The University of Arizona

2020 E&S Fellows | CLIMAS

 SW Climate Outlook

2020 E&S Fellows

2020 E&S Fellows

The Environment & Society Fellowship was created in 2013 as a funding opportunity for graduate students to practice use-inspired research and science communication. The Fellowship supports projects that connect social or physical sciences, the environment, and decision-making. climas.arizona.edu/education/fellowship-program

This cohort has shared results from their research, and reflections on working through the pandemic, in a series of blog posts.


Caring in Crisis: Challenges and Lessons in Practicing Collaborative Research in 2020 - Rachel Rosenbaum

My CLIMAS fellowship project was geared towards building a web platform called “Regenerate Hub” that provides data visualization and collaborative tools to enable diverse stakeholders to take action on interconnected social, environmental, and infrastructural problems. I am a doctoral candidate in anthropology and I met my community partners for this project, Recycle Lebanon, through my preliminary dissertation research. This research was investigating how people were intervening in Lebanon’s greatest challenges through altering and repairing infrastructural systems such as waste management. Recycle Lebanon is a small Lebanese nonprofit organization that emerged in response to the garbage crisis in Lebanon that peaked in 2015. They began by designing campaigns to clean garbage from coastlines, waterways, and forests, a movement which grew to include establishing the first zero waste shop in the Middle East (the EcoSouk) and innovating ways to reuse waste such as cigarettes through creating the first cigarette recycling initiative in the country. (read more)


Reflections on Research on the Little Bighorn River - JoRee LaFrance

Nestled in the valleys between Iisaxpúatahchee Isawaxaawúua/The Bighorn Mountains and the rolling plains of the Powder River Basin, Apsáalooke people make their home within the Iisaxpúatahcheeaashe/Big Horn River, Iisaxpúatuahcheeaashiakaate/Little Bighorn River, and Alúutaashe/Arrow Creek watersheds. I do not have a first memory of the Little Bighorn River because it is all I have ever known. I was raised along this river that has taken care of my people for many generations. It flows north from the heart of the Big Horn Mountains which begins in Wyoming – traditional Apsáalooke territory – into the crevices of the Cheétiish/Wolf Mountains eventually joining the Big Horn River at the northern end of our reservation. My people have always relied on our water resources and remained connected to the water as an element and buluksée/water creatures. (read more)


Reflections on the Community Cookbook Project - Kunal Palawat

As we near the one-year marker of social distancing in the U.S., I am reflecting on my turbulent feelings and experiences. I spent the majority of the pandemic 3,000 miles away from my family, oscillating between missing them, being scared for them living so close to New York City, and grateful I wasn’t cooped up alongside everyone in our small New Jersey apartment. In Tucson, I was able to keep working, keep getting paid, keep spending time outside, and keep my basic needs met. This came with a lot of guilt as I heard from friends and acquaintances all the struggles they faced with unemployment, food insecurity, immigration, being an essential worker, getting sick with COVID-19, and more....In this spirit, food has grounded me. Even though my grand and luscious raised garden bed dreams never came to fruition (not for lack of trying…), I took solace and rejuvenation in the form of cooking, sharing photos of meals in WhatsApp chats, calling distant family members for recipes, and using the kitchen as a space to slow down and intentionally reflect on the world. With all of this in mind, I present a summary of my work with the CLIMAS fellowship program. (read more)


V. parahaemolyticus: a small bacteria with a big name - Emily Cooksey

Rates of illness from Vibrio parahaemolyticus have steadily been increasing as other foodborne illnesses have been decreasing. In California, rates of vibriosis has increased by almost 40% between 2009 and 2012.1 Often, the primary culprit for V. parahaemolyticus exposure is from the consumption of raw oysters. As climate change drives changes in water temperature, salinity, and phytoplankton composition in estuarine environments, there is a growing concern for an increased prevalence of V. parahaemolyticus. Taken together, it is increasingly imperative to understand the prevalence and human health risks of V. parahaemolyticus from both a local and global perspective. My dissertation research, in collaboration with Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), aimed to do just that. (read more)