Environmental Studies

Community Partners

San Diego Environmental Film Festival

San Diego Environmental Film Festival


Inaugural SDEFF 2022



Kumeyaay Community College

Partnering with Kumeyaay Community College and Indigenous individual artists and organizations has helped build more trust between the university and historically oppressed and marginalized communities throughout San Diego County and beyond, consistent with the direction of UC San Diego’s community-engaged initiatives.

Chicano Park in San Diego

Oscar Magallanes’ Art & Environment course engaged students with the iconic Chicano Park in San Diego as well as artists in southern California.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography 


Youth Organizing

The Environmental Studies Program recognizes the ongoing importance to strengthen community ties with local and global high school students, particularly youth who are underrepresented or historically excluded from careers related to environmental protection, conservation, and policy-making. Urban youth specifically face the multifold effects of intergenerational inequity and climate injustice and require equitable representation in Environmental Studies as a field and mode of socio-ecological inquiry for research and policymaking. Youth stand to benefit from resources, guidance, mentorship, experiential opportunities, research projects, and general environmental education informed by culturally competent and justice-driven frameworks. Faculty-community partnerships provide students with experiential learning opportunities.

Student Advocates for Interdisciplinary Learning

Dr. Briana Iatarola turned to hybrid teaching for the Wilderness & Human Values course while mentoring undergraduates from the Student Advocates for Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL). Several students from the Wilderness & Human Values class collaborated with SAIL members to help facilitate a virtual Community Conversation titled “Climate Change and Consumption.” This conversation focused primarily on the impacts of food waste at a San Diego high school and explored practical solutions to help reduce this problem deeply tied to climate change. Three high school students from Central California moderated this virtual event and received additional training and mentorship from Stephanie Rivas, the regional coordinator of the organization The Climate Initiative, an alumna of UC San Diego, and a former student in Dr. Iatarola’s spring 2020 Wilderness & Human Values class.