Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake, Peru
2 SCHOLARSHIPs AWARDED:
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
As an animal scientist and anthropologist, my primary research interests are in advancing the level of care given to captive exotic animals and in the policies regulating their management both nationally and internationally. Additional interests include illegal wildlife trade, human-wildlife conflict resolution, community-based conservation, science diplomacy and policy. While a graduate student in the School of Public Policy, I hope to expand my knowledge of U.S. federal policies regulating wildlife trade and animal welfare through relevant academic research and internships. The Green Fellowship in Environmental Policy will allow me to pursue such internship opportunities as well as offset the cost of additional classes not covered by my graduate assistantship.
I recently completed a Spring Break UMD Study Abroad course to Peru. This particular study abroad program (titled: Sustainable Development, Environmental Policy, and Human Rights in Peru) is directly related to my current and previous career and educational work. The program highlighted specific sustainable development policy challenges in Peru, such as the balance of economic development with environmental protection, species conservation, and indigenous people’s rights. My current graduate work has covered theoretical management strategies for these challenges; however, broadening my education to include in-situ application of these theories via a study abroad program allowed me to gain practical experience reflective of what I will encounter when employed by a conservation/environmental policy agency in the future. The Green Fellowship in Environmental Policy helped offset the costs associated with this trip that my current graduate assistantship did not cover.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
I chose the University of Maryland, College Park for its nationally ranked environmental policy graduate program, its proximity to and associations with Washington, DC-based environmental agencies, and so that I could continue to conduct animal science research at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute – National Zoological Park. My favorite part of being a terp is being a part of such a diverse student body. Being a part of a diverse community not only helps foster empathy and understanding, but also spurs innovation and collaboration.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
I will be graduating in Spring 2017 with a Master of Science in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development as well as a Master of Public Policy in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. I graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2011 from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology, and a Minor in Physiology.
What is your Hometown?
I was born and raised in Southern California. I lived in Irvine, CA and later moved to Tustin, CA before moving to Washington, DC in 2011.