Brandon Sanchez

Name:  Brandon SanchezBrandon Sanchez

College:  Merrill

Department:  Environmental Studies

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? James Stuart Chanley Scholarship in Environmental Studies

What year do you expect to graduate? Spring 2021

Where do you call home?  Although I moved quite a lot during my childhood, I can proudly say that Fontana, California is what I consider home.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?  As a person who always strove to learn about the environment beyond whatever information I found in my textbooks, it was an easy choice to attend UC Santa Cruz with its prestigious reputation in environmental science. I also saw the campus itself as an amazing learning opportunity where I could truly embrace the various environments around me through internships and research positions which I knew were common at the environmental studies department.

What is your field of focus?  My field of focus is set on studying anthropogenic climate change impacts on amphibian ecology and freshwater fish ecology.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?  Beginning Fall 2021, I am attending Yale University to pursue a Master in Environmental Science degree through the Yale School of the Environment studying amphibian ecology.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?  The most memorable moment as a student is the undergraduate research internship I did with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and their fisheries ecology division. Through this internship, I conducted fieldwork on threatened and endangered species of salmon which was an amazing opportunity to conduct field research and meet some incredible people. Staff like Alex Hay, who is a laboratory assistant on the project, saw my interests and really let me dive deep into the project as my unofficial mentor.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz?  Start getting involved in whatever it is you are passionate about ASAP! Internships, jobs, clubs, organizations, all of it. Start looking for these opportunities and contact professors you admire for advice or opportunities because once you graduate, these experiences and connections will be more valuable when applying for grad school or looking for a job than anything else on your resume or CV.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research?  As a first-generation and low-income student, this scholarship greatly impacts my academic life since the money will be used for my graduate education. From clothes, books, and other basic needs, this scholarship is a big help towards my costs for grad school.

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