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Dear friends, Scholars, and colleagues,

Welcome to the third UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Newsletter! If you'd like to be added to our newsletter email list, click here.  The newsletter is too long for Gmail so we would suggest reading it in your browser.
But first, there is one more week to APPLY to join the 2021 Cohort!! Please help us spread the word to prospective Scholars!
In this edition:
Going remote, and returning to in-person!
Welcome Paul DeSalles, Program Coordinator
Upcoming events
Twitter and LinkedIn
2020 Summer Program
2020 Internships and 2021 Winter Workshop
Alumni Highlights
UCSC DDCSP on Twitter
UCSC DDCSP on LinkedIn
UCSC DDCSP Website
conservationscholars @ Instagram

Going remote, and returning to in-person!

We spent much of this past year shifting an intensely hands-on program into a remote experience. It was a huge challenge. We also found growth in clarifying our program’s core values and strengths, and in finding new ways to build community while apart. We are incredibly grateful to an amazing team of internship and program mentors for building meaningful relationships with Scholars who they have yet to meet in person.

As we plan for Summer 2021, we are excited to return to in-person activities with a watchful eye on public health. Applications for the 2021 Cohort are open until February 1. For incoming Scholars, we are seeking UC approval for an in-person bubbled field program at the UC Natural Reserves. For the returning Scholars, we have planned Santa Cruz-based internships with hosts ranging from city and state government, conservation non-profits, and academic research labs. We are excited for this cohort to finally spend some time together in-person, and the opportunities associated with having second-year Scholars all together during their internships.

Welcome Paul DeSalles, Program Coordinator

Since our last newsletter, we welcome Paul DeSalles, Program Coordinator to our permanent staff at UC Santa Cruz!  We also are happy that outgoing coordinator Judy Straub will be nearby as the Graduate Student Coordinator of UCSC EEB.

Happy new year DDCSP community! I can't believe it's been almost a full year since I started here at UC Santa Cruz as the program coordinator for DDCSP last March. Meeting and interacting with many of you virtually (and some scholars in person in Santa Cruz this summer!) has been such an energizing experience and salve from the tumult of the past year. I'm very much looking forward to 2021 as an opportunity to continue to learn the ropes of the program and hopefully meet many of you in person over the coming year!  - Paul

Upcoming events  

As we continue through the age of COVID, we will be increasing the number of virtual gatherings, alternating between community and professionally focused events. Follow us on social media to get frequent updates.

  • February 4th, 5-6pm Pacific - A conversation with Dr. Gabriela Chavarria! See event flyer for details.  Register here.

Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram oh my! 

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!  On Twitter, you can follow all of our scholars using this list. And over on LinkedIn, you can connect with alumni and current scholars.

UCSC DDCSP on Twitter
UCSC DDCSP on LinkedIn
conservationscholars @ Instagram
UCSC DDCSP Website

2020 Summer Program 

We welcomed twenty incredible new Scholars to our community in March 2020. This past summer across six time zones they gathered online each day for a program like no other. Despite the challenges, it was an immersive eight weeks of Scholars building community while developing skills in conservation research, communication, and leadership. We made 768 iNaturalist observations, were visited by 15 conservation leaders, and conducted over 80 hours of one-on-one meetings with Scholars. Scholars conducted original conservation research on subjects including marine bycatch, food justice, Native land management, predictors of watershed health, and more. We are so excited for when this group can be together in person!

2020 Internships and 2021 Winter Workshop

Nearly all internships had to be conducted remotely this past summer, and we are very grateful for the patience and determination of the 2019 cohort of Scholars. We welcomed 15 new internship mentors and value the tremendous efforts that mentors made to support scholars through such a challenging year. Despite enormous challenges, Scholars gained valuable experience and produced meaningful conservation outputs in research, policy, and communications. In our January Winter Workshop, Scholars came together with program staff to reflect and look towards the future. Scholars were inspired by Dr. Rae Wynn Grant and charted personal and collective paths forward from a tumultuous year. Because the workshop had to be remote, we will plan a 2019 Cohort gathering in person when it is safe to do so. 

Alumni Highlights

We continue to find ways to strengthen the Program’s Alumni Network. This year, UCSC cohorts elected representatives for a nascent UCSC DDCSP Alumni Organization, and two UCSC alumni participated in a DDCSP Network Alumni Steering Committee to determine future directions of the cross-program network. Our alumni have continued to make positive change in the world. Below we highlight just a few of their impressive accomplishments.

Dwayne Williams (2016) started an M.S. in Sustainability at the University of South Dakota.  There he is exploring the link between environmental justice principles in zoning and land use policies within local government, and the environmental health of surrounding communities.  With Dwayne's emphasis on public policy & public administration, he plans to pursue a JD/Ph.D. in environmental law or a related field
Andrea Calderón (2016) is a staff assistant in the US House of Representatives for the office of Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ 3). She was recently awarded a Pickering Graduate Fellowship securing a spot after completion of her studies with the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. She hopes to help the U.S. foster strong international relations as they pertain to war, peace, and - of course - the environment.
Ashia Ajani (2017) is currently finishing a Master in Environmental Management at Yale School of the Environment with a concentration in People, Equity, and the Environment. Ashia recently facilitated the 4th DDCSP Alumni Leadership Cohort with Luz Alejos and Sydney Fuller (UM '17) and accepted a part-time Environmental Justice Educator position with Mycelium Youth Network. Ashia’s poetry was recently published in Frontier Poetry and is forthcoming in the Apogee Journal.
Bashir Ali (2017) began a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Dr. Erika Eliason's lab at UC Santa Barbara. With the support of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Bashir will study how marine organisms stretch their physiology to the limit to survive in challenging environments.
Leticia Santillana (2017) spent the last six months as a Park Ranger at the Bureau of Land Management Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area in Henderson, Nevada -- 48k acres of the stolen ancestral lands of the southern Paiute tribe. This area is most widely known for its mountain biking opportunities and its Petroglyph Canyon, which has more than 300 rock art panels and is an important breeding area for bighorn sheep.
Nusrat Noor, Bashir Ali, and Soledad Soto (2017) published a paper with their DDCSP Mentor Brent Hughes (Sonoma State University) stemming from their summer internship!  The paper, “Native and Invasive Macrophytes Differ in Their Effectiveness as Nurseries for Juvenile Endangered Salmon” is in a special issue of Estuaries and Coasts and will be highlighted in Coastal and Estuarine Science News.
Wanjiku "Wawa" Gatheru (2018) recently founded Black Girl Environmentalist (BGE), an intergenerational community of Black girls, women, and non-binary environmentalists. BGE exists as a vital space for underrepresented voices in the mainstream environmental movement to be centered, rather than sidelined. Check out the community on Instagram, a recent IG Live with Erika, and join here.
Esmeralda Hic (2018) is a 2020 RAY Clean Energy Diversity Fellow. As the Policy and Community Engagement Fellow for the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), she collaborates with community partners as they strive to develop community-centered policy solutions to their energy needs and the climate crisis. Esmeralda was recently interviewed by IMT about her passions and goals that lead her towards a career in the environmental field.
Olivia Vasquez (2018) started a permanent position as an Analyst at Conservation Metrics, where she was a DDCSP intern in summer 2019.  As an Analyst, Olivia is part of a team using acoustics and machine learning to increase the scale and efficacy of wildlife monitoring. While Olivia is not listening to seabirds, managing data, debugging R scripts, or report writing, Olivia is exploring Santa Cruz through bike adventures and walks on West Cliff. 
Daniel Morgan (2018) spent last summer as a Systems Development Intern at Freshwater Life, applying his expertise in business analytics to build scalable project management and prioritization systems for a fast-growing NGO.  Daniel was able to create a strong foundation that allows the Freshwater Life team to continue doing their work effectively and avoid disruptions as they scale.
 

Final Thoughts

This has been a challenging year. Caring for the interconnected ecology of life, including people, includes advancing justice, respect, and inclusion in every form. As a staff, we are continually inspired and humbled by the Scholar community’s commitment to progress and look forward to better days together for people in nature.

We look forward to sharing more updates in the Summer Newsletter, and frequently via social media channels.  If this was forwarded to you, make sure to subscribe.

 

With our warm wishes

Abraham Borker,
Program Director

Prof. Erika Zavaleta,
Faculty Director

Paul DeSalles,
Program Coordinator 

Dan Hernández,
Faculty Mentor

UCSC DDCSP on Twitter
UCSC DDCSP on LinkedIn
conservationscholars @ Instagram
UCSC DDCSP Website
Copyright © 2021 UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, All rights reserved.


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