Motivations to Contribute - Mackenzie P. - a UCLA Student

  • Posted on 2 July 2020
  • By Mackenzie P.
The Sierra Club's values of explore, enjoy and protect the environment can be embraced by volunteers and members of all ages. Motivations to Contribute is a new series oriented towards understanding our volunteers and members both for inspiration and to enhance cooperation and coordination among current members while encouraging new volunteers to join us.
Mackenzie is a Junior at UCLA, pursuing a BS in Marine Biology. Her interest in Marine Biology has helped galvanize a realization that climate change is a real threat and action needs to be taken. Her studies have opened her eyes to the reality of climate change issues and their implications related to the quality of life on Earth. She is involved in research on various marine ecosystems, and this has given her firsthand exposure to the effects of climate change on vulnerable, biodiverse aquatic communities.
Mackenzie’s interest in Marine Biology is more than a passing interest. She is dedicated to pursuing a PhD in the realm of Marine Biology and a career in research and academia with the objective of making a positive impact on the world around her.
During her three years at UCLA, she has collaborated with professors, graduate students, and fellow undergraduate students who have inspired her with their drive to continually pursue knowledge and solve problems creatively and efficiently. She recognizes that addressing climate change requires ingenuity, creativity, and the collaboration of great minds coming together. Her experience at UCLA has convinced that academic contributions to climate change are an important part of the solution, she expresses her faith in this process with these words: “ I believe there is no better place to foster innovation than in academia, the home to interdisciplinary scholars and dreamers that can come together to conspire functional solutions to globally felt issues.”
Mackenzie describes herself as a lover of the ocean, all aquatic organisms, surfing, and phenomena explaining large scale oceanic and atmospheric trends, she feels compelled to dedicate her career to protect the future of this life. This is not just a vow about the future, she is already committing her time and energy to enhance sustainability is a promise to protect hope for a better future. One way she is meeting this commitment today is her participation in a student organization focused on solar. One might not see the immediate connection between action related to solar projects and a love or marine life, but this is the big picture many people miss. All of our world’s ecosystems are connected. Solar projects can reduce the need for fossil fuels, which have a connection to climate change, which impacts ocean temperature and sea level as well as many coastal environments.
The Sierra Club offers environmentally-oriented individuals an opportunity to learn about the environment, find aspects that bring them joy and protect the environment through actions as simple of signing a petition or as involved as creating and building something new.
What’s your passion? Visit our Volunteer page to see if there is something you can contribute. Mackenzie wrote an article and shared her story, maybe you have time, energy or a story to share…..
[Photo: Ocean Beach  © Paul Reinstein all rights reserved]
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