Environmental Science Major
Grade Level: Third year at UCLA; Environmental Science Major, Environmental Systems and Society Minor.
Hometown: I’m from Pacific Beach in San Diego, California.
Why did you choose UCLA? Diddy Riese (a popular Westwood Village sweet shop) played a significant role. But, really, UCLA is awesome. It has every resource you could possibly want in a university. As a world-renowned college it has incredible draw.
How did you select this major? I just switched to the Environmental Science Major in the fall. “Collapse” by UCLA Geography Department Professor Jared Diamond was a major reason I selected this major. I started UCLA as biology major, switched to psychology, read Professor Diamond’s book and knew I had to pursue an environmental academic program. I am 100% satisfied now. I’m in the major and the Environmental Systems and Society Minor and really enjoy the combination. I choose both because of ART-Action Research Teams, a component of the student-organized Education for Sustainable Living Program, run through the IoE that connects students to the world of sustainability. I really enjoy doing something, as opposed to just sitting in a classroom. I focus more energy on ART than anything else.
What do you like about this academic program? I think the coolest aspect of studying environmental science is the range of courses you can take—every possible subject matter is covered. I have been legitimately excited about every class I have taken so far.
Favorite classes: I’ve enjoyed physical oceanography, ecological biology and remote sensing. But my favorite class is Forest Ecoystems, taught by Geography Professor Thomas Gillespie. I am learning how to identify trees and you finish the class with a group research project on one specific endangered forest.
Assignment you’ve enjoyed the most: My xeriscaping and native plants ART project which involves replanting the UCLA sign on Hilgard Ave and Wyton Drive. Our team is working with the UCLA Campus Architect and head of landscaping for that campus region.
Environment or sustainability issue you are passionate about: Deforestation is the biggest tragedy to me. Conservation of trees is something I feel strongly about. Another big concern is water allocation and misuse in this specific region, Southern California—this is a local, highly relevant issue.
Eco-Tip: Being cheap is a great way to green your lifestyle: shopping at thrift stores and reducing overall consumption effectively generates less waste material. Between reduce-reuse-recycle, reduce is the really critical element.
Recreational Activities: I love biking and camping, but I need to do both more. This year I’ve been very wrapped up in school; I’m close to completing all my upper division requirements.
Favorite aspect of being a Bruin? I love UCLA and feel a strong connection to this university. UCLA really does attract worldwide talent and people. Not to mention there’s a cool recognition you get when you identify as a Bruin.
Career Aspirations: I’m considering joining the Peace Corps. If I don’t go that route I’d like to go to Central or South America to do conservation work.
Why would you recommend the Environmental Science major? There’s a range of awesome classes in every field of science. Fall quarter, the first week I noticed the globe was on the board in each of my classes, we were looking at global processes from several different perspectives. This is the perfect program for the curious scientific mind.
Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010