Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Peggy began her doctoral studies with the IoES in 2017 while working full-time at the City of Los Angeles as an environmental scientist. During her 16 years with the City, she helped inspire support for the creation of the LA Parks Foundation and the Griffith Park Wildlife Management Plan; co-founded Friends of the LAX Dunes (FOLD) by empowering community members (FOLD eventually became a partnership between The Bay Foundation and LA World Airports (LAWA)) and an internal partnership between the LA Zoo and LAWA that is enabling the gradual removal of invasive weeds from the 307-acre El Segundo Blue Butterfly Reserve; spearheaded agency- and city-wide business process/capital improvement program/project management training/design and technical standard/policy improvements in support of climate adaptation, biodiversity conservation and enhancement, and environmental justice; helped with the development and measurement of the City’s Biodiversity Index; and worked with the sanitation industry to advocate for federal and state pollution source reduction solutions and funding. During her solutions course with LA Sanitation and Environment, she developed biodiversity policy recommendations that address environmental justice and climate adaptation priorities; a set of nature planning tools for city planners, landscape design professionals, restoration ecologists, and community members that are being integrated into City planning resources; and worked with City and University geospatial technology staff to collaboratively test technological solutions and build capacity for performing complex analysis needed to support data-based biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation decision-making.
For her residency, Peggy Nguyen is working as a senior environmental specialist at the CalEPA Department of Toxic Substances Control where she will support Governor Newsom’s Cleaning-up Vulnerable Communities Initiative in workforce development and contaminated site identification and cleanup efforts in vulnerable communities.
Peggy Nguyen earned a M.S. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Ed. from UCLA, and a Graduate Academic Certificate in Restoration Ecology from the University of Idaho. She completed her science/math foundational coursework at Harvard University as a pre-med, and earned a B.A. in Psychobiology/Psychology.
Her interest in environmental science and engineering is broadly interdisciplinary and deep, and she hopes to continue to dive deep during her doctoral studies and work on interesting interdisciplinary project teams to help to put in service to the public the best available integrated policy, science, environmental management and engineering and technological solutions for challenging environmental problems.