California State University Channel Islands
Alexis Alcala is an undergraduate Chemistry student at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI). Her experiences with programs like the China-U.S. Rising Star Study Tour and the UCSB-Smithsonian Scholars program have influenced her to pursue a career in conservation and science communication. With support from the UCSB-Smithsonian Scholars Program, Alexis connected with Dr. Jesús Maldonado and completed an internship with him at the Center for Conservation Genomics (CCG) located inside the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. During her internship, she conducted research on the population genetics of the endangered San Joaquin Valley kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) and is excited to share this research during the Earth Optimism Digital Summit!
Currently, Alexis works for the Student Academic Success and Equity Initiatives Department at CSUCI as a lead STEM outreach mentor in her community. She is also actively involved in the Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program (LSAMP) and the Society for Advancement for Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) on campus. Next year, Alexis plans to apply to graduate school, where she hopes to pursue research on the biogeochemistry of interactions between plants and the Earth’s atmosphere.