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Meghna Rao

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MESM 2023

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Meghna Rao graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology. Upon graduation, Meghna worked as a medical assistant in Santa Barbara County where she helped displaced community members recover from devastating wildfires. She witnessed first-hand how the community’s lowest economic populations were hit the hardest by environmental issues. The problem became even more personal when Meghna was called to India to care for her ailing grandmother along the banks of the Ganges River. The dumping of raw sewage, tannery waste, and human excrement has riddled the river toxic, yet people bathe in and drink from the river as they have for centuries. Working with the Chairman of the River Rejuvenation Committee of West Bengal, she started on a project that could identify the contents of the industrial drains feeding into the river. When the coronavirus crisis halted funding, Meghna returned to the US and joined the MESM program where she is specializing in Pollution Prevention and Remediation. Her mission is to champion solutions for the critical environmental problems that plague underserved populations and persist at the interface of human society and ecological integrity.

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