Naftali Moed, an Environmental Policy and Planning student, holds a coveted spot in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading program, where students are offered opportunities to use the university’s physical spaces to gain real world environmental
Describe your day-to-day role as a student fellow.
My role as a student fellow is dynamic and often changes. My core responsibilities are Co-leading the Arboretum and Public Garden's (APG) team of landscape restoration interns and helping to develop and build capacity for the APG wide Learning by Leading program (which now includes over 60 student interns and employees). There are new tasks and challenges that present themselves each week-ranging from working to create ways to improve communication across all the different student programs to adapting to changing weather and field conditions each week for restoration projects. Above all else, I am a problem solver and collaborator who tries to work across all of our different teams to get things done efficiently and help to build the Learning by Leading program as it continues to grow and develop.
Tell us what you like best about UC Davis.
I love the community and sense of pride everyone on campus has about this place. I am always amazed that despite the different paths everyone – students, staff, and faculty – took to come to UC Davis, everyone here seems to have not only a deep sense of pride about their own work but also the campus as a whole. It really makes UC Davis such a great place to study and work and it is one of the reasons I chose to come to Davis over other universities.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is trying figure out how best our programs at the APG can serve both the students who work here and the greater campus community. As a student myself, I know how hard it can be to balance work, school and everything else. I strive to find ways to ensure that all the APG's student programs are set up to allow the students who participate to engage and contribute meaningfully to the organization while maintaining a balance with their other responsibilities. Ultimately, I try to do everything I can to help minimize the stress on my fellow student staff while empowering everyone to work efficiently. Striking that balance results in the best outcomes. I am always trying to improve the APG student intern/staff as well as visitor experience.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.
I have been a vegetarian for my entire life.
What are your plans after you leave UC Davis?
My plans are still not certain but I am hoping to find a job working with a public agency or nonprofit that works on restoring the landscape and promotes public access to open spaces.