored and supported Indigenous artists for decades (https://iaia.edu/). There, I met artist in residence Solomon Enos, a Native Hawaiian artist. Enos was in the process of co-creating a beautiful mural on site that spoke to themes of social and ecological resilience and interdependence, with the assistance of any visitor who would join him (I reluctantly agreed but worried I would ruin the whole project so begged off after a couple of minutes of lackluster amateurish attempts at adding something of value to the effort). Enos was extremely generous and is a world class talent at producing community-based, collaborative art installations, so please check him out at solomonenos.com.
Finally, just thinking about the food I consumed during my travels has my mouth watering. New Mexican cuisine is a gastronomic delight and an amazing mashup of Indigenous, Mexican, Spanish and other cultural influences, making the taste buds pop and often requiring significant volumes of water to quench the fires of green and red chiles that the locals can never get enough of. If you ever want any recommendations for great restaurants, food trucks, and farmers markets in the Land of Enchantment, just send me a note..and please be sure to support local and Indigenous artists, organizations, and institutions!
TRIBUTE TO DR. ED KELLER
Dr. Edward Keller, Professor of Earth Science and Environmental Studies, passed away peacefully in his home in Santa Barbara on September 9, 2022. Ed joined the UCSB faculty in 1976 as the first faculty member to be directly hired into Environmental Studies (rather than moving part of a position from another existing program to ES). He served as chair of the Program twice, created the B.S. degree in Hydrologic Sciences in 1994, and, despite his strong disciplinary expertise in earth surface processes, was dedicated to promoting an interdisciplinary education among UCSB undergraduates.
As a graduate student, Ed began to make a name for himself in fluvial geomorphology; he was fascinated with rivers and how they shaped and were shaped by the climate, topography and geological history of the landscapes across which they move. He was also passionate about studying coastal erosion and uplift, the formation of coastal lagoons, and the tectonics and geology of the Transverse Ranges. For many decades, he contributed his expertise to public service and consulting in a variety of issues including flood hazard, erosion, coastal processes, landslides, and landscape history. He also worked closely with the Santa Barbara Urban Creeks council and served for several years on the Southern California Steelhead Recovery Program. One of his recent projects was studying the deadly 2018 Montecito debris flow that followed soon after the Thomas Fire. His extensive research and expert analysis have provided important contributions to science and to our own community, insights that will help guide future decision-making on natural disaster preparedness.
Professor Keller loved to teach students about rivers and coastal erosion, and to inspire his colleagues and graduate students towards greater studies of these earth surface processes. For 46 years, and right up to his passing, he was a dedicated teacher and mentor at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and took great pride in inspiring and supporting the work of others. He had an uncanny ability for scientific synthesis reflected in his coauthorship of six textbooks on environmental geology, hazards, and one of the most successful introductory environmental science textbooks of all time: Environmental Science, Earth As a Living Planet (8 editions), with then colleague Dr. Dan Botkin.
Professor Keller loved to share what he learned about Santa Barbaraʻ s natural history with anyone even slightly interested. He wrote about local and regional surficial geology of Santa Barbara County via guest articles in the Santa Barbara News Press and in 2011, with his wife, Valery, wrote the book Santa Barbara - Land of Dynamic Beauty - A Natural History. He noted this eBook is "an extension of my imagination, training, and wish to communicate the natural history of Santa Barbara where I have lived and worked for several decades." The book is available as a free .pdf at https://tinyurl.com/23rpd8ns
Edʻ s warm smile, playful laugh, wisdom, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by students, colleagues and family. A memorial webpage has been setup for Professor Keller where one can view more information and stories and leave your own tribute or favorite memory: https://www.forevermissed.com/ed-keller
"ES was in a dark place back in the early 90’s, not enough faculty and not a strong campus reputation. Ed took over as Chair and almost single-handedly relaunched the program–pushing for joint hires with biology, geography, and others. He launched the B.S. major which brought more credibility for rigor. Even at a time when campus was all excited about launching the new School of Environmental Science and Management, Ed fought for ES and he succeeded." Dr. Stephanie Moret
"When I just joined ES as an Assistant Professor, Ed provided plenty of advice on how to thrive in academia.I warmly remember my encounters with him at the start of the Rattlesnake Canyon trail where he lived. He would provide interesting insights about the local geology and even shared his book on Santa Barbara’s geology with me. I would always remember him as a champion of ES without whom I would not have a home here at UC Santa Barbara." Dr. Ranjit Deshmukh
"The aspect of Ed’s career I admired the most was his willingness to engage the local community in science. For many years, he wrote a column in the local news paper and he gave many public talks at the Santa Barbara Library and Natural History Museum. He was also very active in many professional organizations. Ed had a unique ability to bring the Ivy Tower to the broader community." Dr. Jordan Clark
ES Welcomes New Faculty & Staff
Dr. Joan Dudney
Dr. Joan Dudney will join ES as an Assistant Professor in Winter 2023. Over the past three years, Joan has been an independent postdoctoral fellow at UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. She is an accomplished global change ecologist whose research evaluates how forests are responding to climate change (among other things) She received her Ph D in forest ecology from UC Berkeley and is the recipient of the David H Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship, as well as many graduate research awards and fellowships, including the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Switzer Fellowship. Joan received her bachelor's degree from Occidental College and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, where she learned Spanish and the indigenous language, Guarani.
Andrea joined as Business Officer (MSO) in July 2022. Previously, she managed the Global Studies Department, and has spent most of her career working in higher education at UC Berkeley, Cornell University, and University of San Francisco. She's a proud Gaucho and graduated from UCSB with a BA in Psychology and English Literature. In her free time, she loves backpacking in the redwoods, traveling abroad, and writing fiction.
Nathalie joined our team this Fall in the role of ES Program Assistant & IPEES Program Coordinator Nathalie comes to us from University of Southern California, where she began her career in student programming and advising while earning a Master's degree in Educational Counseling. She brings experience in student and programmatic support and is dedicated to building an environment that supports the experience of ES students, Alumni, and Faculty.
Yvette has been working as a Financial Administrator for ES since July 2022. She previously worked at Earth Science for 8.5 years and possesses expertise in working at UCSB through professional experiences at multiple departments. She is glad to be part of the staff in the Environmental Studies Program.
Alice is a recent Environmental Studies graduate from UCSB and is honored to have started as the Environmental Studies Academic Advisor at the beginning of this Fall quarter With ample experience at UCSB and in Environmental Studies, Alice hopes to be able to provide students with the resources necessary to make their time at UCSB as rewarding as possible.Yvette Howze
An Appreciation for a World-Class Teacher and MentorBy Professor David Pellow
Dr. Helene Gardner was hired on in the fall of 2015. “Dr. G,” as many of her students affectionately addressed her, is a first-rate toxicologist with expertise in environmental, biomedical, and inhalation toxicology.
The Environmental Studies Program hired her to develop and build a new and cutting edge series of curricular offerings in the area of environmental chemistry for the B.A. degree, and to also teach upper division courses focused on the impacts of toxins in our ecosystems, with emphasis on chemistry, toxicology, and air quality. She did an amazing job and achieved these goals with flying colors through innovation and enormous investments of time and energy required to guide students through an understanding of how scientific knowledge is produced and used to address environmental challenges.
"jamie-storyteller, is what teaching science to me was always about"
She taught so many different kinds of courses through a combination of lectures, seminars, and lab courses, using storytelling, writing exercises, in both upper and lower division classes, large and small classes, and she taught many thousands of students during her time on the faculty here.
Dr. Gardner’s extraordinary classroom instruction was complemented by her deep dedication to student mentoring. She supervised numerous undergraduate student senior theses, honors contracts, and independent studies on such varied and urgent topics as Indigenous community health, water quality, air quality, nuclear power, wildfires, and the toxic effects of mercury and PFAS, among others.
Dr. Gardner’s service and leadership on the American Indian and Indigenous Collective Academic Council (AIIC-AC) was especially significant and notable. This particular service contribution linked her many years of work on the ES Planning and Curriculum committee with a campus-wide commitment to deepening UCSB’s investment in Native American and Indigenous students, Indigenous Studies, and her support for local Chumash community initiatives. The faculty would like to offer Dr. Gardner a heartfelt thanks for her years of exceptional service, teaching, mentoring, and leadership here in Environmental Studies. You are most certainly incomparable and irreplaceable.
Gardner on a trip with the UCSB chapter of Public Health Global Brigades in Honduras riding local transportationDr Helene Gardner
for her work on sustainable soils and her newest book, Healing Grounds. Carlisle explores how farmers and scientists of color are reviving ancestral traditions or regenerative agriculture to combat racism and climate change.
is featured for her work as a Marine Justice Activist through teaching environmental studies at UCSB, monitoring climate-change negotiations in Poland, studying the impacts of sea-level rise in the Maldives, and coauthoring a scholarly treatise proclaiming the emergence of marine justice.
Both Carlisle and Gray speak on the importance of including and highlighting the power of community resilience in conversations on enviormnetal justice.
To read the cover story please visit https://www.independent.com/2021/04/21/ fresh-faces-of-environmental-action-forearth-day/
ES Lecturer Serving Community
was elected Chair of the Goleta Parks and Recreation Commission. ES recongizes the work Williams does in and out of the classroom and commends the hands-on approach to univeristy and public service.
50th Anniversary Film at the SB International Film Festival
The ES 50th anniversary film "Building a movement..." made it into the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February 2022 where it showed to a full house and received excellent reviews! The film documents the evolution of the program and of the environmental movement itself to express current priorities, including educating future activists The 28 minute film is accessible for free on the ES website and Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/396369922
Energy Reource Mapping Tool
In partnership with the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and Derilinx, created a tool that provides critical information to people around the world on where to build wind and solar plants. The Renewable Energy Zoning (REZoning) conducts geographic and economic analyses for users with no technical knowledge required To use the ReZoning tool, visit https://rezoning.energydata.info
Groundwater Permitting in the West Dashboard
Lecturer Launches Inititive for Action
and the Community Environmental Council (CEC) collaborated on Earth Day Every Day, a web-based initiative to raise Global Warming awareness and motivate people towards sustainable action. The initiative has been well received and joined by the local community and high schools. Williams was featured in UCSB's The Current. The web intivative is open to all at https://sbearthday.org/eded
A New Resource on the Fundamentals of Carbon Dioxide Removal and its Role in Addressing the Climate Crisis
The latest IPCC reports have increasingly underscored the importance of not only avoiding future carbon emissions but also removing the carbon currently in the atmosphere to avoid catastrophic climate change.
co-authored one of the five chapters of the first definitive book on carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies, called the CDR Primer. Read it here for free online https://cdrprimer.org/readProfessor Grace Wu Grace Wu
Global Movement for Reconciliation in Place-Names
Statues are not the only visible monuments to racism and settler-colonialism that need to be critically examined and toppled; words are monuments too. In a paper examining the extent of racist, derogatory, and colonial place names in 16 US national parks, and co-authors found that place names associated with people, ideas, events that are directly associated with white supremacy, violence against Indigenous peoples, racism, and settler-colonialism were prevalent across all parks examined. Place naming has been a means of claiming rights over a place and its history; it is critical to examine, challenge, and dismantle these claims in our quest to create inclusive and equitable (outdoor) spaces. Check out this interactive map and website stemming from Wu's paper about problematic national park place names: https://wordsaremonuments.org/
Enabling a Low-Carbon Electricity System for Southern Africa
By 2050, one in four people will be African. Despite this, very little research and emphasis has been placed on how African countries can achieve rapid economic development fueled by a growing need for energy while avoiding negative local and global environmental impacts of that development. In August 2022, published a paper "Enabling a low-carbon electricity system for Southern Africa" in the high impact energy journal Joule, to assess different strategies for enabling a transition to a low-carbon and renewable electricity system in the twelve countries of Southern Africa. They found that wind and solar power can cost-effectively provide the vast majority of electricity needed in 2040 and that new coal power plants are not cost-competitive. Importantly, Southern Africa only needs 50% of its planned and proposed hydropower plants, many of which have large social and environmental impacts.
Their models and data are all open-source and free, which is critical for stakeholders in the region use and adopt for making planning decisions. Following this study, Professor Ranjit Deshmukh co-hosted a workshop in Swakopmund, Namibia (October 2022) to share the data and models with stakeholders from electric utilities, regulators, government officials, and academic researchers.Workshop attendees and stakeholders discussing "Enabling a low-carbon electricity system for Southern Africa" Co-Author Ranjit Deshmukh, workshop attendees, and stakeholders Co-Author, Grace Wu
Op-Eds By ES Instructors
The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, often referred to as America’s Serengeti, is one of the most biologically and culturally significant areas of the world. Originally protected by the Eisenhower Administration, the area was opened up to oil and gas leasing under the assumption that doing so would generate $1 8 billion in revenues, a grossly incorrect premise This OpEd calls on Congress to terminate the leasing program for economic, biological, environmental justice, and intergenerational equity reasons.
According to scientists, in order to address our climate change and biodiversity crises, it is critically important to protect 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. History demonstrates that safeguarding our nationally owned public lands, even where there might have been initial local opposition, has resulted in durable and vitally important protections To achieve the 30x30 goal, this OpEd urges both local and large-scale national action.
True ‘carbon farming’ requires deep roots in the ground and in community
"Many communities are working to revitalize the regenerative farming practices of their heritages. Soul Fire Farm, for instance, is training thousands of farmers each year. But in order for these farmers to sequester significant amounts of carbon, they need secure land tenure, access to capital and markets to sell their goods, technical assistance, equipment, and infrastructure all the things that have been provided to white farmers but systematically denied to nonwhite farmers for decades If we want farmers to keep roots in the ground over multiple years, we need to make it possible for them to put down roots themselves.”The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has value far beyond $25 an acre in oil leases. Tell Congress. Written by Dr. Deborah Williams The national action imperative to achieve 30 by 30. Written by Dr. Deborah Williams To read the full publications, please scan the QR code: A plane flies over the Porcupine caribou herd on the coastal plain of the remote and pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Credit U S Fish and Wildlife Service
UCSB Library and punctum books celebrated International Open Access Week by hosting a panel discussion with scholars in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, and Arts. Three UCSB researchers -- including -- and two guest scholars discussed how their work intersects with, directly addresses, and/or is impacted by climate change, and how they perceive the mission of climate justice in their work.
In addition to sharing their research, panelists offered perspectives on power imbalances affecting scholarly communities’ abilities to produce, disseminate, and use knowledge around the climate crisis. They also addressed the question of how openness in research can create pathways to more equitable knowledge sharing and address the inequities that shape the impacts of climate change and our response to them.
This Fall, traveled to the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, to deliver a Gifford Lecture. Since 1888, the Gifford Lectures have been considered among the world’s most prestigious international academic forums on religion, philosophy, and theology Professor Sideris's lecture is titled "Unnatural Theology in the Anthropocene."
In honor of World Water Day, the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative hosted a virtual seminar presented by , where she discussed the results of a five-year endeavor to record construction details of millions of groundwater wells, profiling geographic regions where declining water levels are endangering reliable water access for ecosystems, irrigation, drinking water, and household use. This work underscores the importance and urgency of identifying mechanisms to ensure effective control of groundwater depletion
Carla D'Antonio Receives Pritzlaff Prize
Dr Carla M DʻAntonio was the 2021-22 recipient of the Pritlaff Conservation Prize. This prize in given annually by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to recognize achievements in conservation both in California and around the world. Prof. DʻAntonio is a plant ecologist who has worked at the interface of ecology and land management for 3 decades most recently working on the application of ecological principles to the restoration of ecosystems degraded by invasive grasses and altered fire regimes.
This is the highest honor that a faculty member can be awarded for exceptional teaching and mentoring. ES congratulates Jen on this welldeserved recognition!
Congratulations to David Pellow and colleagues on NSF funded Center for Equitable Environmental Sciences
Professors Dolores Inés Casillas, Sarah Anderson and David Pellow of ES, with MLPS Dean Pierre Wiltzius have been awarded a $3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. With the grant, the interdisciplinary group will establish the Center for Equitable Environmental Sciences (CEES) housed in the campus’s Chicano Studies Institute. We congratulate David and colleagues on successful action towards equity.
Debra Perrone chosen for a Hydrologic Sciences Early
In recognition of her meritorious work and service toward the advancement and promotion of discovery and solution science, Professor Perrone was awarded for outstanding contributions to hydrology through research, education, or societal impacts by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
Irrigation Innovation to Real World Application
Fourth-year Environmental Studies major, Visala Tallavarjula, has been featured in The Current for her innovation in irrigation: Sequestron. Visala's Sequestron "...combines practices that are already familiar to many farmers. Sequestron’s charcoal layer keeps
water near plants’ roots, and the charcoal’s tiny crevices also provide habitat for beneficial microbes, much like an aquarium filter." To read more about Visalia's Sequestron, please read The Current's feature https://info.ia.ucsb.edu/click/mtpewg/uz3rvib/qwufohb
This past summer, ES student Maritza Arrellano pursued independent research on plant restoration and soil biogeochemistry in Hawai’i. Her project explored how iron in these volcanic soils associates with and stabilizes carbon from decomposed plant material
between different restored plant species. Maritza received an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates grant [with Dr Kelsey Dowdy and Prof Carla D’Antonio]
From ES to MLB
UCSB Library Awards
ES Students for Undergraduate Research Thesis
Two ES senior thesis seminar students were awarded UCSB Library Awards for Undergraduate Research (LAUR) judged by a panel of faculty members and librarians for making expert and sophisticated use of the collections, resources, and services of the UCSB Library across three broad categories of Humanities & Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and Science & Engineering. Congratulations to Taylor and Chenjia for all of your hard work!TAYLOR ROSE
ES grad '18 was a standout contributor to the UCSB Gaucho Baseball team Drafted in 2018 by the Cincinnati Reds, Noah was later traded to the Colorado Rockies He was called up to the major league club and debuted in October 2022. Congratulations on your many accomplishments, Noah, and good luck on the mound next year!
won the 1st place award of $750 in the Social Sciences category for her thesis, “Sea Level Rise Risk Perceptions: Assessing Students at the University of California, Santa Barbara.” won the 2nd place award of $500 in the Science & Engineering category for his thesis, “Spatial Analysis of Rooftop PV Suitability and Solar Potential of UCSB Campus and Isla Vista.”
Environmental Leadership Incubator (ELI) Student Highlights
Sprout Up at UCSB and Goleta Public Schools
ELI students from the 2021-2022 course, Chloe Kerr-Stein and Quinn Costello, partnered with the national organization Sprout Up to provide free, college student-led environmental education lessons to local public elementary school 1st and 2nd-grade students through an 8week program for one hour a week. Sprout Up partnered with eight classrooms across five elementary schools. This fall quarter Sprout Up continued programming, over fifty college-aged Sprout Up volunteers are teaching 152 elementary school students across Goleta and Santa Barbara. To learn more about Sprout Up, visit sproutup.org, and follow the UCSB chapter on Instagram @sproutupucsb for specific information on new instructor recruitment and other local events.
Anthro-terra = Human earth
Environmental Leadership Incubator alumni Lukas Kraak and Noah Weiss from the class of 2021-22 have had the opportunity of a lifetime dreaming their art into reality. Working alongside the UCSB Library and receiving a significant grant from UCSB Sustainability’s The Green Initiative Fund, they are charting the messy story of humanity and its relationship to the environment. The exhibit is set to open in the Ocean Gallery in the UCSB Library in January 2023, in the hopes of inspiring students with the progress we can make.Chloe Kerr- Stein Quinn Costello
Stapelmann Scholarship Recipients
Field-based learning offers an incredible opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to solve complex environmental problems through hands-on research with professionals and community leaders in a variety of natural and cultural settings across the country and around the world. But often the high costs associated with these programs may prevent some students from participating in such programs The Stapelmann scholarships funded by generous ES supporters provide financial support to qualified UCSB Environmental Studies or Hydrological Sciences & Policy majors to significantly diminish the costs of participation in an environmental field-based study.
"Participating in the Wildlands Studies Hawaiian 2022 Marine Management program was one of the best academic decisions I have made thus far! I was able to immerse myself in the beautiful tropical environment and explore the variety of complex organisms that inhabit the island. This experience has taught me key field research techniques that will benefit me in my environmental career I am grateful to the Stapelmann Family for supplying me with the funds to go on this life-changing trip".
Stapelmann scholarship recipient Karmenita Cox traveled to Costa Rica with BIOMA to conduct research on sea turtles, Karmenita said "It gave me a lot of hands-on experience with collecting data for conservation and it was an incredibly rewarding experience overall".
2022 ES Senior Thesis Award Winners
Each year, around 7% of the senior class takes on the added challenge and commitment of writing a senior thesis. In 2022, ES recognized two graduating seniors and the UCSB Library recgonized two ES seniors for their theses.
Eat it and Weep: The Impact of Campus Food Sustainability Policies on Eating Disorder Prevalence Rates Among Undergraduate Students at UCSB by Ruth Wong
Senior Thesis Award Winner, Ruth Wong, and her advisor, Assistant Professor Liz Carlisle
Surveying 94 of her peers and building on previous research, Ruth gleaned several insights that can help sustainable food initiatives on and off campus to better support students in developing healthy relationships with food. At the same time, her research pushes for methodological innovations in the categories used to study eating disorders among college students, to better reflect participants’ lived experience.
Coal Plant Retirement Pathways: Bridging Decarbonization and the Social Integration of Coal by Sidney Gathrid
Sidney was one of two recipients of the distinguished senior thesis award from Environmental Studies in 2022. He explored how to use a more holistic suite of social, environmental, and economic factors to retire coal plants in the U.S. better and faster. In order to do this, he learned how to use a sophisticated mathematical tool for data exploration called Topological Data Analysis, making his thesis one of the first studies to apply this tool in the environmental sciences. He received the Manalis Leadership scholarship to work with Professor Grace Wu to turn his thesis into a manuscript for submission to a peer reviewed journal (stay tuned for publication!). This fall, Sidney had the opportunity to present his research project to Dr Mel Manalis, who taught ES's energy courses for over 40 years. Sidneyʻ s work fills important gaps in addressing the fact that coal power is very tightly woven into the economic, cultural, and social fabric of many communities in the U.S., yet its persistence is inherently incompatible with tackling climate change. The results of his analyses provide insights into the trade-offs and synergies in achieving various objectives in planning the phaseout of coal power in the US.
Out of the classroom...
Students in ENVS 198 were able to take their learning out of the classroom through a field trip to the Saticoy Depot thanks to generous support from the Freudenburg Fund.
ENVS 193TF Transforming Food Systems is a field seminar that provides students an opportunity to learn directly from the people and organizations on the frontlines of cultivating more just and sustainable food systems in California and the United States. One of the organizations they learned from was Condor's Hope, where they learned about dry farming and hula hoeing.
Ancestral Foods class ENVS 193AF explores agriculutal systems that are culutrally significant. Students ventured out on a field trip to the Santa Ynez Chumash Tribal Nursery to learn directly from the Nursery's Coordinator how the nursery works to reinforce beloning through food and land.
"These were such rewarding and valuable experiences for the students! I am thankful for the Freudenburg Fund support that enabled my Ancestral Foods class to take a field trip to the Santa Ynez Chumash Tribal Nursery. It was an invaluable experience for all of us, and we learned so much!" - Professor Liz CarlisleAssistant Professor Liz Carlisle showing her skills with a Hula Hoe on the ENVS 193TF Field Trip to Condor's Hope
The IV Food Forest is part of Eco Vista, a student-driven project dedicated to transitioning Isla Vista into an economically and ecologically sustainable town, or an eco-village The food forest has
Congratulations Class of 2022!
This year, the Environmental Studies Program graduated 322 students. A triumph for all students who studied in person and remotely.
242 students graduated with a B.A. 76 students graduated with a B S 4 students graduated with a B.S. in Hydrological Science & Policy 75 students completed a double major, while 86 graduated with an official minor.
Pandemic Silver Linings
The pandemic brought along some adventures for ES Staff and Faculty ...
Growth is Good
Professor Lisa Sideris grew a variety of poppies in a large, raised bed in her yard, during the spring and summer.
Welcoming a Baby!
"I became a mother! While COVID-19 was an incredibly challenging time to be a new parent, parenting has been one of the most rewarding (and challenging) projects I've ever undertaken " - Professor Grace Wu
Business Officer Andrea Ellickson and her boyfriend went backpacking in Sequoia National Park up to Monarch Lakes and Sawtooth Peak, where they slept under the stars and watched the Perseid meteor shower. It was a great way to get away from the pandemic crowds!
At the height of the pandemic, Ivan Gonzalez, founder of the student group Making Adventures Possible for All Students (MAPAS) graduated and embarked on an epic bicycle journey from Mount Rainier to Oaxaca, Mexico. He traveled with his friend and bio-chem alum Luis Martinez. Ivan describes feeling a sense of gratitude and appreciation for his home country, while also becoming more aware of the political unrest and racial injustice rampant through the Pacific Northwest. In his words: “It also became a symbolic feat for us as we were just two newly graduated first-gen Mexican Americans, in fields that historically lacked people of our background, doing an activity that lacks even more representation. For Luis and I, it really felt like a ‘take that’ to whatever doubt and struggles we had faced we were capable of whatever we wanted to do ”
Recharging and Relaxing
"The pandemic relieved some pressure (that I was dimly aware of) to have a social life. I found myself happy to hunker down, focus on family, eat out less, zoom-work and enjoy long walks. The simplification of my life changed me for the better so I feel more calm and centered -- ready to face the challenges ahead."- Carla D'Antonio, Chair
UCSB Environmental Studies would like to thank the program's students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters who contributed content and suggestions for this year's publication of ES News.
We express a special appreciation to the ES supporters that are funding hands-on experiences for ES students, future environmental leaders. The student experiences featured in this Newsletter, such as field-based learning in environmentally rich locations (p. 17) and local field trips to community organizations at the forefront of environmental practices (p.19 & 20), are made possible by the generous support of ES supporters.
The goal of Environmental Studies at UCSB has always been to provide our students with the best possible opportunities to learn and develop. We have an outstanding faculty and staff; people who are talented, committed, and effective We invite you to join us in pursuit of these goals Environmental Studies has several targets that could particularly benefit from your support One may contribute to any of the following funds by visiting UCSB's secure giving portal via the QR code or contacting one of UCSB's Development Officers
Chair: Carla D'Antonio
Editing and Design: Nathalie Quintero