Smith Fellows
Smith Fellow


What we know about biodiversity and the environment is shaped by human behavior, social, economic and political conditions. This particularly applies to cities; home to approximately 82% of US residents. For example, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most densely populated regions in the USA with high income disparities and simultaneously lies in the middle of a biodiversity hotspot, with over 5500 native plant species. With federal and state governments, such as California, centering their conservation agenda around environmental justice, our conservation decisions and investments should be equitable.

Inequality in the Bay Area may influence where we collect information and invest in conservation; yet also presents opportunities for applied research to shape policy given California’s history of being at the forefront in environmental justice. I propose to embed environmental justice-centered lens in biodiversity conservation to explore how socioeconomics shapes biodiversity information and areas of conservation importance. These analysis will aid both conservation decision making for the California Academy of Sciences and guide educational campaigns around the Bay Area to reconnect people back to nature by recording bird calls with local youth and transforming it into music.