In Their Words: Ariana Acosta

Name: Ariana AcostaAriana Acosta

Department: Environmental Studies

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? Terrence Freitas Award in Environmental Studies

What year do you expect to graduate? 2021

Where do you call home? Carlsbad, CA

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? I chose to attend UCSC because of its excellent program in Environmental Studies, high research output, and proximity to nature. I am especially interested in marine conservation and I knew that being near the ocean would inspire me to continue volunteering and researching to help promote healthy marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

What is your field of focus? Environmental Studies

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? I plan on continuing to educate communities about ocean conservation and learning about cultural environmentalism from more remote communities. Being able to travel to these locations is of great importance to me, so I expect to find myself working or conducting research in coastal communities around the world.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here? My most memorable moments have formed while working with members of the Santa Cruz community through the ENVS internship department. Specifically, I enjoyed interning for Life Lab and experiencing my first teaching opportunity in a local elementary school garden.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz? Intern as soon as possible! It doesn’t have to take up much of your time or be hard work, but find an opportunity that adequately challenges you. Find something you’re passionate or even just curious about and take the time to learn outside of the classroom.

How will this scholarship/award impact your academic life/research? I plan to study abroad focusing on Pacific Island environmental and community health, and this award will help fund my travels abroad. This program abroad will expose me to international views on climate change and efforts to promote environmentalism from different cultures.

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