A Message from the Chair:
Welcome to the 2020 UCSB Environmental Studies Commencement Celebration and Awards Ceremony! I am proud and honored to serve as the Environmental Studies Program Chair. The class of 2020 is an extraordinary group of leaders and scholars, and they comprise the largest graduating class in our department’s history!
Speaking of history, this year our Program turned 50 and we celebrated with a series of campus-wide and public events for a national and global audience to commemorate the progress we have made in the program’s first half-century, while charting a course for what we plan to accomplish over the next fifty years. The celebration included the release of a film featuring the Program’s history, our current accomplishments, and our vision for the future. That film is titled Building a Movement: 50 Years of Environmental Studies at UCSB and you can check it out on this website (under “News and Events”).
I am delighted to report that we have a number of new and recently launched initiatives to engage students and the broader community in groundbreaking research, learning, and action. Some of these include the UCSB Agroecology Field Studies Program, the Energy Transformation Initiative, the California Grizzly Network, and the Environmental Leadership Incubator. Our students are at the center of each of these initiatives and are the lifeforce that sustains them. The next 50 years looks brighter than ever.
I want to recognize that this particular graduating class has seen and coped with more than your fair share of challenges and tragedies, including drought and wild fires, debris flows, a global pandemic, and massive civil unrest in response to police violence. And yet, somehow we made it here today and have come together as a community to support one another.
Environmental Studies will always be a space where people collaborate, share, learn, and innovate to devise and implement inspiring solutions to the environmental challenges we face today so that our future will be more hopeful, more equitable and just, and more sustainable. And we are stronger than ever before because of the phenomenal achievements of our students. Congratulations to the class of 2020!
David N. Pellow
Chair, Environmental Studies