Wide Breadth of Opportunities Available to EPM Students
Science-to-Policy Pipeline Among Highlights of Leadership Panel
- The Institute of the Environment and the Graduate Program of Environmental Policy and Management partnered to host a Campus Research Center Leadership Panel to help students gain a better understanding of the opportunities available to them.
The breadth of the work being done at UC Davis is truly astounding.
The university is renowned for its progressive research across disciplines, and the Office of Research promotes interdisciplinary study through its organized research units, several which fall under the umbrella of the Institute of the Environment. There are an incredible number of opportunities for students to partner with faculty and researchers to gain hands-on experience working on research projects, and the sheer size of UC Davis and the numerous opportunities for students to get involved can be overwhelming.
To help students gain a better understanding of the opportunities available to them, the Institute of the Environment and the Graduate Program of Environmental Policy and Management (EPM) partnered to host a Campus Research Center Leadership Panel. The panel included faculty from the Center for Regional Change, Environmental and Climate Justice Hub, Climate Adaptation Research Center, Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, the Center for Watershed Sciences, and the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.
Opportunities for Hands-on Learning
Each center leader gave a brief overview of their work and the variety of ways that students could get involved. Opportunities include classes such as the Environmental and Climate Justice Hub’s Keeper of the Flames, which connects students, community-members, researchers, policymakers, and Indigenous fire practitioners to learn about cultural burning and discuss ways to support its revitalization (Adlam, Adams, Martinez, Middleton, 2020). Also highlighted was the Center for Watershed Science’s Ecogeomorphology course, field-based instruction that uses an interdisciplinary approach to address conservation and management issues in selected watersheds. Students enrolled in the class have the opportunity to go on an eight-day camping and rafting trip as part of the course.
A common theme among the campus centers was the importance faculty and staff researchers place on the science-to-policy pipeline. The Center for Regional Change (CRC) engages faculty from different departments to work on projects such as land-use, transportation and housing, environmental justice, and more. CRC projects always include a community partner and offer students a formal way to get involved through the Ted Bradshaw Scholars Program. The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety works with community-based organizations to help translate practical solutions for farmworkers to understand their rights, and their employers to understand their responsibilities, on a wide variety of issues.
Attending symposia, conferences, and webinars is highly encouraged for students. They are able to further their knowledge, practice networking, and in some cases present a project themselves! These are all critical skills for them to develop as they move through the EPM program. Last year, EPM student Natalie Chapman spoke at the Coastal and Marine Science’s annual symposium about her practicum project. You can read more about that project here.
Second-year student Jess Della Rossa said, “The Campus Research Center Panel hosted by EPM and the Institute of the Environment was very helpful for students to learn about the variety of environmental research conducted here on campus. I found this panel inspiring and exciting because I was not aware of the many centers here at UCD that offer student positions to work on progressive environmental projects.”
On behalf of the Graduate Program in Environmental Policy and Management and the Institute for the Environment, we want to extend a thank you to each center leader that participated in this event – Eric Chu, Deniss Martinez, Sarah Yarnell, Catherine Brinkley, Marissa Baskett, and Heather Riden.
Jessica Penrose is the Associate Director of the Environmental Policy and Management graduate program. For more information about the program, please visit https://epm.ucdavis.edu or contact Jessica at email@example.com.