Three UC Berkeley graduate students are among only 20 U.S. environmental leaders who have been named 2017 Switzer Fellows by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. Berkeley’s Zineb Bouzoubaa, Joan Dudney, and Miriam Solis were each awarded a $15,000 merit-based fellowship to help them further develop skills and expertise to address today’s environmental challenges.

Zineb BouzoubaaZineb Bouzoubaa is pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy degree at the Goldman School of Public Policy. Focusing on the nexus of environmental justice and clean energy deployment, she is investigating how both can contribute to ameliorating climate change. In her first year, Zineb served as a policy analyst for the California Public Utilities Commission, assessing policy options for increasing rooftop solar access for California low-income communities. She also worked with the World Resources Institute, co-authoring a report for state policymakers about promoting renewable energy development. Zineb is currently a visiting scholar at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Joan DudneyJoan Dudney is pursuing her Ph.D. in community ecology at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Her interests include invasive species and climate change impacts across terrestrial systems, with an intensive focus in the Sierra Nevada. She has led research expeditions into remote areas of wilderness, tracking the invasion of a tree pathogen called white pine blister rust. Joan aims to explain to the public key ecological factors that will help facilitate effective management in the face of a changing climate.

Miriam SolisMiriam Solis is pursuing her Ph.D. in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She specializes in environmental planning, with a focus on social justice, infrastructure, and sustainability. Her current project highlights how adversely impacted low-income communities and communities of color contest and shape infrastructure development and maintenance programs. Miriam engages in collaborative, interdisciplinary research as an associate with the UC Berkeley Infrastructure Initiative and the Institute for Urban and Regional Development.


Over the last 30 years, more than 600 Switzer Fellows have been selected nation-wide for their environmental leadership, scientific and policy skills, and collaborative problem-solving approaches. From diverse academic, social and economic backgrounds, they are deemed to be on the leading edges of environmental and social change through their work in environmental policy, conservation, environmental justice, public health, economics, journalism, urban planning, business, law, and more. Fellows are committed to interdisciplinary and cross-sector work, applied results, and collaborative leadership.

Policy makers, environmental organizations, government agencies, and academic centers can access Switzer Fellows as experts in their respective fields. Many have proven policy, media, and senior leadership experience and are available for interviews, presentations and as an expert resource.

For more information about leadership grants and the fellowship program, visit the Switzer Foundation.

Categories: August 2017, Honors and Awards
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About Sharon Page-Medrich

Sharon Page-Medrich has assisted the Deans of the Graduate Division since 2001. Her professional passions include writing and editing. She has been active in several campus-wide community-building organizations.