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Our students represent diverse experiences and ambitious professional goals.
We are pleased to introduce the CSP Cohort of 2021-2022:

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Adrienne Elliott

I graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2017 as a Global Development Studies major and Racial Reconciliation minor, studying community and equity through an interdisciplinary lens. As a campus sustainability assistant, I oversaw the compost program, participated in urban gardening, and creatively reported a major institutional greenhouse gas audit. I also participated in a short study abroad in New Zealand looking at environmental accounting in the public, private, and civic sectors.

After graduation, I stayed in Seattle and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of its vibrant food industry. In the last few years, I managed a cafe and did administration for the church that housed it. While there, I navigated a compostable cup global supply shortage, oversaw robust food rescue/redistribution, started an eco-faith initiative, and grew relationships with community partner organizations. As a connector and collaborator with aspirations as an intersectional faith leader, I aim to bring critical, research-based communication into my community care praxis through the MAS CSP program. I am passionate about environmental/food justice, interfaith climate change action, communications, and creating radically hospitable spaces. After 8 years away from San Diego, I am excited to learn alongside the cohort, be closer to family, and spend more time in the sun!

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Lisa Fenton

I graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Human Development and received a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Diego State University. Most recently, I served as a people and operations manager at a fashion technology company and have previous experience in the education and nonprofit sectors. I am passionate about social and environmental justice and want to shift to center my work on advancing and accelerating climate action. I chose the Master of Advanced Studies in Climate Science and Policy program because of its interdisciplinary focus that will allow me to gain an in-depth understanding of climate science while also learning more about the economic, political and cultural landscapes of climate change. I believe effective climate solutions will require collective action and large-scale, systemic change at the government level and within the corporate space. I am passionate about creating more visibility around current climate research and exploring how climate science literacy can influence key strategy and decision making amongst business leaders and policy makers—driving stronger climate leadership. I am also interested in exploring adaptation and mitigation strategies to build resilience for coastal cities, advocating for a just and equitable transition of labor as we shift to a green economy, and cultivating climate conversations in our communities.

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Hannah Gruen

At the age of 17, I joined a shark conservation project in Fiji and became a research-based and certified shark diver, identifying vulnerable ecosystems and proposing marine protected areas to the local government. While attending the University of Oregon, I studied the regeneration of mangrove forests with a UC Berkeley biologist and ecologist, at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Additionally, during a Semester at Sea, I sailed from Germany to San Diego while studying pressing global environmental and social issues. After graduating university in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Biological Anthropology, I worked alongside the City of San Diego’s Marine Biology Ocean Operations, collecting data aboard their research vessel. In addition, I continue as an Educator at Coastal Roots Farm, integrating regenerative agriculture, ancient Jewish wisdom, and food justice in our educational curriculum. I empower students to be environmentalists and to take a deeper look at the food systems we rely on through the lens of Judaism. While I find tremendous value in work at the grassroots level, I continue to ask, “what more can I do?” Though there is not one solution to a multi-faceted problem such as climate change, policy is at the helm of mitigation and adaptation strategy. Earning a MAS in CSP will expose me to an in-depth understanding of policy and equip me with climate science knowledge to elevate my career goal of creating long term change against the threats posed by climate change.

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Molly Chamberlain

I graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in English and spent the following six years stationed in San Diego, CA as a Surface Warfare Officer.  In my time in the Navy I successfully completed two deployments on guided missile destroyers and a tour at a Destroyer Squadron staff.  Throughout my tours I held numerous leadership positions including officer of the deck, communications officer, electrical officer, and training manager.  
I chose UCSD's MAS CSP program in order to build a strong foundation of knowledge in climate science and policy and study the interconnectedness of the two disciplines. I was drawn to the opportunity to learn from renowned climate change leaders at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and I look forward to applying my experience in working with diverse teams to solve complex problems related to climate change.  My interests include urban planning, U.S. military response and preparedness for climate change, sustainable business practices, and waste management.

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Eliot Headley

With the help of influential people in my life and inspiration in nature, I received a BA from The University of California Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Biology. I have worked with an ocean conservation non-profit Clean Oceans International (COI) for several years focusing on marine plastic education and removal. As a speaker, I have led several college classes in coastal debris monitoring where I facilitated an educational experience in plastic pollution awareness. During these programs, college students scientifically cataloged and removed coastal debris from beaches in Santa Cruz, CA and Lake Tahoe. I am currently on the board of directors for COI and seek to further my role in facilitating ocean conservation. In the Ecuadorian Amazon, I have worked with the conservation and reforestation organization Amisacho in efforts to remediate land and communities affected by petroleum pollution. By researching native plants and fungi, an aim of my time in Ecuador was to find potential bioremediators to help heal extremely polluted areas. I seek to further understand the role that plant, fungi, and animal life share as environmental remediators.
My background in university study and work with NGOs has been vastly interdisciplinary. Though much of my studies, interests, and work pivots from a focal point of understanding people's role in climate dynamics.

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Bethany Kwoka

For the past decade I’ve been a professional writer, editor, and multimedia content creator. In particular, I’ve specialized in showcasing the human stories buried within complex or technical topics — helping people understand the impacts and nuances of these issues. I spent the last four years at Conservation Law Foundation, translating the technical jargon of clean energy and climate policy for non-technical audiences in order to lower emissions and build healthy, resilient communities. Before focusing on clean energy, I was part of a community-building startup, worked at a business-to-business PR firm, ran interactive storytelling games, and earned a B.A. from Brown University. 

I’m pursuing a Masters in Climate Science & Policy from Scripps Institution of Oceanography to gain a deeper understanding of climate science and expand my knowledge of climate solutions. After diving into the complexities of our energy systems and pushing for policy change in New England, I’ve become deeply interested in the systemic change needed to prevent the worst outcomes of climate change. The communities most impacted by the climate crisis are often the least able to bounce back, so I look forward to using what I learn at Scripps to advance concrete, justice-oriented solutions that simultaneously address social, economic, and climate challenges.

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Andrew LePage

My passion for the natural world and everything in it started at a young age growing up in Florida. Growing up there nurtured a love for the ocean that I have carried with me my whole life. I went on to graduate from Florida International University with a B.S. in Biology.  And after a study abroad program had sparked an interest in living in Italy, I then moved to Europe and was on a path that would lead to a decade of travel around the world.  This included living and working in several different countries such as Italy, England, South Africa, Afghanistan, Australia and New Zealand. Through these years, I developed a keen interest in climate science as many of the natural wonders I was witnessing first hand were noticeably changed from just a few decades earlier. It was very apparent these issues were affecting all the different people I had seen around the globe. I also noticed how different countries were using different strategies to cope with climate change, some having more success than others. I knew then that I wanted to be much more involved in helping make the decisions that affect our world. It is my hope with an education from Scripps, to aid politicians in implementing the best global strategies to lead to healthier coastlines and oceans and a cleaner earth overall.

I’m pursuing a Masters in Climate Science & Policy from Scripps Institution of Oceanography to gain a deeper understanding of climate science and expand my knowledge of climate solutions. After diving into the complexities of our energy systems and pushing for policy change in New England, I’ve become deeply interested in the systemic change needed to prevent the worst outcomes of climate change. The communities most impacted by the climate crisis are often the least able to bounce back, so I look forward to using what I learn at Scripps to advance concrete, justice-oriented solutions that simultaneously address social, economic, and climate challenges.

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Claire Levesque

I graduated from Rhodes College (Memphis, TN) with a B.S. in Biology. While an undergrad, I performed research in the Biology Department’s Ornithology lab and the Developmental Neurobiology lab at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As a fellow and student, I learned the necessity of accurately communicating scientific research to not only students but the general public. After graduating, I moved to Washington, D.C. to intern with the House Science Committee. During the pandemic, I started writing articles for the Citizens Climate Lobby and became more engaged with grassroots political campaigns for climate action. I also went on a 4-month cross-country road trip in my 1970 Scotty camper. This trek helped me explore national parks, protected lands, and corners of nature that I want others to continue to enjoy themselves. SIO’s MAS CSP Program was my #1 choice for graduate studies because of its amazing faculty. The versatility of each professor’s field encompasses SIO’s commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to science policy. As for myself, I’m interested in learning how to communicate science policy, carbon pricing, and evolving climate action to both policymakers and the public. 

I’m pursuing a Masters in Climate Science & Policy from Scripps Institution of Oceanography to gain a deeper understanding of climate science and expand my knowledge of climate solutions. After diving into the complexities of our energy systems and pushing for policy change in New England, I’ve become deeply interested in the systemic change needed to prevent the worst outcomes of climate change. The communities most impacted by the climate crisis are often the least able to bounce back, so I look forward to using what I learn at Scripps to advance concrete, justice-oriented solutions that simultaneously address social, economic, and climate challenges.

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Hayley Makinster

Upon graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Classical Civilization, I went on to obtain a master’s degree in Museology from the University of Washington, graduating during the pandemic shutdown in 2020. While working on my master’s degree, I became more interested in community-driven initiatives and organizations, including nonprofit organizations. I had always been interested in the climate crisis, and while I attended UW in order to pursue a career as a museum curator, I became more invested in how we as a society are combating climate change and growing towards a more sustainable future. I am largely interested in how urban areas can and must adapt in order to become more sustainable, in large part through green spaces, ending food deserts in low income and disenfranchised communities, and making urban areas equitable for all. I am interested in how we can achieve these goals through both nonprofit organizations and at the local government level, at all times involving the community in their future. As a lifelong resident of San Diego, I wanted to stay in the community and give back to this amazing city. The MAS in Climate Science and Policy is an incredible program that not only focuses on climate change as a whole, but allows students to focus on climate-oriented policy, social justice issues, and community initiatives.

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Connor Mack

I graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2021 with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Data Science. I spent my undergraduate career as a student-athlete on the baseball team at Cal, an experience that taught me the value of collective dedication to a common goal. Through my coursework at Berkeley I have become very interested in social & environmental justice, food system reform and sustainable development among many other topics. I am also fascinated by the natural world, the complexity of the systems that make up our planet and the many sophisticated forms of life which inhabit it. The climate problem encompasses all of these subjects which is why I want to spend my career working for climate justice.

I came to Scripps because the Climate Science & Policy program integrates cutting edge academic research with policy development to make effective, data-driven policy decisions. Preventing the most severe effects of climate change is the defining challenge of our species, and it demands immediate action. The CSP program will give me the knowledge and tools I need to be part of the solution. As an avid SCUBA Diver I plan to complete the Scientific Diving Course and learn firsthand about the role of the oceans in the climate equation and how they can be part of the solution to a sustainable future on our blue planet.

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Ryan Minor

I graduated this past May from Rutgers University in New Jersey with a B.S. in Marine Biology/ Biological Oceanography. During my time there, I worked as part of a research team in the Sikes lab to uncover the mysteries of ocean circulation during the last glacial maximum with an emphasis on circulation near the Indian-Southern Ocean boundary. I separated foraminifera from deep sea sediment which could then be used to gain radioisotope data, letting us see a little slice of what the ocean might have looked like back then. The research I did gave me a better understanding of just how convoluted the many moving parts of the climate can be, but also how fundamentally important they are to understand.

I chose the MAS Climate Science and Policy program because I want to use my understanding of the climate to make it easier for the public to understand. The social side of anthropogenic climate change and its implications on every part of our lives requires monumental legislation. I am extremely excited to be able to gain the skills required to take part in developing that legislation and I hope that I can find new ways to inspire the public to care more deeply about climate change

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Camila Pauda

I graduated with a B.S in Ecology, Behavior & Evolution from UC San Diego in 2014. After graduation, I held various small jobs and internships in animal care and training, until I became an AmeriCorps Discovery Fellow with Ocean Discovery Institute in San Diego. It was during this fellowship that I gained valuable experience in informal science education. More importantly, I was also introduced to the reality of underserved communities existing even in ideal cities such as San Diego. For the past five years I’ve worked as an educator at Birch Aquarium, the interpretive center for SIO. I’ve had a wonderful time working with guests onsite and out in the field (such as snorkeling with leopard sharks, whale watching!), helping mentor high school interns become science interpreters, teaching San Diego County students, and writing marine science curriculum.

I applied to the MAS Climate Science & Policy Program because of its interdisciplinary nature. I am interested in science, education, and international relations and wish to combine those interests in my education and future profession. I aspire to create accessible educational materials and programs on climate science and policy for the students and families living in communities disproportionately affected by climate change.

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Melissa Perez

I earned my B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  It wasn't until I went to college that I fully became aware of and understood the realities and dangers that climate change poses to our world, and most specifically, to our most vulnerable communities.  During my undergraduate career I began learning about what it meant to be an environmental activist and began exploring the different ways in which I could be an asset in the fight against climate injustices.  I combined my love for the environment and passion for education and looked for ways which I could empower my community.  I took my academic knowledge and began implementing it into campus projects, internships, volunteer experiences, practicum courses, and research.  Ultimately this led me to working for a non-profit law firm that aims to provide pro bono services to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the San Diego community. 

All in all, the interdisciplinary approach to responding to and combating climate change is what most attracted me to the MAS CSP Program.  If there is one thing that I have learned from my undergraduate academic experiences, volunteer work, research, and professional non-profit involvement is that climate change solutions are multifaceted and environmentalism is intersectional.  Thus, I look forward to growing as an academic and professional within this program.

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Natalia Rangel

My culturally diverse influences have fostered my desire to decipher environmental challenges to reinforce the balance between society and the natural world. I earned a B.S. in Biology from CSU Bakersfield where I applied molecular techniques to study the increased incidence of Coccidioidomycosis, or Valley Fever, in California’s Central Valley and sought to raise awareness. I shared my research findings in state and nationwide conferences in which I embraced the ideas and perspectives of others. Through internships, I delved into sustainability and natural resource stewardship which reinforced the importance of diversity in education. I volunteered internationally with outreach organizations to implement humanitarian aid and promote environmental awareness within rural communities. Recently, as a wildlife biologist, I have grown into new roles by integrating field studies with technical reports through implementation of ArcGIS systems, coordinating with multidisciplinary teams regarding environmental compliance, and monitoring impacts and responses of endangered species. I have realized the importance of environmental sustainability and strive to continue raising awareness to achieve global change.

The interdisciplinary approach of the MAS CSP program captivates me as it supports more complex thinking and prepares for interactions with a diverse world by focusing on physical science and policy practices when confronting climate change issues. I am largely intrigued by the political, economic, and socio-cultural factors that exist between humans and their environment that can alter or impact an ecosystem. I look forward to fostering diverse interactions and working collaboratively with others to influence progressive change and cultivate optimism for the future.

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Emily Saul

I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019 with a B.A. in Global Sustainability and Economics. Through my sustainability classes and study abroad experience in Copenhagen, I carved out my interest in addressing climate change and learned about the innovative efforts of today’s climate leaders. These sustainability courses combined with my economics major, taught me the importance of an interdisciplinary academic background. The combination taught me to compare, connect and translate environmental problems and solutions across disciplines. Since then, I worked as an Environmental Specialist in greenhouse gas (GHG) management. I helped build GHG inventories, performed carbon offset project verifications and supported climate feasibility studies. This work exposed me to climate mitigation practices across US industries and climate policies in California and San Diego. At Scripps, I plan to continue my path in interdisciplinary learning. I’m excited to gain a background in climate science and equip myself with the technical skills to analyze the climate policies I worked within. After the program, I hope to help create localized, yet impactful climate solutions.

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Zane DeVitre-Shalauta

I earned my bachelor’s from UCSD in 2020, majoring in the History of Science and double minoring in Sociology and Science, Technology, and Society (STS). In the meantime, I have been working as a program manager for an up-and-coming manufacturer in the renewable energy industry.
The stagnation of renewable energy in the United States, the creeping deterioration of our energy infrastructure, and (of course) the existential threat of the climate crisis are what pushed me to pursue this program. My time in the renewables industry so far has been a cause for encouragement; our business has been thriving in response to the exponential acceleration of new renewable energy projects. I am hopeful that after my experience with Scripps, I will be able to join the growing wave of climate-focused professionals concentrating on mitigating the climate crisis from numerous angles.
Following the California wildfire and Texas blizzard blackouts, it is more apparent than ever that our systems of energy production and transmission are woefully unprepared for the effects of the climate crisis. My dream is to see the United States’ energy grid revitalized and prepared for the 21st century. With an interdisciplinary background and a passion for a brighter, cleaner future, I am hopeful that my efforts can assist in making this dream a reality! 

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Martin Froger Silva

I am an impact driven photographer and filmmaker, activist, digital strategist, and adventurer. I grew up in Maryland to immigrant parents speaking French, Portuguese, and Spanish at home. I received my B.A. from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania in 2016, then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to work as the Multimedia Producer at FWD.us, a bipartisan political advocacy organization working on immigration and criminal justice reform in the United States. There, I produced hundreds of videos and photo essays ranging from short documentaries, personal stories, animated explainers, breaking news coverage, and paid content for dozens of campaigns. Over the years, I worked with undocumented people, currently and formerly incarcerated people, immigrants, American citizens, legislators, and activists to ensure that everyone living in the country has access to human rights. I helped defend DACA from attacks by the Trump Administration, worked on giving access to drivers licenses for millions of people in New York, and contributed to the release of hundreds of people from unfair prison sentences. And during the course of my time there, I witnessed both first hand and through the lives of the people I worked with the damaging impact of climate change and how few resources we have in place to properly address the consequences of the climate crisis which will only continue to exacerbate the inequalities of our world.

I applied to the MAS CSP program to deepen my understanding of the climate crisis, learn how to turn people’s needs into actionable policy proposals, and what I can do today to help ensure a livable present and a prosperous future for all life on the planet. My interests include human rights, environmental justice, reparations, international collaboration on climate change and migration, immigration reform, healthcare, adaptation to the consequences of climate change and mitigation of human-led activities that worsen them, and the role of businesses in advocating for climate policy. I’m excited to learn from the scientists at Scripps, the policy makers in San Diego, the locals who have seen the land and the climate change for decades, the activists who are working towards positive change in the area, and my peers and professors who each bring with them their own perspectives, stories, ideas, and solutions to the issues we face.

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Riya Sony

I became fascinated with our planet and its atmosphere from a young age- by the first grade, Strangest Weather on Earth was my Tom and Jerry. This fascination propelled me into UCSD’s Environmental Systems program, where I gained interdisciplinary knowledge and took time to explore all facets of climate science. I led the UCSD Sustainability Ambassadors in educating the public on carbon neutrality goals and conducted laboratory research in atmospheric additions and effects on climate models and forcings. After graduating, I applied my passions as a green building consultant, which provided insight on the creation and enforcement of green construction and development policies, including a huge win for all-electric new residential construction in Palo Alto, CA! Utilizing my experience within policy development and on-site enforcement, I created a Green Building Certificate program in partnership with local community colleges to train the next generation of building officials and inspectors. The 11 associated courses consider green policies for all phases in the life cycle of a building, from planning, to construction, to occupancy, and finally, to deconstruction. This gave me a unique insight into both the science and policy aspects of climate change, and allowed me to understand why communities often recognize issues yet oppose these unfamiliar, expensive, or tedious policies, even with proof of long-term health and environmental benefits. I am so ecstatic to take my experience with both research and policy into the MAS CSP program at UCSD, and aim to create lasting change through this education!

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Kaira Wallace

I graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2020 with a B.S. in Earth Science and an emphasis in Climate and Environment. While at UCSB I found my passion for climate change, sustainable living, and ocean-related solutions (such as kelp farming), working on research projects involving local sea level rise and long term temperature change. After graduating I worked as a research assistant for an emerging Indian environmental organization, Climate Transition Catalyst. It only further fueled me to pursue a career that involved climate solutions. Following that, I worked as a writer for Footprint App, a carbon footprint tracking company that works to expand environmental education. I created sustainability-related articles on topics ranging from green washing to composting. I decided my next step should be the MAS Climate Science and Policy program because I felt that my undergrad degree gave my a great science background on climate change issues, but I wanted to explore the social, economic and political sides. Additionally, I wanted to dive in to how policymaking could guide us towards climate solutions and make it easier for people and businesses to make sustainable choices. Outside of the climate change realm, I enjoy surfing as much as possible, spending time outdoors and traveling!

Graduating Cohort of 2020-2021:

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Miles Aiello

I am a grassroots community organizer, educator, social justice and environmental activist. My academic interests are in climate change, geography, structural and institutional racism, poverty, food insecurity, Native American indigeneity, ethnic studies, African American studies, marine, environmental, and biodiversity conservation, land grabbing, environmental justice, social justice, youth empowerment and leadership development. I received my A.A. in Communication from Cerritos College and my B.A. in Geography from UC Berkeley. At Cerritos, I was Student Body President and Vice President of the Speech and Debate team. I interned at Congresswoman Linda Sanchez's district office and while at the UC Berkeley Labor enter as a community organizer. While at Cal, I founded OneEighty, which aims to improve the quality of life for underserved and disadvantaged communities through educational empowerment and environmental activism. With my team, we created scholarships, organized six beach clean ups, seven community hikes, donated a Baby Grand Piano to Foster Road Elementary School in La Mirada, and conducted community organizing workshops.

I applied to the MAS Climate Science & Policy program because I want to focus on the intersection of climate science, social justice, and community organizing. It is the intersectionality of the program that drew my attention. I aim to create structural change that prioritizes the Earth's habitability, address social justice issues, and develop local policy recommendations centered around food justice and greening spaces. As I enter this program, I am excited to be in San Diego. I've always wanted to learn how to surf, and I'm finally going to. 

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Pargoal Arab

I graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2020 with a B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. At UCLA, I researched the impact of smoke plumes from wildfires on particulate matter 2.5. I also researched public attitudes towards climate change. My research helped me realize the significance of combining the scientific and social aspects of climate change. I chose the MAS Climate Science and Policy program to learn more about the policymaking and social aspect of climate change. I believe that having knowledge in both aspects is essential for addressing climate change effectively. I look forward to finding better ways to communicate climate change to the public. 

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Krissy Chan

I'm  a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University at Albany - SUNY.  Over my year off I became very fascinated with the environment and finding a career that would allow me to make the many lifestyle changes such as going vegan, reducing my usage of single-use products, shopping sustainably and even starting my own permaculture garden. My aspiration is to have a career in politics as a policy maker so I can make lasting and sustainable legislation that preserves and protects our planet, underrepresented populations, and animals.  
My main interests lie with mitigation of ocean acidification, ending factory farms, converting our energy systems to 100% renewable and halting deforestation here and abroad. My goal is to gain a deeper understanding and perspective of the inner workings between academia, business and government...I chose this program because it offers a great opportunity to examine these dualities as well as work with highly skilled experts in this constantly evolving field. 

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Matt Curtis

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Matt spent 20+ years leading, training, and operating around the world. After retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2018, Matt worked for Illumina, the world leader in genetic sequencing technology, as the Equipment Lifecycle Manager for San Diego manufacturing operations. Bringing an educational background in political science, history, and business administration, Matt joined the Climate Science and Policy Program with a desire to learn about the drivers of earth's climate system, explore environmental adaptation strategies, and study how government policies shape market forces. 

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Gregor Donath

After graduating with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, I earned my M.S. in Civil Engineering focusing on management and digitization of construction processes from Technical University of Munich, Germany in 2019. As an internal consultant and project manager in various construction companies, I linked theoretical knowledge and practical needs and benefits during and after my study programs. Working in interdisciplinary teams, I supported company-wide strategic development and implementation of Lean Construction and digitalization to optimize construction projects.
Strongly convinced that successfully addressing climate change requires an intense, cross-functional exchange, I joined the MAS Climate Science & Policy Program. Since, in my experience, one of the most important success factors is to consider the needs of all stakeholders, the political and economic topics included in the program make it a practical and cutting-edge approach to tackling climate change. Fascinated by the ocean and its impact on the global ecosystem, I believe it offers high-potential starting points such as wave energy and coastal protection systems, to contribute to climate actions with my current skill-set. Furthermore, I think that learning from and discussing with colleagues and experts with different backgrounds will lead to innovative solutions combining process-oriented thinking, economical aspects and ecological requirements. 

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Emily Grady

I graduated from Lafayette college in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Following graduation, I worked as a client care manager for a large healthcare company where I became preoccupied with the amount of resource, energy, and material waste in current business practices. Although climate change was always an important issue to me, my workforce experience taught me that many industries are not adopting sustainable practices and drove me to want to be a part of a larger scale change. I believe the only way to address the climate crisis is to couple scientific and technological advances with innovative policy strategies. I chose to pursue a Masters of Advanced Study in Climate Science and Policy at Scripps knowing it will provide me with the academic knowledge and practical skills needed to develop solutions to the most complex and urgent threats associated with climate change. 

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Jonah Harris

I received my B.A. in Public Policy with a minor in History from New York University in 2017. After that, I worked as a bilingual public school teacher for two years in San Jose, Ca, building my skills as an educator. I am passionate about international relations and understand that climate change will be one of the most difficult problems for diplomats and international policymakers to work on. My goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. For that reason, I want to equip myself with the skills needed to work in the international arena, including in climate negotiations. I am excited to learn from the many experts at Scripps across various fields, and I am excited to collaborate with many students from diverse backgrounds. 

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Rosanne McConnell

Rosanne comes from a military aviation and air traffic control background; two career fields that are highly impacted by weather. She is pursuing her MAS in Climate Science & Policy to better understand the connection between policy makers and the science behind climate change. Rosanne hopes to gain the expertise to communicate the science back to the communities that are directly impacted by the many aspects of severe weather we are facing today. 

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Timothy Moffit

After serving in the U.S. Navy for 4 years on an aircraft carrier in San Diego, I separated in order to pursue my education as well as spend time with my family. While pursuing my Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, I found my passion and focus in climate science and the policies that influence environmental impacts. At the encouragement of my family and professors, I applied to Scripps Institution of Oceanography's MAS CSP Program. My goal is to use the knowledge I gain from this program to research environmental impacts of climate change and strategize policy recommendations that create a healthier, more sustainable future. 

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Cayt Schlichting

My educational background is in mechanical engineering, clearance diving, explosive disposal and homeland security. I served six years in the U.S. Navy as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. During this time, I travelled extensively throughout Europe and Africa on humanitarian, force protection and multinational training missions. For the last three years, I have been working as a software consultant for healthcare organizations, helping them improve outcomes and efficiency through patient experience initiatives. 

My goal in joining the MAS Climate Science & Policy program is to gain a greater understanding of climate science in order to channel my passion for public service into the field of environmental programs and policies. My interests in this field include renewable energy systems, environmental impacts on homeland security, and private sector motivations for adopting environmentally conscious business practices. 

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Michael Torti

I earned a B.A. in Political Science from San Diego State University. I believe data-driven advocacy leads to systemic top-down change, which is the best way to impact our planet for the better. In the last seven years, I have developed policy, advocacy campaigns and programs to resolve environmental impacts. As Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter Chair, I successfully launched environmental programs such as water quality testing programs, co-created the national Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, supported advocacy efforts to fund sewage treatment infrastructure in the Tijuana River Valley and advocated for municipal and state-wide single-use plastics ordinances. I am currently serving on the San Diego Coastkeeper Board of Directors. As a twenty-year professional in the transportation industry, I have worked to implement sustainable practices and to education such applied programs within the small business community. The MAS Climate Science & Policy curriculum, faculty and community will allow me to gain new skills to lead on more impactful climate policy. I am excited by the program's access to expertise in climate science and mitigation, economics, and policy. Post graduation, I hope to contribute to mitigation policy, specifically the reduction of CO2 and short-lived climate pollutants. 

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Julie Turko

A lifelong nature girl, I have a BA in the Liberal Arts and a Master's in Business Administration. For the last fifteen years, I've raised money to improve the lives of children and I continue to serve on Arizona's Foster Care Review Board. As a fundraiser, my practice is to build a credible case for support and then find resources in the community to implement and sustain needed programs. Climate change is complex and my purpose at Scripps is to better understand the fundamental insights of climate science in order to translate them into practical action steps that I and others can take on a personal, economic, and policy level. I come to the program with many questions and a strong desire to learn. 

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Annika Vawter

I earned a B.S. in Aquatic Biology from UC Santa Barbara where I enriched my education as an undergraduate research volunteer with the Long Term Ecological Research (SBC LTER) Project. I gained insight into the power of interdisciplinary research networks as well as practical research skills, and my SCUBA certification course and ecological research trip to Costa Rica offered new perspectives of complex coastal ecosystems. In my senior year, I developed and presented an independent research project examining the effects of disturbance on kelp forest ecology. After graduating, I assisted with doctorate work in the Smith Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography examining coral in the Southern Line Islands to better understand the health of tropical reefs in a changing climate. It was there I fell in love with SIO's pioneering mindset and research - and their beautiful campus! 

I wanted to be a part of the MAS Climate Science & Policy program because of its focus on interdisciplinary and deliverable climate solutions and SIO's long history with climate research. This program prepares students to respond to current and future climate challenges with innovation, provide tangible assistance to people and ecosystems affected by the changing global climate, and create a legacy of environmental accountability and scientific advancement - all necessary paths for our global future. I look forward to integrating my experience and education to address climate concerns, particularly those relating to the impacts extreme weather events and climate shifts have on humans and ecosystems.