“Both ‘information’ and ‘the environment’ are pervasive and all around us.”
Anu Thirunarayanan is a Conservation+Tech Fellow studying Data Science & Conservation and Resource Studies (CRS). Here, they discuss their enthusiasm for environmental justice and their passion for using technology, data, and media to connect people.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a junior studying Data Science & Conservation and Resource Studies in the Conservation and Tech track. I grew up in San Mateo, California, with my parents and younger sister. I am the kind of person that does everything with intention, so coming into college, I wanted to find the balance between sticking to my tried-and-true activities and bouncing around to try new things. In my free time, I like to consume LOTS of media: music, television, podcasts, articles, etc.
What do you study at Berkeley?
I am pursuing a simultaneous degree (also known as majors in two separate colleges at UC Berkeley) in Data Science at the College of Letters & Science and Conservation and Resource Studies at the College of Natural Resources.
I initially came to UC Berkeley as an applied mathematics major. Throughout high school, I’d grown interested in mathematical biology, mainly quantitative ecology and epidemiology. However, once I came to UC Berkeley, I realized that even the applied mathematics major was still incredibly theoretical — I wanted my areas of study to be more practical and interdisciplinary. So I took the time to reflect on my interests and principles. Consequently, I realized that I was instilled with the value that I needed to respect Earth growing up. I was simultaneously fascinated by the capacity of technology, data, and media to connect people worldwide. Thus, I decided to pursue my passions within both spaces.
My reason for why I continue to choose these majors every day is not the same as before, though. After taking INFO 188 — Behind the Data: Humans and Values, I became obsessed with data ethics. However, there were not …….