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2024 PhD Student Symposium

Learn about the diverse, cutting-edge research being conducted by Bren School PhD students

Mar 1 2024 | 1:00pm PST Bren Hall 1414 / Online

Collage of PhD students at previous symposiums

The Bren PhD Student Symposium is held annually to highlight the diverse, cutting-edge research being conducted by Bren School PhD students. The students will present short (3-minute) talks and longer (12-minute) talks describing their work. The event is open to the entire UCSB and Santa Barbara communities and is free to attend.

Watch a recording of all the talks here


  • 1:00pm: Words of welcome from PhD Symposium Committee Co-Chair Jaenna Wessling and Bren School Dean Steve Gaines
  • 1:10pm: Brian LeeTree-mendous Changes: Quantifying Changes in Forest Carbon Using Remote Sensing and Machine Learning
  • 1:25pm: Wen Tien WangJust Transition Strategies for the Refinery Industry Sector in the USA
  • 1:30pm: Sean DennyOutsourcing Wildlife Conservation: A Comparative Analysis of Private and Government Management of Protected Areas in Africa
  • 1:45pm: Allie CaughmanClimate Change Reduces Long-term Population Benefits from Marine Protected Areas through Selective Pressures on Species Movement
  • 2:00pm: Shay MagaheyIdentifying Changes to El Nino-Southern Oscillation in a Warming Climate
  • 2:05pm Yifan (Flora) HeHealth Impact of Gold Mining in the Brazilian Amazon
  • 2:20pm: Break
  • 2:45pm: Cali PflegerThe Impact of Marine Cloud Brightening on Eastern Pacific Fisheries
  • 3:00pm: Jamie MillerAcoustic Behavioral Response of Nesting Western Snowy Plovers to Rocket Launches in Restored Coastal Dunes at Vandenberg Space Force Base
  • 3:05pm: Mukta KelkarEmpirical Studies on Climate Resilience in MPAs Demonstrate Effectiveness in Limited Contexts
  • 3:20pm: Risa LewisValuing the Mental Health Impact of Climate Change Information
  • 3:25pm: Haozhe YangGlobal Transcontinental Power Pools for Low-carbon Electricity
  • 3:40pm: Gemma Del RossiUntangling the Influence of Climate on Agricultural Decision-Making: Evidence from Smallholders in Zambia
  • 3:45pm: Closing Remarks

Reception in the Michael J. Connell Memorial Courtyard to follow.

View the Symposium program to learn more about each talk here


Thank you to our 2024 PhD Symposium Supporter:

Rincon Consultants, Inc.: Environmental Scientists - Planners - Engineers




And thank you to the Bren School's Corporate and Institutional Partners:

AEP Channel Counties Chapter, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, California Homebuilding Foundation, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Latham & Watkins, O’Melveny & Myers, Professional Environmental Managers Association (PEMA), Rincon Consultants, Southern California Edison, The Nature Conservancy, Toad & Co.

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