Studying environmental literacy
“My experiences with heatwaves in the Central Valley and forest fires near the Central Coast have greatly impacted my academic interests,” said Bless Romo, Earth systems BS ’22, who participated in the 2021 Stanford Earth Summer Undergraduate Research (SESUR) program. “As a result, I study collective environmental literacy, which I would loosely define as the process by which communities come together to take action and to solve environmental and sustainability issues.”
During the summer of 2021, Romo worked in Nicole Ardoin’s Social Ecology Lab conducting interviews with a climate-focused community organization on the Central Coast to explore perceptions of, facilitators of, and barriers to collective environmental literacy.
“By better understanding the process by which communities come together to take action, the lab hopes to better understand how to foster similar collective action,” Romo said.
As part of her work on the project, Romo drafted and piloted interview protocols designed to explore environmental literacy and learned how communities interact with issues like climate change, environmental racism, pollution, and more.
“I would definitely recommend the SESUR program because it provides undergraduates a welcoming and supportive environment to explore their research and career interests,” she said. “But don’t feel pressured to take part in only academic opportunities. Make sure to set some time aside to take care of yourself and have fun with people you care about.”