Editor’s Note: This is a guest article from University of Michigan graduate student Diana Martinez
Diana Martinez is a first-year graduate student at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), focusing on Behavior, Education, and Communication. She is passionate about the urban wildlife interface, climate adaptability, and immigration. As a bilingual speaker, she hopes to provide scientific resources to bilingual/multilingual speakers.
Before moving to Ann Arbor, she volunteered for a community garden in the Los Angeles area, creating educational resources about compost in multiple languages. Before returning to LA, her hometown, she studied at California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt, where she co-founded Ciencia Para Todos with two of her peers. Her inspiration for co-founding Ciencia Para Todos was her transformative experience at the UCSC Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program, an intensive eight-week field research program.
Her legacy at Cal Poly Humboldt remains strong. Ciencia Para Todos is the first bilingual science program at Cal Poly Humboldt providing educational resources and mentorship opportunities in Spanish for K-12 students. The program’s ultimate goal is to increase diversity in the conservation science field. As co-founder, Diana developed environmental education programs and bilingual scientific posts; currently, she mentors incoming members.
Now one year into her master’s degree at UM SEAS, Diana continues her work at Ciencia Para Todos and is involved in her new community of Ann Arbor. One of her most memorable experiences was being part of Feria de la Ciencias, where she led a bilingual program on local urban wildlife alongside her peer.
Her second most memorable experience was working with a classmate to create a bilingual book for her grad school course, “EAS 501.119: Nature, Culture, and Landscape.” The book, titled “Ava & the Marine Magic Adventure / Ava y la aventura mágica marina,” tells a story about a shell.
Diana’s decision to come to UM SEAS was due to the diversity of backgrounds within the program and the support of the faculty. In addition, she is interested in learning about the beautiful Great Lakes area and urban/suburban ecosystems like Ann Arbor and giving back to her new community.