Lexis Meza: Inspired to Educate

Nov. 4, 2022
Lexis smiling as she is at a look out point. The view behind her is of green mountains with snow at the tops and a large greenish blue lake.

What are you studying at the University of Arizona?
I am majoring in Organismal Biology with two minors. My minors are Latin American Studies and Educational Psychology.
How are you involved in Students for Sustainability, or SFS, on campus? 
Well, I am on the executive board of Students for Sustainability as the co-chair of the educational outreach committee. As the co-chair of the outreach committee I coordinate with other organizations, coordinate events across Tucson, create Instagram content, and help plan the Spring Environmental Summit. Two of my favorite educational outreach events we have are volunteering at the Cooper Center and science night at Ironwood Elementary School. Both of these events are coming up so make sure to stay tuned for details on the SFS Instagram account. 

What other environmental organizations or programs are you a part of at our university? 
I am the Earth Grant Program Assistant, a Bio/Diversity Project Intern, and a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar. Earth Grant is an experiential educational initiative through the Arizona Institute of Resilient Environments & Societies where we assign students internships in their field of interests and meet in class once a week. In my role as Program Assistant I co-facilitate in the classroom, run the Instagram account, and do other communications work. As a Bio/Diversity Intern I have the opportunity to teach 7th graders once a week about place-based environmental science in the Sonoran Desert. I love this internship because I get to know the kids and to teach students about their environment! 

Can you tell me a little bit more about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholar Program? 
Yes, of course. The Doris Duke Conservation Scholar Program is a two year fellowship where undergraduates of diverse backgrounds learn about biocultural conservation and different roles as a conservationist. As a Scholar I spent this past summer in Washington visiting different conservation sites and learning about what they do. My favorite part about the entire summer was my visit to Quinault Indian Nation! I am even more excited for this upcoming summer because we will be placed in different conservation internships across Washington. 

What are your key interests in sustainability?
I am mainly passionate about environmental education because of the lack of knowledge my community had growing up. I grew up in a predominantly Latino community where environmental science was non-existent. We barely even knew basic science materials. I noticed how the poor quality of environmental education was reflected in my community. You could just tell the nature around us was not well taken care of and no one cared. After graduation I hope to be an environmental educator that is more focused on community outreach, programming, and events so I can prevent this from happening to other communities in the future.