Joan Chimezie

Graduate Student


Pronouns: She/her/hers

Joan, born and bred in Nigeria, earned her B.S. in Botany from the University of Lagos. Motivated by a desire to engage directly with environmental science, she embarked on a career as an Environmental Consultant/Scientist following her undergraduate studies. Over two years in this role, Joan gained invaluable hands-on experience in environmental planning, impact assessment, management, monitoring, and audit across diverse sectors including power, maritime, and oil & gas industries in Nigeria. During her consultancy career, she developed and implemented ESG strategies that align with global sustainability goals for the projects she handled. While implementing these strategies, she was also involved in identifying and creating solutions that address environmental and socioeconomic challenges.

Driven by a profound desire to understand climate change and its effects on both humans and the environment, Joan moved thousands of miles to the US to pursue a master’s program in Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research looked into the intricate relationship between past climates, human activity, wildfires, and vegetation dynamics. Building upon her foundational knowledge, Joan embarked on a doctoral program at UCLA in Geography, where she presently investigates the historical impacts of climate change on California wildfires spanning thousands of years. She is a member of the National Science Policy Network and her research interests involve identifying policies aimed at mitigating these environmental threats. 

Through her academic and professional endeavors, Joan looks to the future, embodying a steadfast and ever-evolving commitment to understanding and addressing the complexities of environmental challenges on both local and global scales. With contagious enthusiasm and a profound love for her field, she continuously seeks new opportunities to expand her knowledge and make a lasting impact to passionately preserving and protecting our planet.