Greetings from the Assistant Dean

by Mio Katayama Owens

Greetings ELP Family,


It’s already the third week of March which means we are once again preparing for the Summer 2018 Beahrs ELP! This year we had a record number of applications, with over 400 people from around the world expressing their interest in attending the program. We are currently finalizing the curriculum, and planning the social events with our supporters and friends. As always, we continue to improve and strengthen our program.. My team thoughtfully studied the past program evaluation, and made changes based on the feedback to ensure the resulting curriculum will more comprehensively meet the needs of environmental professionals in our ever-evolving world. We are delighted to share the new and improved program with you!


A Preview of This Year’s Guest Lecturures and New Speakers :


Will Parish, founder and president of Ten Strands, whose mission is to build and strengthen partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s K-12 students by working with the educational system on the state and country level. He will not only discuss teh significance of environmental literacy to children, but also the leadership and entrepeneurship it takes to collaborate with existing systems and bureaucracy to fully actualize your vision.

Dr Patrick Gonzalez, the principle Climate Change Scientist for the National Parks Service will additionally be leading a session on Climate Change Science and National Resource Management. This session’s focus will go beyond parks to explore the scientific rigour required for the conservation of public and protected lands.

Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President of Private Sector Engagement at WWF. Prior to WWf, she was the CEO of the Sustainability Consortium, a global organization focused on making consumer products more sustainable. During the program, she will discuss her role at WWF, overseeing a team of sustainability professionals, and supporting the organizations conservation’s mission. Her goal is to harness the private sector’s power as a force for conservation.


New Leadership Development Sessions

Last year’s field trip to Silicon Valley and the Google Campus in Mountainview was such a success and we are enthused to return this year! We had the opportunity to learn about their corporate social responsibility and sustainable supply chains effort, as well as some of the open source tools such as the Google Earth engine. This year we hope to further our understanding of how environmental practitioners can collaborate with the private sector in order to commit to promoting sustainable practices while proliferating financial growth.

Many of our alumni expressed the desire to bolster their fundraising skills in order to take their respective organizations to the next level. This year, we will be having an effective fundraising panel. My team and I are personally excited about this session because, in this field, we all have to be entrepeneurs and effective fundraising is a critical part in this process. Thanks to all the alumni and 2018 candidates for contributing to the fundraising session survey, based upon your feedback, we have created an exceptional session.

Another new session will focus on effective presenation session. The ability to deliver an effective presentation - whether you are a scientist, fundraiser, or finance expert - is imperative to further professional goals and effectively communicate your organization’s mission. Professor Max Auffhammer, a George Pardee Jr. Professor of International Sustainable Development and Associate Dean of Social Sciences, is going to lead his very popular workshop.

My staff and I will be leading a session on social media and Linked In, in this day and age, these platforms are important as employers and potential collaboraters utilize them to gauge educational background and employment experiences. It is critical to have an updated profile in order to but your face forward.

Alumni Updates and Engagement

Thank you to all the alumni who contributed to this newsletter by sending your updates are always excited to hear about the next chapters in your life and how you are applying what you learned in the program as you further your mission. One of my greatest pleasures is to not only hear from the alumni, but to also continue to support you in your post-Beahrs ELP endeavours.

Binta Iliyaus, PhD (Beahrs, ELP, 2015) was chosen as the alumna of the year. She is the award’s inaguaral recipient and  was selected for her commitment to her cause and conviction to be a role model for Nigerian girls and women pursuing professional goals. Binta is a biochemist working on developing vaccines that will support farmers in West Africa. In 2017, she was invited to attend the Global Food Summit in Berlin, Germany - an international high level conference about the future of food and food policy. Beyond attending the conference, she was able to secure a visiting scholar appointment in Bremen, Germany to collborate with biochemists that specialize in her field, DNA vaccine research.  In this past week, she was in the United States attending the United Nations 62nd commission on the Status of Women where she talked about Child Marriage and Gender Inequality in Nigeria. Stay tuned for our interview with Binta in the upcoming weeks.

Harshad Karandikar (BeahrsELP, 2016) was the former senior coordinator of Human- Wildlife Conflict Management for WWF India. AFter attending the BeahrsELP, he realized that he wanted to deepen his understanding of the environmental field to amplify his impact in his field. He recieved the Chancellor’s Scholarship and is currently at UC Berkeley as a graduate student in the Department of Environmental Science Policy, and Management, working under Professors Arthur Middleton and Claire Kremen to attain his PhD. (link these names to website)

Olayinka S. Ohunakin (Beahrs ELP, 2015) is a professor of mechanical engineering at the Covenant University in Nigeria. He is currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for African Studies, working to study the effects of climate change on wind and renewable resources across Africa, especially in Nigeria.

Volaniria Ramahery (Beahrs ELP 2017), is a local project coordinator at Nexus Center, Madagascar. After her successful speech at the 2017 Beahrs ELP was circulated, she was invited to share her experience in story telling to WWF Madagascar officers during their communication training.

Jagdish Ladha (Beahrs ELP 2002), recently retired from his position as a Soil Nutritionist at the International RIce Research Institute in the Philipinnes. He reached out to us to let us know that he now has an appointment at UC Davis. I invited him to join the program this year as a panelist, and I am looking forward to meeting him in person this July.

I love hearing from alumni! Please send us notes, blog posts, and updates. Find us on social media and stay connected to your Beahrs ELP family. If you are coming to the Bay Area, please do let me know, it will make my day!