OURS National Scholarships

Junior Tiffany Mar Selected as Udall Scholar for Environmental Work

Tiffany Mar (’25, Society & Environment) has been awarded the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship, which provides $7,000 for educational expenses to 55 outstanding sophomores and juniors who either study the environment and related fields or are Native Americans or Alaska Natives in fields related to health care or tribal public policy. The scholarship was established to recognize students who embody the values of civility, integrity, and consensus exemplified by brothers Morris and Stewart Udall, whose public service careers in the U.S. Government dominated environmental reform for thirty years.

Tiffany, who also received the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship as a sophomore, plans to work for a government agency, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for a year after graduating from Cal. She will then pursue a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies and conduct research on climate technology, utilizing satellite data and remote sensing technologies to inform the public about climate change and protect both people and ecosystems. By pursuing a career centered around data, society, and the environment, Tiffany hopes to foster a more informed society that is capable of responding to changes in the climate and understanding its impacts on communities and public health. She envisions her research as a bridge between cutting-edge Earth science technology and practical application in society, working with community partners to adapt and apply scientific tools to address their needs. 

After joining California Youth for Climate in high school, Tiffany experienced how direct action can affect policy, and how being involved with others who share a passion for a cause creates friendships. She has helped foster this kind of strong eco-community since setting foot on the Berkeley campus as a freshman and has had an enormous impact on the Cal community’s awareness of and engagement with environmental issues. In recognition of her sustained involvement in The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) and the Zero Waste Coalition (ZWC), she is a three-time recipient of the Berkeley Leadership Award, which recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate innovative, initiative-driven leadership impacting their academic, work, or community environments. TGIF awards more than $300,000 annually to students, faculty, and staff for their sustainability initiatives on campus, such as the Sustainable Menstrual Products Program (SMPP). 

Tiffany has been particularly active in fostering collaboration within Berkeley’s zero-waste community, bringing together student representatives from siloed organizations across campus who are involved in zero-waste work. She is particularly proud of initiating the SMPP under the ZWC, whose goal is to address the financial and educational barriers facing menstruators who want to switch to sustainable menstrual products. After coming up with a research plan, Tiffany secured funding from The Berkeley Changemaker Program and engaged campus partners, such as University Health Services and the Basic Needs Center, to expand the pilot project into a campuswide program with TGIF funding. She credits Carli Baker (TGIF and Sustainability Initiatives Operations Manager) with teaching her by example what community-based leadership looks like. 

Tiffany’s research and internship experience are multiple and varied, from her work in Berkeley’s Disaster Lab developing a survey to understand resident perspectives on wildfire risk to participating in the Keenan Group’s Nature-Based Climate Solutions (NBCS) project to quantify the impact of NBCS on climate change mitigation. As an intern with NASA’s DEVELOP Program, she created an Evacuation Difficulty Score that uses an Environmental Justice (EJ) framework to identify vulnerable communities in Marin County, and she developed a body of work analyzing the critical intersections of climate, gender, and racial justice in the U.S. as an Intersectional Research Fellow for Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA).

This summer, Tiffany will be using her GIS and programming skills in a NOAA coral identification project. She is excited to develop skills to use on her senior honor thesis. She looks forward to meeting the other Udall Scholars in the 2024 cohort at their orientation event in August. 

Opportunities like the Udall and Hollings Scholarships are intensely competitive, but Tiffany encourages students to “go for it” and apply. “Start early, meet with Berkeley’s scholarship advisors, and tell your story!” 

For more information about the Udall Scholarship and other nationally competitive scholarships, please visit the website of UC Berkeley’s National Scholarships & Experiential Fellowships Office.