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Thomas Lenihan

Thomas Lenihan graduated summa cum laude from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. Throughout his time as an undergraduate, Thomas immersed himself in ecological research and fostered a passion for understanding natural systems. He spent over three years studying collective behavior in social insects at two different labs at UCSB, and worked several field seasons at the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology in Pennsylvania and the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab in California. His firsthand experiences revealed systems at risk of collapse, often due to human actions. This realization drove Thomas to search for solutions to the environmental problems he witnessed. He led a project advocating for community divestment from fossil fuels as a member of UCSB’s Environmental Leadership Incubator, and after graduating, found contract work as a research analyst quantifying the end-of-life impacts of consumer electronic devices. At Bren, Thomas plans to develop the technical skills and knowledge necessary to work at the intersection of industrial ecology, land use policy, and urban planning.

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