Rachel Carson College Faculty Fellows

Sikina Jinnah

Sikina Jinnah is Rachel Carson College's new faculty chair!

The Chair of the Faculty is an Academic Senate member, other than the Provost, who is elected by the college Faculty to serve a two year term, and will serve as a member of the Executive Committee.

Dr. Jinnah is an Associate Professor in the Politics Department, an affiliated faculty member in the Environmental Studies Department, and a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Her research focuses on the shifting locations of power and influence in global environmental governance, and in particular the role of transnational actors in environmental decision-making. Her most recent projects examine how key norms in global climate politics shape power relations, the role of U.S. preferential trade agreements in shaping environmental policy in trading partner nations, and the politics of climate engineering governance. 

Erika S Zavaleta

Summary of Expertise

Conservation Science
Global Change Biology
Plant Biodiversity
Plant-Animal Interactions
Community and Ecosystem Dynamics
Nitrogen Biogeochemistry
Ecological Anthropology
Climate Change Adaptation

Biography, Education and Training

Erika Zavaleta is a professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She and her research group study the drivers and consequences of changing biological diversity and the role of ecology in guiding effective conservation practice. Recent and current projects address effects of climate variability and change on alpine migratory songbirds, desert communities and tropical conifer distributions; effectiveness of stream restoration efforts; and adaptation of conservation practices to climate change and to community needs. Erika's group works to bridge ecological theory, training and research to sound conservation and management practice. Their research accordingly incorporates collaboration with conservation practitioners and elements of economics, public policy, and anthropology. 
Erika earned her BA and MA in Anthropology and her PhD in Biological Sciences at Stanford University. She was a recipient of the Ecological Society of America’s Sustainability Science Award in 2008 and has authored or co-authored ~75 papers and book chapters in ecology and social science. Most recently, she co-edited Ecosystems of California, which won a California Book Award and other national accolades. Erika is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and the California Academy of Sciences.  She teaches Ecosystems of California (BIOE 125) and directs the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program and the CAMINO (Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-based Opportunities) at UCSC. At home, Erika enjoys life outdoors with her husband and wee ones (ages 26, 15, 11, and 8).