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Fellowship experience: Peter Jones L’20

December 10, 2021

Jones is a Catalyst Fellow at the Environmental Defense Center.

Q: Tell us about your fellowship, including where you’re working, the problems that you’re responding to, and the goals of your project.

A: I’ve been working for the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), the only nonprofit law firm between Los Angeles and San Francisco working to protect community health, the local environment, and our climate.

EDC represents other nonprofit organizations in open space preservation, protection of endangered species and their habitat, clean air and water, and a transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy that is properly sited with the least impacts to our environment. My projects are centered around protecting the clean air and water of vulnerable ecologies/communities. We’ve been able to focus on clean water standards related to petroleum extraction in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Q: How did your experiences before and during law school lead you to this project or public interest generally?

A: I always enjoyed walking through nature and wondered if the privilege would be afforded to generations after me. During law school, I realized that Environmental Law gave me a chance to use my analytical background to enhance the public’s legal efforts in preserving both nature and the health and well-being of communities. After that realization, the decision to follow this path was an easy one.

Q: Thus far, what accomplishment during your fellowship are you most proud of?

A: My proudest accomplishment is analyzing scientific reports with another staff member to enhance an agency request, which has had profound implications for maintaining the water quality of the Santa Barbara Channel. Through our efforts, we were able to protect an especially vulnerable and complex marine ecosystem.

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