Abegail Gamet at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Abegail is interning at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Region 9 office in San Francisco, CA. The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment. Specifically, the agency ensures that everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, as well as equal access to the decision-making process regardless of race, gender, income, etc.

Andrea Grant at the National Park Service

Over the summer, I have been working with the National Park Service as a Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA). For the past few months, I have been in the orientation phase of the internship program but now I am beginning to work on some of my practicum deliverables. These include an outreach plan, habitat restoration and conservation projects, service learning curriculum, and diversity, equity and inclusion training.

Molly Nagle at the California Department of Conservation

Global consensus among conservation and climate change scientists believes 30% of earth must be set aside for conservation efforts by 2030 to avoid the worst impacts of biodiversity loss due to climate change and human development. Many governments have begun to issue 30x30 goals in their local jurisdictions. Executive Order N-82-20 mandated that California join this global effort.

Daniela Arce at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

My practicum is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the federal agency tasked with the administration of the Endangered Species Act. I am working out of the Ecological Services office in the Sacramento regional office. My project is to create a program that partners the USFWS with academic institutions to meet the research needs of federally listed species outlined in their Recovery Plans and/or Five Year Reviews. The program will include projects for federally listed species as well as at-risk species.

Sam Pyros at the City of Chula Vista's Office of Sustainability

I have had the pleasure of working with the City of Chula Vista’s Office of Sustainability for my practicum project. For my project, I have identified a list of Tier 1 and Tier 2 food generators for edible food recovery in preparation for Senate Bill 1383. Currently, I am in the process of creating and providing educational packets for these food generators.

Jim McBride at the California Department of Conservation

I’ve had the pleasure of working at the California Department of Conservation within the Division of Land Resource Protection for my practicum this summer. My primary focus is updating grant guidelines for the Working Lands and Riparian Restoration program. This grant program focuses on the protection and restoration of riparian areas on private agricultural land. This grant cycle will see the introduction of a new planning grant component, in addition to funding for the implementation of restoration projects.

David Brodeur at the California Department of Food and Agriculture

I worked as an intern with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis (OPCA). Fellow EPM student Jake Whealen and I jointly completed an economic and policy analysis on the subject of installing vegetative buffers along agricultural fields to mitigate pesticide drift near sensitive populations.

Ava Scally with the US Navy

My practicum is with the US Naval Base Ventura County environmental department. I work in the compliance branch, assisting with inspections and with the tank/spill team. I am becoming familiar with Federal, State, County, and DoD regulations and the reality of enforcement that compliments what I'm learning about in policy creation and development in EPM courses. The position is a one-year appointment through the federal PATHWAYS program. 

Sarra Falakfarsa with the California Native Plant Society

The use of California native plants when landscaping can be extremely beneficial to native wildlife and water conservation. Important pollinators such as bees and butterflies rely on the resources that these native plants provide. In addition, because they are acclimated to the local climate, native plants often require less water. Many gardeners would like to use native plants in their gardens for these benefits but struggle to find these plants for purchase. There is also confusion on which plants are considered California natives and carry these environmental benefits. 

Yuwei Jiang at the Delta Protection Commission

The Delta Protection Commission is a California state agency that represents the Delta community and advocates for the protection and enhancement of agriculture, recreation, cultural heritage and natural resources in the region.  The Commission is concerned about the financial burden of flood insurance premiums on businesses operating in flood-prone areas of the Delta, particularly those engaged in agritourism development.

Jesse Voremberg with UCARN and California Department Food and Agriculture

Supported by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), ten Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) educators were deployed around the state to help farmers and ranchers improve soil health, irrigation practices, and manure management. Implementation of these practices are funded by three-year grants through the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, Healthy Soils Program and Alternative Manure Management Program.

Jake Whealen at the California Department of Food and Agriculture

For my EPM practicum, I am very excited to be working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture in the Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis. Fellow EPM student, David Brodeur, and I are conducting a feasibility study on a statewide program that would utilize vegetative buffers along agricultural fields to help mitigate pesticide drift. Drifting pesticides can travel with wind or water past their intended targets where they may harm individuals at nearby sensitive sites (such as schools, hospitals, daycares, and more).

Mikayla Elder at the Institute of Transportation Studies and Southern CA Association of Governments

I am working with the Institute of Transportation Studies who has partnered with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to investigate the temporary and longer-lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual mobility and to understand how various policies may affect this new “normal” in terms of modified travel behavior and resulting impacts on equity and the environment. Our study will try to answer the question of whether these behavioral changes from the pandemic will consist over time.