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Meet Our Scholars

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Ariadne Castaneda

University of California, Merced




Nineteen years ago, Ariadne's parents bought tickets to the US, a ticket any immigrant child knows brings expectations and aspirations beyond the American dream. Ariadne's parents were busy working multiple jobs, so Ariadne signed up for before and after-school programs, sports, clubs, and any place they might be watched and fed. Eventually, they grew a strong identity with public-school-provided food for students of low-income and underrepresented communities.

In high school, they participated in hours of community service across the Sacramento Area. This helped them find out that they like to help their community. In college, they learned about biology and ecology, food insecurity and deserts, climate change, and biopolitics creating generational cycles of sickness and poverty. They became determined to help solve these issues. Spring semester of 2021, they had the opportunity to work as a summer undergraduate research fellow and present their research on wolf spider ecology in the Stable Isotope Lab. The next year they worked in the University of California, Merced's Agroecology lab, and presented on nitrogen in Central Valley almond orchards. They want to continue their academic journey and enter graduate school to research, teach, and work towards a more sustainable, equitable, and healthier future.

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