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Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

Danielle Moni-Zo’obo and Malia Molina join us from the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. This summer, they have been working with Dr. Rebecca Hardin’s Michigan Sustainability Cases (MSC) team, working on projects ranging from wolf hunting in Michigan to training 1,000 OB-GYN’s in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this show, they lead an in-depth conversation on educating listeners on what exactly the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is trying to achieve.

Throughout the summer, the scholars have been participating in various research opportunities with U-M faculty. In addition, the program focuses on engaging students in discussions of diversity in the conservation and environmental fields.The show began with part of an interview with Dr. Dorceta Taylor, the woman responsible for bringing the program to the university, who is also a professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and the current Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In the interview, she explains the program’s application process as well as its overall goals.

Joining Malia and Danielle in the studio were two other scholars, Ki’Amber Thompson and Marvin Bell who helped facilitate conversations about diversity in the environmental field. Following Dr. Taylor’s interview, Malia and Danielle received calls from two other scholars, Jenny Par and Ryan Nelson. During the show, the four scholars introduced themselves, discussed their research placement and their interest in the environmental field.

To close off the show, Malia and Danielle, and their in-studio guests Ki’Amber Thompson and Marvin Bell discussed how programs like the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars promotes diversity in the conservation field and why that is important for the overall environmentalist movement. In addition, they talked about their own experiences with environmental injustices and why being a student of color matters when addressing these matters.

For more information, please visit the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program website at http://www.ddcsp-umich.com/ or feel free to leave your comments below.

Malia Molina is a rising junior in Carleton College’s Class of 2018. She is majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus in Conservation and Development, as well as a concentration in Cognitive Science. For her, sustainable development and issues of environmental justice are important aspects of the conservation and environmental movement. She is interested in the intersection between traditional environmental movements and sustaining cultural ways of knowing.

Danielle Moni-Zo’obo is a rising sophomore at Hamilton College, Class of 2019. She is double majoring in Government and Environmental Studies. Her interest in the Environmental field stems from her desire to help people in her birth country of Cameroon and other African countries in developing sustainable ways of living. She is interested in Environmental Law, especially as it applies to environmental justice.

Ki’Amber Thompson is apart of the Class of 2018 and is a rising junior at Pomona College studying English and Environmental Analysis. She’s interested in the environmental field because she wants to expand on “traditional” conservation and environmental issues. She also plans on doing work regarding environmental justice that moves toward and creates equity in communities of color.

Marvin Bell is a rising junior in the Class of 2018 at Amherst College, where he is pursuing a degree in Sociology and Anthropology. He’s interested in expanding the discourse around environmentalism and conservation to include communities and people whose voices are typically unheard, but are equally valuable and necessary in the conversation. Furthermore, he would like to address how to combat the impacts of environmental degradation in poor communities that are often times occupied by people of color.

Jenny Par is a rising junior at Loyola University of Chicago, Class of 2018. She is majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Biology. She loves the complex and interdisciplinary nature of the conservation and environmental field as well as its similarity to a “huge puzzle that needs to solved.”

Ryan Nelson will be a sophomore at Wesleyan University who plans on majoring in Earth and Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering. He is interested in food production, ,specifically how to make large-scale corn and soybean production more environmentally sustainable. He is also interested in engineering solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

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