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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Jessica Pearson, ERC ’01

Katie Johnson, Marshall ’00


Jessica Pearson, ERC ’01, confronts the practical problems of climate change every day. As a policy advisor to the director of the California ­Department of Water Resources, she focuses on the impact of climate change on the state’s water. Currently, she is examining possible solutions for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the hub of California’s water system, which has been hit hard by the drought.

Pearson both crafts and analyzes water and energy policy, and she says her experiences in ERC’s Making of the Modern World program and in the communication department helped her to hone the writing and critical thinking skills that she uses today.

Pearson lives in Sacramento with her husband, Tom, whom she met in Spain while studying abroad her junior year. Although she received her M.S. from UC Davis in 2005 and lives nearer to that campus, she says she still feels stronger ties to UCSD. And it was that Triton bond \that ­persuaded her to become a UCSD?Alumni Association life member.

During a business trip to San Diego in November,
she visited UCSD and was impressed by Scripps’ climate-change exhibit at the Birch Aquarium and the advancements in cancer research at the Salk Institute.

“In my world I often hear policymakers complain about how sometimes academics can seem out of touch with the frenetic pace of real-world decision-making,” she says. “However, it was clear from my brief visit that the work that UCSD is engaged in is having major impacts today.”

She says being on campus also triggered a certain level of nostalgia about the steep hills that she used to brave on her skateboard.

“It’s already hard to believe I had the guts to take some of those hills on my board,” she says. “I’m glad I lived to tell about it!”

This is the first in a series featuring the Alumni Association’s ­lifetime members. Join Jessica and thousands of others for as little as $45 per annum. For more information, visit alumni.ucsd.edu/membership.

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