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CHCI-Meta Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Queens, New York
School: Columbia University
Degree: Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy
Placement: TBD

Evelyn Vivar (she/her) is an Ecuadorian-American, born and raised in Queens, New York. Some of her earliest and fondest memories were made around the kitchen table, listening attentively to her father’s stories of working on her grandfather’s farm, harvesting sugarcane, and cultivating the land through agroecological practices. These early memories nurtured her ongoing curiosity and appreciation for food systems and inspired her to learn more about the linkages between agriculture, climate change, and food security. She believes that a sustainable food system has the power to mitigate climate change, empower farmers and consumers, and feed communities nutritious and affordable food.

Evelyn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies from Wellesley College and a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. As an undergraduate student, Evelyn interned at the Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust in Puerto Rico. She collected dinoflagellate samples, handled multiple data sets, and wrote reports to monitor Puerto Mosquito, a bioluminescent bay. In addition, Evelyn helped run the organization’s summer environmental program to educate youth participants about the importance of conserving the island’s natural resources. Afterward, Evelyn interned at the Youth Climate Collaborative, where she used her research, interpersonal, and communication skills to create an interactive map that connects youth with environmental organizations. As a graduate student, she was a capstone project manager. She consulted the World Resources Institute on how to help companies with net-zero targets better measure and report the impacts of land restoration projects on local communities and ecosystems.

Through her education and experience, Evelyn developed a strong interest in food sovereignty, sustainable agriculture, and environmental justice. As a CHCI-Meta Graduate Fellow, she hopes to work on food system policies that incorporate conservation ecology, social justice, and economic viability for farmers and consumers. By doing this, Evelyn hopes to improve the lives of her Latinx community and ensure they have access to affordable, culturally appropriate, and nutritious food.