Save my PhD & fight climate change!

I'm a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley, and I need your help to save my Ph.D.  My research focuses on forest response to climate change in the tropics, and recently my research equipment was stolen and destroyed. I can't continue my research without your help. Read the story below---


My research has been based in the Andean-Amazon transition zone in Peru, a special area where the flora and fauna of the Andes meet the Amazon basin. This area is special for its tremendous biodiversity, rare habitat types, and unique species. It is also threatened by climate change with rising temperatures and a rising cloud base causing increased droughts in this area. I study how forests will respond to this climate change, and more specifically how tropical trees will respond to drought.
 
A few months ago I was at one of my field sites in Peru when a group of 15-20 armed and masked men stormed our field station and held us hostage for several hours. It was around 9pm when they showed up and forced me out of my room with a gun pressed against my head. They put me in a room with the rest of the station members and kept us there all night while they robbed cars and trucks driving by on the road. When they finally left at 4:30am, I went back to my room and found that my computer was stolen.

Despite this, I managed to continue my research. However, a couple of months later, more bad news came. The room that stored all of our equipment had burnt down.


While having my computer stolen was a big setback, having this room burn down has been a show stopper for me. I easily lost over $8,000 of my own, personal funds in that fire. Stored in that room was everything from thousands of dollars of research equipment (bought using my personal funds) to my field clothes (backpack, hiking pants, hiking boots--everything).

As the Trump administration cuts funding for scientific research, the pools of grant money to fund science has gotten smaller and smaller, and research grants have gotten harder to get. While UC Berkeley is a fantastic school, and my department is one of the best in the world, we are still poorly funded by the state and federal government. Our school has even been in the news this year for their famously bad mismanagement and embezzling of funds. There are no funds I can apply for within our department to replace this kind of loss, and my advisor has helped me all that he can, but it still doesn't scratch the surface. 

I'm halfway through my Ph.D. and my time and fellowship funding (which pays for my school fees) are running out. It's hard to ask for help, but I'm here to ask for yours because without this I might not be able to finish my Ph.D. and continue this important research. Any help you can give, even a few dollars is tremendously appreciated. Thanks so much for considering donating!
  • Jonathan Acuña 
    • $50 
    • 49 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 49 mos
  • Doug Stuart 
    • $25 
    • 50 mos
  • C Topik 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
  • Caitlin Boas 
    • $40 
    • 50 mos
See all

Organizer

Roxy Cruz 
Organizer
Berkeley, CA
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