Here's an overview of the interdisciplinary projects I've worked on as Ph.D. student.
TIny house in My Backyard (THIMBY)
I co-founded the THIMBY project with a fellow ERG student in Fall 2014. We built a team, applied for funding, and proceeded to design and build a solar-powered, off-grid, energy and water efficient tiny house for the first-ever California Tiny House Competition, hosted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Read more about the project and several blog posts I've written about both building and living in the tiny house on the project website. There have been several news articles published about the project, including this California Alumni Magazine article.
Fostering innovative and sustainable urban farming methods to meet food needs
I am currently working as the Graduate Student Researcher for a Berkeley Food Institute project funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to investigate food access and distribution channels related to urban agriculture in the East Bay. This work entails a literature review, spatial mapping analysis of urban farms and food distribution sites, surveys of urban farmers, interviews, and focus groups with a diverse array of stakeholders working in the food access and food justice space. More info on the project can be found on the Berkeley Food Institute website here.
Program evaluation of farm to school in the san juan islands, Wa
For my Master's thesis, I conducted a program evaluation of farm to school programs on the 3 largest islands in the San Juan Island region of Washington State- Orcas Island, San Juan Island, and Lopez Island. I found that these islands are national leaders in Farm to School in terms of offering regular, high quality locally sourced foods in school cafeterias. Where these programs, and likely others, have room for improvement is within the "Education" core element of Farm to School. A key outcome was the motivation to develop a Farming and Climate Change curriculum for farm to school teachers to implement on Lopez as a result of my program evaluation (see Curriculum page).
Science editor for science journal for kids
I worked as a science content writer for Science Journal for Kids (SJ4K) founded by ERG alumna Tanya Dimitrova. This entailed reading recently published, open source science journal articles and translating them into student-friendly formats, as well as developing teaching resources to accompany each article. More information on the journal and content can be found on the SJ4K website.