As the analyst for the UCLA Office of Sustainability, Denita assists with the development and coordination of programs to support all initiatives towards making UCLA a leader in sustainability. She collects and analyzes sustainability data and assists in making this data accessible to the UCLA community. Denita manages the UCLA Sustainability website and newsletter and develops educational materials for a variety of sustainability topics. She has also been an integral part of developing strategies and resources to implement UCLA’s Single-Use Plastics Policy.
Denita is a UCLA undergraduate alum who was the director of the Sustainability Action Research (SAR) program during her time as a student. She managed and supported the teams who worked on a variety of research projects to tackle sustainability issues on campus. Prior to becoming director, she was the leader of the energy team that aimed to research energy efficiency at the John Wooden Center. With her team, she performed observational studies, conducted student surveys, and gathered quantitative data to provide insight on how Wooden could reduce their energy consumption.
As an Environmental Science major with a concentration in conservation biology, Denita did her senior practicum project on tidepool restoration in the Palos Verdes intertidal zones. She researched species diversity, abundance, and water quality and provided management recommendations to The Bay Foundation. You can read more about her team’s fieldwork expeditions here. This passion for water-related issues came from her time as a Watershed Education Intern at Heal the Bay. She later went on to teach an undergraduate seminar class through the Undergraduate Student Initiated Education (USIE) program. Her class centered on water quality and supply in Los Angeles and provided students with strategies to help mitigate water-related issues in their daily lives.
Prior to returning to UCLA, Denita worked as a Senior Project Coordinator for an energy consulting firm called Partner Energy. She was the leader of the utility data team where she managed data collection and processing for thousands of multifamily energy audit reports. She aspires to use her experiences in professional consulting, research, and data analysis to develop an organized system for data reporting for the Office of Sustainability. Denita also hopes to support students who are interested in sustainability and give back to the community that fostered her love for the environment.
In her spare time, you can find Denita skateboarding around campus or on the volleyball courts.