Cousins, McNicol named UC Sustainability Fellows

Mar 23, 2015

Two University of California students will be working with scientists in the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) to study climate and sustainability in support of UC's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025.

UC ANR has chosen Gavin McNicol and Stella Cousins, both UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidates, to receive UC President's Sustainability Student Fellowships.

“Our search for new ways to reduce UC's and California's carbon footprint is sure to benefit from the creativity and innovative ideas brought by these two exceptional student fellows,” said Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

McNicol, a native of Scotland, is studying how much methane is released from restored wetlands in the Sacramento Delta region. The results of his research will inform the development of future wetland restoration plans, encouraging more effective efforts to minimize emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Cousins, a Californian from Ceres and an alumna of UC ANR's 4-H Program in Stanislaus County, is examining how forest mortality and standing dead trees impact the pools and fluxes of carbon in California's mixed conifer forests. Her research results will improve the accuracy and completeness of forest carbon accounting and greenhouse gas budgets for California's changing forests.

The UC Office of the President is providing $7,500 to each of UC's 10 campuses and to the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, earmarked to fund student awards in support of the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative and other UC-based sustainability efforts.

An initiative to enhance competitive and sustainable food systems is part of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision 2025.



By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach