In the Wild

Nick Carter at Primitives Biodesign

October 26, 2020

For my practicum, I worked at Primitives Biodesign, a company that conducts research to create biodegradable plastics with advanced properties. Its technology ties directly to the company’s mission of creating new, smarter plastics that reduce the impact of plastics pollution on the environment. My project focused around a central life-cycle assessment of a functional unit of product manufactured by Primitives Biodesign.

Lisa Wu at the California CoastKeeper Alliance

May 21, 2020

I am working on a project with the California CoastKeeper Alliance to create a digital map to visualize geospatial data of groundwater quality and potential polluters. The end-goal of this project is to create an interactive online map where viewers can see the spatial relationship between groundwater pollution and potential polluters such as dairy farms.  Our team is currently in the process of entering the data into ArcMap, which a geospatial analysis platform through which we will do further analysis as well as creating the online map.

Graham Porter at The Nature Conservancy

May 20, 2020

For my practicum I am working with The Nature Conservancy, the largest environmental nonprofit within the United States whose work extends across the globe. My project is assisting the Sacramento branch with their next iteration of the “Toward a Carbon Neutral California: Economic and Climate Benefits of Land Use Interventions” report. Along with my cohorts Anson Justi and Kelsey Haydon, I am conducting an economic analysis of 13 land use strategies that can meaningfully improve the carbon sequestration rates of California’s natural and working lands.

Harrison Ashby at the Community Water Center

May 14, 2020

I am completing my practicum with Community Water Center (CWC), where I am the Communications and Data Intern.  CWC is an environmental justice non-profit that works to ensure all Californians have access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water.  For my practicum project, I am designing a handbook for counties to use when creating plans to protect domestic wells during future droughts. I am also completing a short literature review and organizing and analyzing data into spreadsheets that will be used to lobby for drought planning legislation that will be introduced in 2021. 

Colin Lang at Sacramento Municipal Utility District

May 14, 2020

[For my practicum] I wrote a conservation easement to protect in perpetuity threatened and endangered species habitat (California tiger salamander) as part of mitigation measures for the expansion of the photovoltaic solar bank at Rancho Secco. I also took the lead on coordinating the Public Agency Clearinghouse (PAC), requesting comments from various departments on CEQA documents filed in Sacramento County and sending response letters on behalf of SMUD to lead agencies.

Chi-Hai Kalita at the Division of Water Quality at the State Water Board

April 28, 2020

I am working with the Division of Water Quality at the State Water Board on developing technical guidance for regulated industrial facilities on stormwater quality permit compliance. Under the Industrial General Permit, certain facilities are required to obtain permit coverage and manage their stormwater runoff through the implementation of best management practices (BMPs). Recent amendments to the Permit provide new compliance options to incentivize stormwater capture through the use of advanced BMPs, which will increase water supply while protecting water quality.

Edlyn Nunez at Alluvion Biological Consulting

March 28, 2020

 My practicum deliverable is to create a formalized biological training index for internal personnel at Alluvion Biological Consulting. The manual will include information regarding common native and nonnative species throughout the state of California, habitat (including nest, burrow, and botanical identification), behavior, along with additional details on status, agencies involved with protection, established buffers, and how to safely handle or remove species from project zones.

Sarah Farnsworth at Bodega Marine Labs

February 20, 2020

I am currently working as an intern with California Fish and Wildlife's North Coast Kelp Lab at Bodega Marine Labs. The role of macroalgae in storing carbon in these ecosystems has been studied in depth, however when a kelp stand is decimated by sea urchins and they become the dominant fauna in the system, there is a gap in knowledge of their role in storing carbon. The primary focus of my practicum is a scientific study to determine the role of purple sea urchins in north coast kelp forest carbon sequestration.

Bilegt Bataar at the Sacramento County Planning and Environmental Review

January 15, 2020

I work as a graduate intern for Sacramento County Planning and Environmental Review. Planning is such a diverse field that has given me hands-on experience in communicating with the public, researching policies, conducting environmental review, and applying local ordinances to development projects. Some of the most satisfying moments of the internship are when I'm able to apply concepts from the classroom directly into my work and vice-versa. For example, the skills exercises facilitated by Mark Schwartz in ENV200A helped frame my thinking on how to improve my argument structure.

Sophie Nazeri at Humane Society International

September 28, 2019

I am interning with the Humane Society International in the Wildlife department. Through education and advocacy, the organization helps shape public opinion and legislation to advance animal welfare and end animal cruelty around the globe. I assist the Wildlife department on their big fights against wildlife crime such as trophy hunting, illegal wildlife trade and human-wildlife conflict. Through this, I have had hands on experience reviewing CITES proposals, applying the Open Standards framework and have participated in legislative hearings in Washington D.C. 

Kelsey Haydon at the UC Davis Energy Conservation Office

September 28, 2019

This summer I am working as a Green Buildings Intern with UC Davis' Energy Conservation Office. ECO's mission is to determine ways to save energy at the building level in order to meet carbon neutrality goals and practice sustainable stewardship across UC Davis. We work on a variety of projects on campus, including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certifications.

Danielle Berry at the Sierra Institute

August 28, 2019

 I am conducting my practicum with the Sierra Institute for Community and the Environment. The Sierra Institute is a non-profit that promotes healthy forests, watersheds, and communities by investing in the well-being of rural communities and strengthening their participation in natural resource management. Their work is grounded by the concept of triple bottom line values, supporting initiatives that simultaneously benefit the environment, economy, and equity within a given landscape.

Nick Taylor at the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park

August 28, 2019

I’m the Environmental Protection Assistant to the Chief of the Planning and Compliance Division in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks. My job is to shepherd park projects through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. I review and help develop proposals, monitor ongoing projects, and perform due diligence on completed programs.

Kassidy Heckmann at the State Water Resources Control Board

July 28, 2019

I landed my internship at the State Water Resources Control Board with the Division of Water Rights (DWR). Coming from the East Coast where water is plentiful, California water law has always fascinated me. I even wrote my senior capstone report on California water recycling! Upon entering the EPM program, I took Keith Casto's ENV 202. A crash course in all environmental policy, water rights were only briefly discussed. I was left wanting more! Luckily, in April 2019, DWR hired me as an intern of the Sacramento Valley Enforcement Unit.