Vicky Espinoza, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Merced
Vicky Espinoza is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Environmental Systems Graduate Group at the University of California, Merced, advised by Professor Joshua Viers. She received her Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California in 2017 and her Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago. Her prior applied research experiences at Argonne National Laboratory and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory included research in energy-water systems, and climate change impacts to hydrological systems. She has been actively involved in making science and mathematics accessible to underrepresented, Spanish-speaking communities throughout her educational career.
Vicky’s research addresses sustainable water management for global food, energy, and water security. Her doctoral dissertation analyzes how California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act will impact irrigated lands in the San Joaquin Valley, and how anticipated land use changes will affect already socioeconomically vulnerable communities within the region. She hopes her research will translate into broad insights that can inform water policy and adaptation strategies, and result in more equitable solutions for underrepresented communities in California and beyond.