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Current Master's Projects

Every Master of Environmental Science and Management student is required to complete either a Master's Group Project or an Eco-Entrepreneurship (Eco-E) Project. This year, the MESM Class of 2021 projects have taken on environmental challenges in the areas of clean water, clean energy, urban forestry, reusable packaging, forest and ocean species conservation, sustainable farming, floodplain restoration, energy and water savings, feral pig population management, sustainable agriculture, climate change, plastic pollution, climate-related natural disasters, and marine reserves.

Our Current Projects Are:

Prioritizing Fuels Reduction Projects in Headwater Forests to Protect California’s Rivers and Clean Water Supply

Group Members:  Simone Albuquerque, Indigo Bannister, Allison Hacker, Jonathan Hart, Evan Trebesch Heberlein
Faculty Advisor(s): Naomi Tague
Client: American Rivers, Julie Fair


Local Clean Energy Vision for Southern California

Group Members: Jordan Isken, Keene Morrow, Audrey Nolan, David Segan, Richard Viebrock
Faculty Advisor(s): Andrew Plantinga (Spring 2020, Fall 2020) and Kyle Meng (Winter 2021, Spring 2021)
Client: The Nature Conservancy, Stephanie Dashiell, MESM 2011; Clean Power Alliance, Natasha Keefer


Analyzing Urban Forestry Practices and Management Plans across Cities in the Western US with Plan-It Geo

Group Members: Rachel Conway, Joanne Pham, Veronica Weber
Faculty Advisor(s): James Frew
PhD Mentor: Rachel Torres
Client: Plan-It Geo, Ian Hanou and Megan Blansett, MESM alumn


Life Cycle-based Environmental Footprint Analysis of Reusable Packaging Options for a More Just and Regenerative Food System

Group Members: Mike (Ruiheng) Jin, Andrew Salvador, Kate Shoemaker, Shelby Walsh, Victoria Wallace
Faculty Advisor(s): Sangwon Suh (Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021) and Sarah Anderson (Fall 2020)
Client: Nada Grocery Inc., Brianne Miller, Alison Carr

Combining Conservation and Community Empowerment: Establishing Community Forests in Democratic Republic of Congo to Protect Critically Endangered Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Improve Wellbeing of Impoverished Communities

Group Members: Zoe Duerksen-Salm, Kelsie Fronheiser, Monica Gordon, Yani Pohl, Lizzy (Elizabeth) Schattle
Faculty Advisor(s): Mark Buntaine (Spring 2020, Fall 2020) and Frank Davis (Winter 2021, Spring 2021)
PhD Mentor: Brian Lee
Client: Strong Roots, Dominique Bikaba


Wildlife-friendly Farming: Economic and Geospatial Analysis of Sustainable Farming Incentives in Southern Costa Rica

Group Members: Marie Bouffard, Cameryn Brock, Julia Dagum, Bret Folger, Lauren Manzo
Faculty Advisor(s): Ashley Larsen
Client: Osa Conservation, Hilary Brumberg


Understanding Multiple Benefits of Floodplain Restoration from Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge in California’s Central Valley

Group Members: Alex Ehrens, Annika Leiby, Alexander Milward, Nicole Schmidt
Faculty Advisor(s): Scott Jasechko 
Client: Department of Water Resources, Jennifer Marr; Environmental Defense Fund, Ann Hayden, MESM 2002 and Anna Schiller, MESM 2018


Conservation Strategies for Yellow Pine and Mixed Conifer Forests in San Bernardino National Forest

Group Members: Hannah Garcia-Wickstrum, Leana Goetze, Anne-Marie Parkinson, Jennifer Truong
Faculty Advisor(s): Bruce Kendall
Client: U.S. Forest Service, Nicole Molinari and Hugh Safford


The Water-Energy Nexus: Analyzing Energy Savings from Water Efficiency Programs in Moulton Niguel Water District

Group Members: Patrick Byrne, Claudia Flores, Jaleise Hall, Ruoyu Wang, Jakob Wilford-Bivin
Faculty Advisor(s): Arturo Keller
PhD Mentor: Niklas Griessbaum
Client: Moulton Niguel Water Disctrict, Drew Atwater


Assessing Approaches for Feral Pig Management at The Nature Conservancy’s Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve

Group Members: Benson Truong, Shuhan Song, AJ (Alexander) Zekanoski, Peter Omasta
Faculty Advisor(s): Kelly Caylor
Client: The Nature Conservancy, Mark Reynolds, Moses Katkowski, and Kelly Easterday


Scaling a Sustainable Finance Solution: Agricultural Lending to Reward Environmental Performance

Group Members: Grace Brofman, Haley Grant, Rebecca Reynolds, Alexandria Wilkins, Janelle Christensen
Faculty Advisor(s): Kelsey Jack
Client: Sustainable Conservation, Kelli McCune, MESM 2009


Evaluating Climate Mitigation Potential of Natural & Working Lands in Santa Barbara County

Group Members: Alicia Fennell, Gavi (Gavriella) Keyles, Madeline Oliver, Minerva Ringland, Michael Wells
Faculty Advisor(s): Sam Stevenson
Client: County of Santa Barbara Sustainability Division, Frank Chen


Reducing Agricultural Plastics’ Environmental Impacts

Group Members: Lucas Empson, Garrett Eyer, Emma Friedl, Renata Massion, Bobby (Robert) Miyashiro
Faculty Advisor(s): Roland Geyer 
PhD Mentor: Jason Maier
Client: Driscoll's Inc., Tannis Thorlakson and James DuBois

Quantifying Climate-Related Natural Disaster and Water Risks at Raytheon Sites

Group Members: Margaret Brickner, Derek Nguyen, Jordan Faires, Paul Rikhter
Faculty Advisor(s): Matt Potoski (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021) and Eric Masanet
Client: Raytheon Company, Dimitri Shanin

Improving Marine Extractive Reserve Outcomes in Brazil

Group Members: Dylan Glave, Elliott Matthews, Peyton Moore, Ruben Sanchez Ramirez
Faculty Advisor(s): Steve Gaines
PhD Mentor: Juan Carlos Villasenor
Client: WWF Brasil, Caio Faro and Vinicius Figueiredo Nora Bittencourt


Spatial Analysis to Inform Policy Recommendations for Shark and Ray Protection in Mozambique

Group Members: Anna Abelman, Courtney Krone, Vanessa Rathbone, Rachel Rhodes, Erin Ristig
Faculty Advisor(s): Hunter Lenihan
PhD Mentor: Casey O'Hara
Client: Wildlife Conservation Society, Hugo Costa and Rhett Bennett


Portfolio Analysis for Fishery Management in the South China Sea

Group Members: Nestor Collado, Gabriel De La Rosa, Katharine Leigh, Siya Qiu
Faculty Advisor(s): Chris Costello
PhD Mentor: Nathan Grimes 
Client: Environmental Defense Fund and Global Aquaculture Alliance


Eco-E: BioQuest

Group Members: Allison Bailey, Anthony Luna, Kazia Mermel
Faculty Advisor(s): Robert Heilmayr and Emily Cotter

Eco-E: Unicado

Group Members: Wes Newbury, Waldo Felix, Max Diamond, Qusai Bhaijeewala
Faculty Advisor(s): Darcy Bradley and Emily Cotter