Esmeralda Hic is the Policy Fellow for the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). She collaborates with IMT’s community partners as they strive to develop community centered solutions to their energy needs and the climate crisis. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Earth System Science and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Chicano/Latino Studies from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in June 2020.
She is passionate about environmental justice and working with communities that face environmental inequity and hopes to use her degrees to problem solve issues in climate change science and social inequality. Her passion grew out of the environmental and social issues her community in the Coachella Valley, located in Southern California, faced during her upbringing, including pollution caused by the deterioration of the Salton Sea and income inequality caused by institutional barriers. She aims to work towards a future where access to a healthy environment is not just a privilege granted to those who have the social and political power to afford it but rather that everyone, regardless of race, income, ability, or gender, has access the the clean air, water, and land that they deserve.
At UCI, Esmeralda worked as a Community Resilience Projects Fellow alongside community leaders in Santa Ana, California on existing projects including a youth-led investigation on lead soil levels in the community, a food justice cooperative, and engagement between the university and the surrounding communities. She also worked under the Sustainability Resource Center on campus as the EarthReps pogram coordinator. During her undergraduate career she conducted research in an oceanography lab on the picophytoplankton communities of the Salton Sea.