Dana Gibson |AS AVP Environmental Justice Affairs and Inter-Sustainability Council Finance Chair | Class of 2021 | Structural Engineering major, Real Estate and Development minor
Why do you think sustainability is important and what are some ways you incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle?
Environmental Justice and Sustainability are important to me because I appreciate biodiversity, to me, this can be best understood and connected by understanding sustainable socio-ecological optimization (SSEO).
Sustainability, or in my terms sustainable socio-ecological optimization (SSEO), is the ability to continually improve the survival capacity of diverse life forms considering social and ecological constraints.
Sustainability and Environmental justice are interrelated and provide/advocate for the equity in any ecosystem; all places are located or are a part of an ecosystem which requires healthy functionality in all its diverse interdependent elements and all these elements merit equal access and support to maintain healthy functionality for the micro and macro environments.
I incorporate sustainability into my life by reducing the amount I spend on products that are processed, packaged with unrecyclable materials, or produced by harmful or oppressive methods. I also focus on waste reduction through self-sufficiency, like making my own hair and skin care products, and focusing on mostly plant-based nutrition as well as seeking out the best locally and organically sourced products.
Could you talk about your role and involvement with the UCSD Associated Students Office of Environmental Justice Affairs (ASEJA)?
As the Associated Student Environmental Justice Affairs Outreach Intern I made every effort to increase collaboration with other sustainability groups that seek to achieve similar goals, host impactful and intentional events for the student body, and establish a good foundation for Environmental and Social Justice in the community at UC San Diego. With ASEJA, I’ve hosted events like Thrifty Thursday, a pop-up thrift store event, and Earth Week programming events supporting food justice and education on the history of environmentalism.
I am an Environmental and Social Justice Advocate with a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC), and I am very passionate about holistic sustainability research and development. I’m also an Entrepreneur in the sustainability science, research, and redevelopment industries. My hope is to significantly advance sustainability in integrated ways taking into account social, economic, ecological, and technical challenges. Therefore, as the AVP Environmental Justice Affairs, I will be advancing sustainability engineering and be focusing efforts toward education, engagement, and outreach for sustainability as well as environmental and social justice.
What other sustainability organizations/ projects are you involved with?
I’m also involved with the Inter-Sustainability Council (ISC) and will begin GreenCORP, an initiative to provide volunteer and internship opportunities for hands-on engagement in Sustainable Living and Sustainability Thinking. Also, I will be expanding The Association for Women in Sustainability Engineering, Research, & Development (SE R&D), a pre-professional student organization passionate about environmental and social justice advocacy for disadvantaged communities and the development of software and products for establishing resilient food production systems through Sustainability R&D.
As a sustainability science, research, and redevelopment entrepreneur the Resilient Redevelopment Project is an in-progress project focused on property maintenance, remodeling, and restoration with cost-efficient sustainable infrastructure powered by sustainability science and engineering.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you’re interested in getting involved with GreenCORP, SE R&D, or The Resilient Redevelopment Project!