The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington (DDCSP@UW) is a multi-summer, undergraduate learning experience that explores conservation throughout the Pacific Northwest. By connecting conservation to cultural identities, biodiversity, and environmental justice, DDCSP@UW supports emerging leaders to develop and contribute understandings, skills, and perspectives needed to transform the conservation field.
This year, DDCSP@UW is excited to resume in-person field immersion programming for the summer, with scholars engaging across a range of projects with conservation partners. See below for the list of incoming scholars and internship partners!
Meet the 2022 Scholars
Kenyon College, Biology
One of my main goals is to decolonize and diversify the field of conservation biology and biology in general. I want to focus on the intersections between cultural anthropology and biology in order to learn about and implement a wide range of conservation practices. My goal is to work on bettering the living conditions of low-income BIPOC communities, specifically migrant communities like my own in the San Fernando Valley in California. Outside of classwork, I enjoy swimming and working on nail art.
Howard University, Fisheries and Wildlife & Environmental Science
My name is Nia Richardson and I am a first year Environmental Science major at Howard University. I enjoy hiking, playing piano, and meeting new people. I grew up in Arizona where my love for nature bloomed, I mostly enjoyed watching the sunset with friends. When it comes to conservation, I have been most interested in food security. I would love to learn more about botany and ecology in order to create sustainable farming habits.
Kareli Mora Ayon
Heritage University, Environmental Science
Hello everyone! I was raised in Stockton California and moved to Washington my freshman year of high school. I am very passionate about our water conservation and our beautiful wetland environments and all the amazing wildlife that is within them. I reside in Sunnyside at the moment, and I have grown to call this my new home. I attend Heritage University which I completely love. My hobbies include biking, watching anime (Naruto) being my favorite, reading and hiking.
Wellesley College, Biology & Environmental Studies
My name is Isabella Chung, and I am from Honolulu, Hawai’i. Having grown up surrounded by nature, I am really passionate about making the environment accessible to everyone, and especially communities of color. Since both of my parents are immigrants, I care a lot about preserving cultural traditions and connections with land. I also really want to learn more about different ways to support food sovereignty, particularly in urban areas. I believe helping children and young adults to engage with nature is really important to creating a more sustainable future. Above all, I am committed to the decolonization of science and the environment, and hope to make these spaces more inclusive!
Warren Wilson College, Conservation Biology & Creative Writing
Despite being from a busy city I grew up wanting to experience the environment and help the natural world thrive. As I got older I got into creative writing and wildlife sciences and developed a joy for teaching others as much as I could. I enjoy reading, horseback riding, aerial dance, and sports photography. In the future, I would like to partake in a career that will make use of my artistic talents, appreciation for nature, and love of learning new things. I’m generally interested in predatory animals due to watching loads of documentaries about them when I was younger, but I wouldn’t mind working with other animals as well. I hope to broaden my knowledge and experiences with humans, animals, and their environments to properly teach others the importance of conservation.
Centre College of Kentucky, Environmental Studies & Studio Art
I am an adopted Chinese-American from Frankfort, Kentucky. I have lived my entire life surrounded by the arts, nature, and advocacy. I hope to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the environmental field with visual art. I am currently interested in educational and corrective measures within environmental justice, but I love researching and being in the field. In my free time, I love reading, glass blowing, painting, skateboarding, and exploring or learning new things. I have always held a deep love and connection to water and the ocean, and I want to do what I can to protect it.
Kamryn You Mak
Middlebury College, Environmental Justice
I’ve had the privilege of growing up in San Francisco, CA with heavy emphasis on place-based learning and access to natural spaces and outdoor recreation. From this love of being outside, I’ve learned more about and gotten experience in conservation and stewardship. I’m majoring in Environmental Justice and am really interested in connecting more people with the environment and their surroundings, especially those who have been purposefully excluded, through education, food, and recreation. Outside of conservation and justice work, I also enjoy playing games and sports, outdoor rec, and reading and writing.
University of South Florida Tampa, Geography
I am currently studying Geography at the University of South Florida, with plans to develop a professional path that centers GIS technologies and urban greenspace in conservation. I consider Atlanta, Georgia to be my home. It was there I began to understand the importance of urban greenspaces in uplifting marginalized communities, though it was in an Urban Planning course at USF that I first drew the connection between cultural and environmental conservation that I plan to center in my future work. As I work toward my professional goals, I will draw on my experiences working on public lands, traveling, and the knowledge I gain from my academic courses in order to contribute to a sustainable and equitable future.
University of Arizona, Biology & Latin American Studies
I’m currently living, working, and studying in the Sonoran Desert as an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona. I incorporate my own experiential knowledge as a first gen Mexican American into my passions surrounding conservation and community development with the intention of making the outdoors a more inclusive and welcoming space for underrepresented communities. Beyond the classroom and the outdoors, I volunteer with various student organizations, student clubs, and online communities to contribute to their efforts in conservation, education, and community engagement. In my sparse free time, I can be found tending to my houseplants, watching TV, or thinking about my next hike.
Fort Lewis College, Biology
My name is Amoreina Espinosa I am Indigenous Mexica-Nahuatl and Anishinaabe from Red Lake. I was born and raised in Minnesota. My major is Biology with a minor in Physics. The land we live on is essential for life, I am interested in cultivating the environment we live in and making it better for future generations. I am co-founder of the International Indigenous Youth Council-Twin Cities Chapter, I am an active chapter representative. I enjoy dancing, I am apart of Traditional Mexica-Aztec group, Kalpulli Yaocenoxtl in Minnesota. I also enjoy the outdoors and swimming where I can find a spot.
Pomona College, Biology
I am passionate about conservation and centering decolonial perspectives in science. I seek to understand the complicated networks of interactions between organisms and the ways in which the wellbeing of humans is inextricably linked to the health of other organisms. I grew up in the Houston area, but my family is from a Zapotec pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico. I am on a lifelong journey to learn my native language and practice my culture. With these commitments to a decolonial praxis, I aim to help create a future that is equitable for all peoples.
University of Washington, Environmental Science and Resource Management
I am a sophomore and Environmental Science and Resource Management major at UW! I am interested in studying rivers, riparian ecosystems, and their connections to human communities. Eventually, I want to help improve communities’ access to clean water. I am particularly interested in how improving public engagement with environmental science and conservation can help communities exercise more agency over their water sources. Besides the environment, I love theatre, playing piano, and my pets.
Iowa State University, Environmental Science
I am interested in urban communities and water ecosystem conservation. India and the Midwest are home to me. I love photography, music production and film in addition to my passion in conservation and environmental science.
University of Washington, Oceanography
Hi! I am passionate about renewable energy, and learning how climate change is shaping our future. As an oceanography major, I am also very interested in the way the ocean works and the way climate change is impacting marine ecology. I am a local Seattleite having grown up and gone to school here my whole life. A few hobbies of mine are hiking in the North Cascades, distance running, and dancing.
United Tribes Technical College, Environmental Science & Research
My major is in Environmental Science and Research at United Tribes Technical College. I am a Lakota member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Growing up with an indigenous background, I have always known there is a deep connection to the land and all living things. I pursue this inner knowing through my career interests in soils, plants, water, and wildlife. My passion surrounds the integration of Indigenous Knowledge into Western Science. I aim to recognize Indigenous Knowledge as a vital approach to land restoration, sustainability, and conservation practices.
Mikayla J. Agbamuche
University of Florida, Natural Resource Conservation
I am an avid nature lover who is passionate about plants and the relationships people have with them. Specifically, I am interested in cultural preservation through plant conservation and encouraging members of underserved communities to reconnect with nature through urban gardening and public education. My future goals include promoting the inclusion of minorities in outdoor recreational settings and decolonizing the history behind national and state parks.
University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Environmental Science & Biology
Hi I’m Amber! I’m really interested in wildlife conservation and marine conservation mostly! I am excited to learn more and gain more experience so that I can progress in my career path. I’m from New Jersey but I live in Charlotte, NC for college currently. I came down last year when I started college in 2020. And for hobbies, I love to paint especially with acrylics and spend time in nature!
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Fisheries and Wildlife & Environmental Science
Hello! My name is Isabella Villanueva! I am from Lincoln, Nebraska and go to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am double majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife and Environmental Science. I am passionate about conservation biology, improving my community, protecting biodiversity, and learning. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, rock climbing, being outside, and meeting new people. In the future, I hope to travel the world and to gain experience with different environments and cultures.
University of California, Berkeley, Conservation and Resource Studies
I am a community member of the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation. I am currently focusing on various subtopics and cultural relationships that intertwine with Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Fire and Land Stewardship, as well as Medicinal Ethnobotany. From here, I hope to find and discover nuances when it comes to fully researching ethnoecological practices that tie into each other such as adaptations to climate change, riparian restoration efforts, watershed management, wildland fire effects, cultural burning, and salmon biodiversity. Experiencing these issues as well as being very rooted within my culture has now led her to reclaim these narratives and bring awareness to the vast abundance of cultural knowledge and resources my People have held since immemorial. In doing that, I plan to further my education by working and researching within environmental management as I will be better equipped to stimulate a more unified tribal community as well as advocate for my community’s needs on an academic scale. It is an opportunity collectively for everyone by bridging the gap between traditional ecological knowledge and academic knowledge.
Travis Waters, Jr.
Florida State University, Political Science & Environment and Society
Witnessing firsthand the effects of environmental disinvestment and the absence of critical infrastructure, I hope to bring greater attention to African American communities in the United States suffering from the injustices of unclean air, hazardous waste emissions, and unsafe water. I believe that the intersection of government and the environment is one that cannot be overlooked as a cleaner society and healthier Black community is one that can ensue from its advancement. My passion for environmental policy and service has led me to the Democratic National Committee as a Presidential Fellow, the Campus Election Engagement Project where I successfully expanded voter accessibility for thousands of Florida State University students, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Recently, I was named to the inaugural cohort of the John Lewis Scholars and Fellows Program, which aims to create positive societal change based on the revolutionary non-violent respective pioneered during the American Civil Rights Movement.
2022 Internship Conservation Partners
Learning from Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Marine Toxins in Clams
Coastal Communities and Ecology Lab at Western Washington University
Mentors Dr. Marco Hatch and Grad Student (and DDCSP@UW Alum!) Jackelyn Garcia
Scholars Eva Weddell and Celeste Lucero will be studying how people’s risk for paralytic shellfish poisoning may be influenced by the selective removal of certain parts of a clam before consumption, a traditional practice by Coast Salish Peoples to mitigate exposure to marine toxins.
San Juan County Marine Mammal Sightings and Strandings
The Whale Museum
Mentors Alyssa Scott and Alexis Haifley
Scholars Kyra Tan and Henry Hua will be investigating mortalities, migratory patterns, and population health of marine mammals in the Salish Sea.
Long Term Environmental Monitoring on Yellow Island Preserve
Black in Marine Sciences and The Nature Conservancy
Mentors Salma Abdel-Raheem and Chris Mantegna
Scholars Luna Peralta, So Hess, and Taylor Umetsu will identify and contextualize abiotic shifts in and around Yellow Island Preserve that have impacted the broader intertidal community and study what their observations mean with regard to the health of the Salish Sea ecosystem.
Adaptive Management and Ecosystem Wellbeing on the Olympic Peninsula
Olympic Natural Resource Center
Mentors Courtney Bobbin and Eric Burres
Scholars Elizabeth Randolph and Nate Kinyanjui will be working on several forest ecology and management project on the westside of the Olympic Peninsula in order to study and develop forest management prescriptions that meet ecosystem wellbeing and promote conservation values.
Quinault Nation Olympic Cougar Project
Quinault Indian Nation Department of Natural Resources
Mentors Kristen Philips and Deidre Hayward
Scholars Asa Samuels, Kiya Rahn, and Idris Tang will be studying the cougar population on the Olympic Peninsula to help develop a cohesive, broad-scale understanding of cougar population size, demographics, and dispersal patterns in order to help inform tribal management plans and guidelines to benefit predator, prey, and human communities.
Building BIPOC Food Systems in Seattle
Black Farmers Collective
Mentors Hannah Wilson (DDCSP@UW Alum!) and Ray Williams
Scholar Dominic Ardazon will be working at Yes Farm and Small Axe Farm to support Food sovereignty and Black liberation efforts in the urban landscape of Seattle through land stewardship with our human and more than human communities.
Determining and Addressing Sources of Contamination in Urban Community Gardens
Dr. Melanie Malone’s Research Lab at the University of Washington Bothell
Mentor Dr. Melanie Malone
Scholars Kaytlen Cruz and Sierra Hurtado will be engaged in soil sampling, community research, and data analysis to explore the sources of, and ways in which, contaminants impact urban community gardens in Seattle.
Wolverines, Native Plants, Data Management, and Community Outreach Along the Greenwater River
Mentors Laurel Baum and Jen Syrowitz
Scholars Tracy Mai and Minerva Rivera will be working on several projects relating to restoration planning, actions, and outreach in the Greenwater River corridor. They will be working with the community through a community wildlife monitoring program and cleanup actions as well as developing skills in native plant and watershed restoration.
Urban Outreach and Coexistence
Mentor Elyssa Kerr
Scholar Kyra Hanson will be studying urban beaver populations through implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of beaver management devices as well as leading public nature walks and community outreach campaigns to promote beaver coexistence as a tool for building ecosystem resilience and reducing human-wildlife conflict.
For more information on previous internship projects and program information please the the DDCSP@UW website.
EarthLab and the Clean Energy Institute (CEI), two University of Washington (UW) environmental institutes, have announced a new partnership with LevelTen Energy, EnergyGPS, Google, and Steelhead Americas to bring more talented and diverse young professionals into the renewable energy industry by launching the Energy Scholars Mentorship Program. Undergraduate students are encouraged to apply by 5 p.m. PT on April 15, 2022.
Over eight weeks between June and August 2022, undergraduate students from across the country will come together for a work experience and cohort curriculum specifically designed to equip them with the resources needed to enter and flourish in the clean energy industry. For participating students, this comprehensive program includes mentorship and networking opportunities with leaders in the renewable energy sphere, as well as a paid monthly stipend, travel and free accommodation at UW.
“Investing in clean energy is a crucial step in addressing climate change– for the wellbeing of our economy and our communities,” shared Ben Packard, EarthLab Executive Director. “However, we know that not everyone has equal access to the mentorship, training and professional networks that so often open the doors for successful careers in this booming field. We’re thrilled to be part of an innovative collective that’s actively trying to reduce barriers to opportunity in order to nurture skilled and passionate young professionals into sustainable industries that will be necessary in order for everyone to thrive in the long-term.”
The goal of the Energy Scholars Mentorship Program is to provide students with a thorough understanding of wholesale energy markets and renewable energy technology through hands-on projects, as well as essential foundations in analytical techniques and business writing. By developing real-world experience, participating scholars will be able to build the skills and establish the professional network needed to succeed in the renewable energy sector upon graduation.
“CEI looks forwarding to sharing groundbreaking clean energy research and technology with these future leaders and helping them prepare for their careers in this critical field,” said Clean Energy Institute Director Dan Schwartz. “We’re eager to bring our experience running hands-on summer programs for undergraduate students looking to make an impact in clean energy science and engineering, as well as our work with industry at the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds, to this unique internship program.”
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
EarthLab envisions a world where nature and people thrive. Part research engine and part community catalyst, EarthLab engages public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors in a shared and ongoing conversation that converts knowledge to action. Together, we identify the places where life on our planet is at greatest risk and co-create solutions that make a real impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. earthlab.uw.edu.
About Clean Energy Institute
The Clean Energy Institute (CEI) at the University of Washington was founded in 2013 with funds from the state of Washington. Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of a scalable clean energy future that will improve the health and economy of our state, nation, and world. To accomplish this, CEI supports the advancement of next-generation solar energy and battery materials and devices, as well as their integration with systems and the grid. The Institute creates the ideas and educates the people needed to generate these innovations, while facilitating the pathways to bring them to market. cei.washington.edu.
By Allie Long
Prior to the start of her master’s program last fall, Carole Green was excited to be one of nine University of Washington students selected by faculty and staff from the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) and the College of the Environment to participate in the 2021 APRU Student Global Climate Change Simulation. “I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of human health and climate change, which is why I decided to pursue an MPH at UW and have been thrilled to learn from the experts at CHanGE,” shared Carole.
Although the APRU simulation was specifically focused on climate change, students came from a variety of backgrounds. Take Siddharth Sheth, for example. A second year graduate student at UW for computer science, his personal interest in climate change fueled an opportunity to participate and build professional growth related to integrating environmentalism into his future work.
“No one’s really talking about the environmental impacts of the computer science industry, even though data centers rely on electricity to keep us all connected to complex virtual worlds,” explained Siddharth. “It might seem like an indirect relationship, but that’s exactly why awareness is key. This experience was an engaging way to learn more about clean energy policy, which I want to scale in actionable ways within my field once I graduate this December.”
Carole and Siddharth were two of the 120 students from 13 universities across 10 countries who virtually attended the APRU Simulation.
Hosted by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) between August 11th and September 2nd 2021, the simulation held mock negotiations for students across the globe to play the role of delegates to the UN Climate Change Negotiations. Students were placed into multidisciplinary teams to represent one of six regions, which included the U.S., China, India, the EU, “Other Developed Countries” and “Other Developing Countries.”
“During the simulation, I was part of the Green China group, where we focused on how land use changes, the Paris agreement and greenhouse gas emissions have historically impacted this country,” shared Siddharth. “It was really fun to learn how to communicate about a different country’s environmental representation on a global scale. It gave me a new perspective on why universal environmental guidelines can’t always apply to every country because of the different local implementations and regulations based on your assigned country.”
Global connection & mentorship
The simulation was created in tandem with climate policy simulation models including EN-ROADS and World Climate Interactive that were initially developed by MIT. The program included ten plenary speakers from organizations such as the UN Habitat Programme, Adidas and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, among others.
Over the course of three sessions, students also participated in interactive breakout sessions led by 16 international climate science experts.
“The climate change simulation was an excellent opportunity for students to understand some of the complexities of negotiating across countries, realizing the challenges with reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to less than 2.0C above preindustrial,” said Kristie Ebi, CHanGE founder and professor, who was one of the participating APRU experts.
The scope and magnitude of the simulation gave way to a lot of shared moments for the students that highlighted how important and complex it can be to come to global agreements within climate change policy.
“We are thrilled to support global programming that connects UW students with their international peers and equips them with practical skills in a global context,” shared Office of Global Affairs Vice Provost Jeffrey Riedinger. This office was a co-funder for the selected UW students to attend the global simulation as part of their passion for fostering cross-disciplinary and intercultural learning opportunities. “The APRU Global Climate Change Simulation creates an innovative learning environment, focused on finding solutions for some of the most pressing challenges facing our shared world,” said Jeffrey.
For Carole, the simulation’s takeaways included a surprising feeling: hope. “What the public so often hears about climate change is how we’re all going to go up in flames, and it makes people shut down. I didn’t anticipate how hopeful climate experts actually are. There is a way for us to solve this problem. It’s challenging to recognize its grandiosity, but so many people care. We just have to be very intentional in the ways that we tackle this together.”
This simulation was co-organized by University of Oregon and University of Southern California, and it included students from Monash University, Nanyang Technological University, Peking University, Tecnológico de Monterrey, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Auckland, The University of Melbourne, Tohoku University, Universidad San Francisco De Quito, Universiti Malaya and University of Washington.
Interested in applying to this year’s 2022 Student Global Climate Change Simulation?
EarthLab has announced a new paid summer internship program for University of Washington undergraduate students who are passionate about addressing challenging environmental issues. Currently enrolled students (as of Spring 2022) from all UW schools, colleges and campuses are eligible to apply by 5 p.m. PT on April 15, 2022.
This year’s program will run for 10 weeks between June-August, with student presentations expected in the fall. Internships will be hosted within EarthLab member organizations. Although each project is unique, interns will engage with and learn from each other while attending required training sessions and other group activities. Each student will be provided with a faculty or research scientist mentor and will receive a weekly stipend based on the hours required for the project.
“We know that if we are going to effectively and equitably address environmental issues, we must rethink how we train the next generation of leaders, researchers and scholars,” said Ben Packard, EarthLab’s executive director. “We’re excited to offer this new opportunity for undergraduate students to build capacity for interdisciplinary, community-engaged environmental work.”
EarthLab is offering a live information session over Zoom on March 29 at 4:30 p.m. PT. Anyone interested in learning more about the program is encouraged to attend and ask questions. The session will be recorded and shared on the EarthLab website.
While the available projects span a variety of subjects, experiences and time commitments, students may apply to more than one project. They should note that many opportunities will require some remote work and some in-person work, following all safety protocols. The number of hours per week include required mentor meetings, group discussions and professional development trainings hosted by EarthLab.
2022 placements include:
- Climate Health Risk Tool Intern (15 hrs/week)
- Grant Application Support Intern (15 hrs/week)
- Northwest Climate Resilience Collaborative (NCRC) Intern (30 hrs/week)
- Green Schoolyards Project Intern (30 hrs/week)
- Forest Bathing Research Assistant (40 hrs/week)
- Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) Intern (20 hrs/week)
- Ocean Literacy Intern (15 hrs/week)
- Ocean Acidification Intern (25 hrs/week)
- Zooplankton Diversity Intern (40 hrs/week)
Contact email@example.com with any questions.
Future Rivers is now accepting applications for their third cohort, to begin Autumn quarter 2022. Please spread the word and encourage any prospective or current PhD or Masters students from any discipline across campus to apply by January 28, 2022 to be considered for funding.