Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alina Leticia Zárate (2024)

La Quinta Estacion/The Fifth Season: Elevating Farmworker Experiences and Expertise on Climate Change

The mission of this project is to combat farmworker disenfranchisement by dignifying their experiences, not just as a community disproportionately impacted by climate change, but also as experts and innovators within their evolving working and living conditions. Through environmental and farmworker justice educational and advocacy efforts, this project will validate farmworker knowledge by conducting interviews with workers who have toiled in the fields for at least a decade. These interviews will ask workers about the environmental changes they have experienced (i.e. heat, fire, pesticides, etc), how these changes have impacted their work and everyday lives, and what potential solutions or innovations are needed to improve working conditions moving forward. Farmworker testimonies will be compiled, along with interviews with growers and public health professionals, into a bilingual physical and digital educational booklet that will be distributed for free to farmworker communities, farmworker and environmental advocacy organizations, and academic institutions. Additionally, in collaboration with partners on this project, I will host a hybrid book talk to spark conversation between various agricultural stakeholders. Given that farmworkers have, historically, been excluded from conversations about global warming and sustainable agricultural adaptation, this project will introduce a more nuanced understanding of climate change impacts on the agricultural sector that incorporates farmworker voices


Alina Leticia Zárate is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley with simultaneous honors degrees in Environmental Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies Field and a minor in Spanish. In 2019, Alina worked in the California Central Valley interning for the United Farm Workers of America, an experience that fundamentally influenced her educational path. Since then, Alina has worked as a Vaccine Equity Campaign coordinator in the Bay Area, studied and conducted research in Chile and Australia, and participated in research projects and fellowships at UC Berkeley related to climate, sustainability, and labor rights. An activist and researcher, Alina is passionate about global climate and environmental justice issues and her future research seeks to address the intersection of environmental changes and farm labor within California agriculture.

Alina Zarate (Stronach 2024)
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