Environmental Studies

Core Lecturers

Heather Ponchetti Daly

Dr. Heather Ponchetti Daly is a tribal member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel and an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Environmental and Indigenous Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Daly’s research focuses on California Native American History, and Native Environmental Studies. She teaches courses in environmental law, federal Indian policy, Indigenous approaches to climate change, and Native American Studies and history. Daly’s doctoral dissertation “American Indian Freedom Controversy”: Political and Social Activism by Southern California Mission Indians, 1934-1958 examines the twentieth-century political activism of Southern California Mission Indians. Daly is involved in the UCI History Project, which provides an institutional framework to history teachers (K-12) to include Native American voices in California. She worked with Climate Champions, a project to get more teaching, learning and action on climate change in local schools. Currently, she has just been appointed to the UC NAGPRA Implementation and Oversight Committee for the California Native American Heritage Commission representing UCLA.


Cindy Lin

Dr. Cindy Lin is an ecologist, environmental engineer, environmental and data scientist, and expert on the environmental impacts of land use and human activities on ecological habitats. She previously worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she designed national environmental standards, worked on cutting edge research, implemented policy to address environmental pollution and sustainability, and managed multiple government and private entities to meet environmental standards. She was the US Regional Expert on the Clean Water Act, Expert Scientist with the U.S. Applied Climate Change National Work Group, Water Adviser at the U.S. Embassy, Beijing, and US EPA's Top Science and Policy Advisor on the US-China Team. Dr. Lin is the President and Co-Founder of the San Diego Environmental Film Festival; and CEO and Co-Founder of Hey Social Good, a social impact tech company working to revolutionize social good for people, planet, and profit. Hey Social Good connects people to credible and well researched data & social good alternatives to inspire people to become a force for good.

Carolina Montejo

Carolina Montejo is a Colombian-American artist and filmmaker based in Southern California. She has a BA in Communications from Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, and an MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego. Using film & video, and installation, her works are concerned with feminist eco-pluralistic thought, as well as human, plant, and animal embodiment and interdependence. Montejo’s work outlines a framework of ethics, beauty and revolution that seeks to disrupt and question diverse systems of oppression, while also engaging with the aesthetic overlaps of analogue and digital imagery, as well as sound and performance art. Her research and film narrative focus on ecofeminism, intersectional climate justice, ecocinema, and urban ecology. She is a member of Green New Deal at UCSD, currently teaches film studies at USD and is Creative Director at her new independent film production company, Telepathine Studio.

Jacqueline Siapno

Dr. Jacqueline Siapno (Joy) is originally from Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Philippines and is fluent in Pangasinan, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia & Malay, and Tetum. She is currently teaching Southeast Asian History & Cultures (GSS 27) and Introduction to Global South (GSS 20) for the Global South Studies Program, IAH, and will be teaching “Wilderness and Human Values” (ENVR 140) for Environmental Studies, Spring 2023. She completed her Ph.D. in South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley,  conducting research on environmental justice and the conflict over natural resources in Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. She also conducted the field research for the Amnesty International Report “Shock Therapy: Restoring order in Aceh”. Her work experiences include working as Assistant Professor, Political Science and Asian Studies, University of Melbourne; Associate Professor, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University, Korea; Interim First Lady (Primeira Dama Interina, Timor Leste); Principal Investigator, Engendering Security Sector Reform, Ministry of Defense, Timor Leste, in collaboration with the National Commission on Planning and UN Peacekeeping; co-founder and former Vice-Rector of Universidade da Paz and co-founder of Centro Para a Mulher e Estudos do Genero (East Timor). Her current research is on biodiversity in the Coral Triangle, Critical Ocean Studies, and Environmental and Climate Justice in Southeast Asia.

Kellie Uyeda

Dr. Kellie Uyeda is a research scientist at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. She has a Ph.D. in Geography from San Diego State University / University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests are focused around multidisciplinary approaches to ecosystems and their management, ranging from landscape-level patterns assessed using satellite imagery to mechanistic understanding of factors shaping plant distributions using manipulative experiments. She is also interested in community-based science, both as a participant and data user. Uyeda has been a lecturer in Environmental Studies since 2020. 

Past Lecturers

Katie Cezo

Katie Cezo is a dedicated and passionate environmental educator. She has worked as an environmental engineer, waste reduction & recycling specialist and K-12 environmental educator. She also started, grew and sold a successful food-based business that focused on providing healthy, organic food to her community, as well as rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste. She has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Today, Katie is focused on teaching environmental courses at the collegiate level and joined the ENVR Program in 2022. She currently teaches ENVR 30, the introductory course for the Environmental Studies minor. In this class, she provides opportunities for students to get involved with their community, to share their thoughts with decision makers and to explore a multitude of environmental topics to identify which ones spark their interest.

Heather Henter

Heather Henter is the Executive Director of the UCSD Natural Reserve System (NRS), a network of 41 ecological reserves around the state that are set aside for education, research, and public service, which includes the Scripps Coastal Reserve (SCR). An entomologist by training, Henter’s undergraduate students have been participating in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve docent training program. Recently, she has been more involved in education research, outreach programs, and fundraising for our reserves. She teaches Conservation Solutions (ENVR 105), a course in which students become essentially peer mentors for other students.

Briana Iatarola

Briana Iatarola – Lecturer, Department of Communication, UC San Diego

Dr. Iatarola’s current research addresses the environmental politics of the built environment as well as climate change resilience and adaptation strategies. She is interested in citizen science, community-based participatory research, civic mobilization, and collaborative knowledge-making. Her dissertation is an ethnography of “Save Trestles,” a campaign that stymied planning agencies’ controversial proposal to construct an eight-lane, sixteen-mile toll road through San Onofre State Beach. Save Trestles has been central to the preservation of a collection of popular surf breaks located in the City of San Clemente. The citizen science-focused project calls into question the success and viability of the campaign in relation to the visible effects of sea-level rise, El Niño, and the consumptive surf industry. Previous research that she conducted at the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies analyzes the economic and cultural effects of the global surf industry in postwar El Salvador. 

Tim Patterson

As a Deputy Attorney General and later as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General of the Environment Section of the California Attorney General’s Office in San Diego, Tim Patterson gained over 40 years of litigation-based experience with the subjects covered in ENVR 110: Environmental Law, including climate change, environmental justice, regional air and water pollution, hazardous waste dumpsites, toxic chemicals in commercial products, land use and transportation planning, endangered species, and coastal resource protection. In ENVR 110, he seeks to provide a real world perspective on the major environmental protection laws and related public policies affecting our society today, as well as address the significance of federal and state constitutional rights in ongoing efforts to protect the environment and public health and safety. As a public attorney, he was fortunate to be able to participate in the development of significant legal precedents in several subject areas of federal and state environmental law. Patterson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Santa Clara School of Law. He has been a lecturer at UCSD since 2019.