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Reimagining Leadership for Climate Science and Justice Virtual Panel

October 5, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm  |  Virtual Event


Addressing the urgent impacts of climate change, particularly on vulnerable communities, requires us to reconsider how we approach science. It requires a new approach to scientific leadership that centers justice and diverse approaches to knowing and being in the world. This event will showcase and celebrate scholars whose scientific leadership in addressing climate change reflects the values at the foundation of the Center for Reimagining Leadership: equitable access, multimodal expertise, responsible stewardship, and accountability. The event will illuminate why the pursuit of science—and by extension scientific excellence—is inseparable from the humans who animate it.


Cutcha Risling Baldy, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Native American Studies at California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt. Her research focuses on Indigenous feminisms, California Indians, Environmental Justice, and Decolonization. She received her Ph.D. in Native American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research from UC Davis and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Literary Research from San Diego State University. Risling Baldy is Hupa, Yurok and Karuk and an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Northern California.

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Ph.D. is the Director of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy. She is on leave from UC Merced where she holds the Ted and Jan Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences and Geology, is a Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry, and previously served as Associate Dean for Graduate Education. She is a biogeochemist with research focus on climate change impacts on nutrient budgets in soils. She conducted the TED talk: “A Climate Solution that’s Right Under Our Feet.” Her research focus lies at the intersection of soil science, global change science, and political ecology with an emphasis on how the soil system regulates the earth’s climate and the dynamic two-way relationship between the natural environment and human communities. Berhe’s scholarship and efforts to ensure equity and inclusion of people from all walks of life in the scientific enterprise have received numerous awards and honors.

Maya Carrasquillo, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the PI of the Liberatory Infrastructures Lab (LiL) at UC Berkeley. The mission of LiL is to develop systems of critical infrastructure that support liberation and restorative justice for all. She is also the Faculty Director of the (CEE)² Community-Engaged Education program at UC Berkeley. Carrasquillo’s research focuses on sustainable and equitable urban water infrastructure, food-energy-water systems (FEWs), community engagement and community science in decision-making, and environmental and infrastructural justice. She is a certified Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) and a College of Engineering Huelskamp Faculty Fellow. Carrasquillo is a recipient of the prestigious Georgia Tech Alumni 40 Under 40 award for the Class of 2022.

Alexii Sigona is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management with a research focus on Indigenous resource management. Alexii is involved in his tribal Youth Group and serves as Chair of Lands Committee of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust.

Moderator: Sikina Jinnah, Ph.D. is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Associate Director of the Center for Reimagining Leadership at UC Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on environmental governance in the areas of climate change, climate engineering, and the nexus between international trade and environmental politics. She is the author or editor of six books and over 50 articles and chapters. Her first book, “Post-treaty Politics” (MIT Press) received the 2016 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for best book in international environmental affairs from the International Studies Association, and her newest book “Teaching Environmental Justice: Practices to Engage Students and Build Community” is forthcoming in fall 2023. She is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, edits the journal Environmental Politics, and serves on the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Committee on Atmospheric Methane Removal. Jinnah has a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management.


October 5, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm