Student Profile: Bryan Moy
An Environmental Science student discusses how his experiences at UCLA prepared him to work with the CDC last summer and led him to pursue graduate studies in environmental epidemiology this fall.
As an Environmental Science Major, I was well equipped to understand the many complex environmental health problems I encountered during my summer with the CDC.
I first learned how humans view, interact, and affect their environment as an Environmental Studies student at UC Santa Cruz. This introduced me to the human side of environmentalism, but I lacked an understanding of the complexities and science behind environmental issues and why it was necessary to understand them. After transferring to UCLA, I enrolled in classes in the Environmental Science Major that helped me to understand Earth's various systems and processes. The classes provided me with a deeper understanding and appreciation of how many environmental processes are interrelated, which is a crucial aspect to studying the environment. I found this to be a result of the interdisciplinary nature of the Environmental Science Major.
I was encouraged to participate in the Alliance Towards Harnessing Global Opportunities (ATHGO) Fifth Annual Global Forum, which was titled "Global Warming: Change Your Attitude! Not the Weather's." The event was held at UCLA's Tom Bradley International Hall over four days from February 27 to March 1, 2008 and focused on the pressing environmental issues of global warming and climate change. Participants discussed and explored the effects and implications of global warming on the political arena and business sectors as well as the many possible solutions and impediments to systemic environmental change. After attending the event, I gained an even greater knowledge about environmental problems and the practical solutions that needed to be adopted to combat them.
In the summer of that year, I applied to and was accepted into the Collegiate Leaders in Environmental Health Program, which is organized by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only 13 students in the nation were chosen to participate. The program's 10-week summer internship was held at the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in Atlanta, GA. In those 10 weeks, I was given many opportunities to learn about environmental issues. I worked with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) in creating a National Heat Wave Action Plan for the United States. I also researched and assessed the human health implications of biofuels for the Biofuel National Action Plan and renewable resources for the CDC’s Climate Change and Built Environment website. I even co-authored a report with the World Bank and the CDC on the "Health Impacts of Climate Change in South Asia." As an Environmental Science Major, I was well equipped to understand the many complex environmental health problems I encountered during my summer with the CDC.
My experiences at UCLA greatly influenced my decision to pursue a career in environmental health and epidemiology after finishing my undergraduate degree. I feel well-prepared to pursue graduate work at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health this fall, where I will study environmental epidemiology. The Environmental Science Major -- with its diverse range of courses and opportunities to work with distinguished faculty -- provides students with the skills essential to addressing the environmental issues of today and the future.
Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2009