We are a large, diverse and inclusive community of scholars from all walks of life. Together, we’re developing the current and future generations of leadership in green science.

Watch our video to learn moreAbout The Center for Diverse Leadership in Science

Recent highlights & achivements

  • 1

    CDLS is the first center of it’s kind in the nation

  • 42

    Of CDLS early career fellows are womxn of color, and 55% are womxn

  • 68

    Of CDLS early career fellows are people who are underrepresented minorities, and 69% are people of color

  • 16

    Awards received/held in 2018-2019 by early career fellows and CDLS leadership

  • 41

    Of CDLS early career fellows are womxn of color, and 55% are womxn

  • 71

    Early Career Fellows supported from 26 majors/programs from 15 educational institutions. 5 are high school students, 29 are undergraduates, 6 are recent graduates, 17 are graduate students, and 5 are postdoctoral scientists

  • 17

    States and 4 countries are represented by CDLS early career fellows

  • 1,306

    People reached through service by our early career fellows

  • 20

    Identify as queer, and 1% as transgender

  • 25

    Faculty members working with our early career fellows, 9 of whom are also CDLS faculty fellows

  • 1

    Number of centers in the physical sciences at UCLA that are led by a womxn of color faculty member

  • 1,088

    People who learned about CDLS through outreach from our Director

Meet a few of our scholars

The dedication of our current and former students has helped build CDLS into what it is today. The scholars below represent just a portion of the many talented scholars on our team.

Rae Spriggs

She/HersEarly Career Fellow

Rae recently earned her Environmental Health Sciences MPH from UCLA. As a CDLS Fellow, she researched Health Impact Assessments (HIA). These are evidence-based tools used to inform stakeholders and decision makers about the potential impacts of proposed policies and projects and identify ways to maximize the health benefits and minimize harm. She reviewed the 96 transportation-related HIAs conducted in the United States to evaluate how they operationalized health equity, a core principle of HIA. This research has been personally meaningful to her as a black woman from a low-income background. She grew up directly next to a major freeway in San Diego, and was diagnosed with asthma at the age of three. In undergrad, she learned that the natural and built environments have significant impacts on our physical health and well-being, and that knowledge has fueled her work since. She now works as a Strategy Specialist with CDLS helping to build, fund, and advance programs and partnerships related to environmental and climate justice.

Venezia Ramirez

She/HersEarly Career Fellow

Venezia is a Chicanx 3rd-year undergraduate student studying Environmental Science and is a K-12 outreach coordinator. She is involved in multiple collaborative research projects, including phytoremediation of contaminated soils and waters in East LA. Venezia hopes to enter government to make sustainability more inclusive of underrepresented communities and remove the environmental hazards disproportionately faced by communities of color.

De’Marcus Robinson

He/HimEarly Career Fellow

De’Marcus is a graduate student in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences with a concentration in biological oceanography. His research examines biogeochemical cycles in regions of the ocean with little to no oxygen. By studying the microbes that affect these regions, he hopes to understand how climate change impacts microbes, how pollution affects organic matter and nutrient delivery, and how the culmination of these impacts oxygen levels and ocean health. He is active in outreach to low-income communities impacted by pollution. De’Marcus hopes to gain experience at NOAA, and ultimately to become a professor at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and inspire others to enter marine science.

Ronald Thompson III

He/HimEarly Career Fellow

Ronnie is a 2nd-year undergraduate in Environmental Science with a concentration in Conservation Biology. He is an organizer for Diversi-Tea and the President of the Congo Basin Institute Club, focused on conservation in Cameroon. Ronnie was part of a team working at the UC Natural Reserve system studying community behavior and interactions between pollinators and flowering plants. A future goal of his is to develop and apply isotopic tools for use in studies of bird ecology and conservation.

Lauren Santi

She/HersEarly Career Fellow

Lauren recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Geochemistry. Her research focused on reconstructions of past changes in climate and water in the southwest using multidisciplinary approaches. Lauren contributed to creating the CDLS program Environmental Justice and First Nations, which included taking students from NTU out into the field to gain research experience sampling and mapping ancient shorelines to study the impacts of climate change.

Randy Flores

She/HersEarly Career Fellow

Randy graduated from UCLA in 2018 with a B.S. in Geology. He was a community college transfer student and graduated valedictorian in his department. Randy is engaged in laboratory tours and also in community college outreach. His research includes working with a team studying how the chemistry of shells of marine planktonic organisms are linked to ocean temperature and pH.

Our five pillars for success

The Center’s approach focuses on early career and faculty fellows programs.

  1. We study STEAM and learn experientially by working in collaborative settings to solve real world problems and engage in activism. Our model includes research and community outreach “from K to gray” to promote environmental literacy. Our fellows grow and practice skills, prepare themselves for the future, and empower others.
  2. Our intergenerational interaction, in inclusive and diverse communities of practice, changes the entire environment of learning.
  3. We focus on translating values and learning into behaviors and practices. From early career fellows to faculty, we implement new practices in the classroom, the research lab, and in outreach. We are leaders in STEAM that respect identities, families, and communities.
  4. Our cohorts model diversity in higher education by including people at varied educational and career stages. These cohorts support social belonging and sharing their stories, including of scientific discovery, adversity, and resilience.
  5. We demonstrate that people who look like us and relate to our challenges make it to every educational stage and into the workforce. Our diverse mentors and role models show that there are always opportunities to lead. Leadership relies on continued learning, adapting practices, and working with others with confidence, humility, and wisdom.

Get in touch

For more information on CDLS and our mission please see our annual report. You can get in touch with our Director, Aradhna Tripati, by emailing her at atripati@g.ucla.edu

Read Annual Report