Founder, geologist, and pilot — Alexander Greene — was compelled to create a more inclusive approach to S.T.E.m. that was not being addressed within the broader community.
Alexander Greene (he/him)
Founder, co-Director, Director of Operations and Finance
Alexander’s founding vision of global sustainability and climate awareness is fueled by a deep passion for the earth sciences, a passion that was no doubt cultivated at an early age. Originally from a small town in coastal Virginia at the forefront of sea level rise, Alexander is a proud first generation student where he attended the College of William and Mary and earned a Bachelors of Science in Geology. Early in his studies Alexander recognized a clear disconnect between the sciences and general public. The clearly defined communication barrier spurred the creation of Climate Aware in late 2015 and initiated a personal endeavor to help people better understand the current state of our climate crisis. Alexander resides in Gloucester, VA and works professionally as a geologist specializing in paleosiesmology, seismic hazard analysis, and geotechnical consulting for a Los Angeles based firm. He’d rather be viewing earth from a helicopter cockpit, though, and has been a pilot for a decade.
Andria “Andi” Greene (she/hers)
co-Director, Director of Research and Student Affairs
Andi is a marsh-mud scientist and lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay. She also happens to be Alexander’s little sister, and by default, acts as Climate Aware’s “boots on the ground.” Andi received her B.S. in watershed management from Virginia Tech and her M.S. from UC Santa Cruz. Andi hopes to recruit, train, and retain women and people of color in the sciences through hands-on experiential learning in the field. When she isn’t teaching, Andi works in local marshes with local people (read about our internship at Moro Cojo Slough in Summer 2022). She is the co-host of Badass Women in STEM podcast with Nicole. Andi employs community-based engagement to inform the next generation of scientists and science literate policy makers. She mentors students so they not only act on, but believe in their potential impact across local to international scales. Learn more about Andi at andigreene.com.
Dr. Nicole Foster (she/hers)
co-Director, Director of Research and Communication
Hailing from the land down under, Nicole is a passionate Australian environmental scientist with expertise in environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for monitoring our natural environment. She completed both her undergraduate and PhD at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Nicole has a special interest in marine environments and is particularly invested in seagrass health and longevity. She has a desire to foster collaborative and interdisciplinary science between her peers but also encourage younger generations to become invested in protecting the natural world. That’s why best mates Nicole and Andi created Badass Women in STEM podcast. Dr. Foster is a postdoc in Port Aransas, TX at the Brandl Lab where she works in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute. Learn more about Nicole at into-the-ocean.com
Young researchers make the world go round! undergraduate opportunities can be the turning point for a career in s.t.e.m.
Valerie Li (she/her) – Summer 2022
Valerie graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Technology & Policy in winter 2022. Born and raised in the city of San Francisco, CA, once she learned about the importance of the environment Valerie wanted to help make a change. This turning point occurred during a series of high school internships working in the field of restoration. One experience in particular was learning about the importance of the urban landscape and trees, how to identify a healthy tree, and how to plant trees. Valerie hoped to find a hands-on career, instead of being stuck at a desk all day! Her work Climate Aware acted as a stepping stone to getting specialized fieldwork experience — she studied aquatic invertebrates and found the first vertebrate at Tottino II — and a great place to find community.
Valeria “Vee” Rodriguez (they/them) – Summer 2022
Coming from Southern California, Vee is currently on track to receive a B.S. in Environmental Science from California State University, Monterey Bay. In hopes to further their own research and begin their journey into the sciences, they joined Climate Aware in an effort to be part of the “boots on the ground” work alongside Andi. Vee was the first scientist to gather a dataset on avian populations at Tottino II and won “Outstanding Research Poster” at CSUMB’s Summer Research Symposium. They wish to enjoy the world, the curiosities it brings, and the inspiration that’ll come from it. In pursuing a low-waste lifestyle and working with CSUMB’s sustainability club as its secretary, Vee is looking to introduce sustainability at the local level. To add on, they hope to be the queer and Mexican-American representation they lacked as a child. They are working to be the inspiration for other BIPOC and Queer individuals to join the sustainability movement, and appreciate the environment surrounding them.
Sonia Kortenkamp (she/her) – Summer 2022
Sonia studies Environmental Science, Technology and Policy at California State University, Monterey Bay. Her internship goal was to expand her knowledge of the scientific research process, which she did by! Sonia earned “Outstanding Research Poster” at CSUMB’s Summer Research Symposium and was selected to give an oral presentation on her work at the Fall Research Symposium. Sonia’s passion for the environment was always present throughout her life, as she grew up on a sailboat with her parents and sister. Sonia hopes her summer contribution informs policy surrounding agricultural practices and highlight the importance of restoration sites and protected lands.