Bridging the gap
“At Stanford, I've realized the vital nature of collaboration, trustful relationships, and connections – as well as the real challenges and needs of communities impacted by sustainability challenges,” said Eric Bear, CS '23, SUST '23. He will be part of the first graduating class from the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability in 2023.
A passionate and driven student with a deep interest in sustainability and computer science, Bear actively pursued opportunities to bridge the gap between technical expertise and climate action during his time at Stanford. Bear recalled his Hacking for Climate and Sustainability class as a transformative experience, where his team partnered with the Karuk Tribe, seeking to amplify indigenous stories and stewardship through art, storytelling, and community gathering.
Initially a computer science major, Bear decided to pursue a coterminal Masters in Sustainability Science and Practice (SUST), which provided him a chance to explore his passion for climate resilience. “Implementing technical solutions without connecting them to real people and lived experiences can undermine the hard work of developing such a solution,” Bear said. As he nears the end of his Stanford journey, he is eager to work at the intersection of sustainability and computer science, especially in his home state of Colorado.
“In the Bay Area, we can often look toward the next most profitable gadget. With my Sustainability Science and Practice degree, however, my orientation toward problem-solving is now instinctively one of sustainability first, and then seeing how this lens can be integrated into political and business systems, ” Bear said. He also mentioned that he cherishes being part of a diverse and interdisciplinary group of students in the SUST program who share a common concern for collective well-being and planetary resilience – a credit to the hardworking instructors and facilitators in the program.