CUSA welcomes first year Ph.D. candidate Mariana Junqueira. As a student of Policy, Planning, & Design, her research focuses on cultural and environmental aspects of urban lighting and its role in the sustainable energy and appropriate technology discussion.
Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mariana received a B.F.A in Design and a B.A. in Architecture & Urban Planning in 2008. Additionally, she holds a Specialist degree in Lighting Design in 2012 and a Masters in Urban Planning, History and City Architecture in 2015.
Mariana resigned from her position as a professor and program director at a Brazilian educational institution that she held since 2009 and has recently moved with her husband to the U.S. to pursue a PhD degree in the University of California, Irvine.
Q: How did you come to be a part of CUSA?
A: I first heard about the center in Dr. Matthew’s talk about CUSA’s mission my PhD program orientation in the beginning of the fall, 2015, when I realized we shared many concerns and goals and that it could be a unique center for me to learn from and contribute to. A few weeks later I was invited to a meeting by my great friend and colleague Paroma Wagle, also a member of CUSA, and have been participating ever since.
Q: How do you and your research focus align with CUSA’s overall mission?
A: Working with appropriate technology to provide energy through a sustainability standpoint, I’m always seeking new ways to create knowledge and solve problems for a better future, especially in developing countries, while recognizing social value and working with its cultural and environmental potentialities.
Q: Have you chosen a research project to pursue at CUSA? If not, what current research topics/projects at CUSA interest you most?
A: Currently, I’m working on a commentary about challenges in California’s Food Security: At the Nexus of Climate Change, Water, and Food in response to the first Global Food Summit and I’m also helping to organize the next conference coming up this spring.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish while at CUSA?
A: CUSA offers a great opportunity of network for academics and practitioners concerned with human and environmental security challenges, acting as a fertile ground for new ideas and solutions. I hope to learn a lot from this great collaborative experience, as well as to maximize my academic contribution and to help driving real changes.