Blum Summer Field Internship

The Blum Summer Field Internship was established in 2014, with generous funding from Regent Richard C. Blum and the UC Office of the President, to enable UCSD undergraduates from across disciplines to participate in immersive, supervised, team-based field research in the UCSD Community Stations, located across the San Diego / Tijuana border region. In 2016, the internship was expanded to include students each year from our sister UC Campuses.

The Blum Summer Field Internship is supported by the UCSD Frontiers in Innovation Scholars program, Strategic Energy Innovations, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Successful applicants receive a $3,000 stipend. The internship runs 9 weeks late June to late August. Students work in supervised interdisciplinary teams, investigating a variety of challenges, and participate in ongoing collaborative projects in the UCSD Community Stations, on such issues as:

  • Health, illness and wellbeing
  • Public space development and programming
  • Youth leadership
  • Environmental education and climate action
  • Engineering and technical problem solving
  • Human rights and social justice
  • Arts and culture as agent of community capacity building
  • At present, students from the following 13 interdisciplinary majors, minors and programs across the UCSD campus are eligible to apply for the Blum Summer Field Internship:

    1. Global TIES (JSOE)
    2. The Global Health major / minor
    3. The Human Rights minor
    4. The Sixth College practicum
    5. The Public Service minor (based in Thurgood Marshall College)
    6. Partners at Learning (Education Studies)
    7. The Urban Studies and Planning major
    8. The Earth Sciences major (in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
    9. Environmental Systems major (in the Division of Physical Sciences)
    10. B.S. in Public Health (in the UCSD School of Medicine)
    11. Structural Engineering (JSOE)
    12. Public Culture (majors and minors in the Arts & Humanities Division who are committed to the intersection of arts / culture / humanities and public life, particularly in marginalized communities)
    13. Intersectional Health Project San Diego

    We occasionally admit particularly well-suited students from other disciplines and backgrounds. Since 2016, we also welcome several students each summer from across the UC system, through the generous support of the University of California Office of the President and the University of California Blum Network. We provide UC Interns with a $3,000 stipend and arrange living accommodations with local families for the length of the internship.


    BSFI 2014 Interns in Tijuana



    Summer Field Coordinators
    Postdocs and Graduate Students serve as Researchers and Field Coordinators for the Blum Summer Field Internship. Here, the 2015-6 cohort in our campus lab (l to r): Camille Campion, Postdoc (Communications, Center on Global Justice, UCSD); Kristen Goodrich, PhD Student (Social Ecology, UC-Irvine); Marta Jankowska, Postdoc (Public Health, Center on Global Justice, UCSD); Kyle Haines, PhD Student (Political Science, UCSD); Andrew Sturm, MFA Student (Visual Arts, UCSD); Elizabeth Chaney, MFA (Visual Arts, UCSD)



    The BLUM Public Scholars program, launched in 2013-14, provides stipends to community leader-scholars to participate in campus research and teaching, and to assist with the development of the Blum Summer Field Internship and Community Stations projects.

    The program brings well-respected community-based leaders to campus for an academic year to engage with faculty and students, co-teach courses, lead workshops, and find other innovative ways of sharing their community-based experiences and knowledges. Likewise, during the period of the award, their community-based organizations become a focus of campus research and resource exchange, an extension of the traditional classroom, a site of experiential learning and community engagement for UCSD faculty and students.


    2017-2018 PUBLIC SCHOLARS

    Rebeca Ramírez, Directora, Organización de Colonos de la Divina Providencia, A.C.


    2016-2017 PUBLIC SCHOLARS

    Ana Xochilt Eguiarte, binational liason at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

    Ana Xochilt Eguiarte has been working in flood-prone Los Laureles Canyon for 8 years. A graduate of COLEF’s Masters in Integral Administration of the Environment (MAIA, en español) program, she’s tackled such projects as using hundreds of tires dumped in the watershed to build retaining walls on badly eroding hillsides.


    2015-2016 PUBLIC SCHOLARS


    Eva Sanchez, Resident, Terrazas de San Bernardo

    Eva Sanchez is a resident of Terrazas de San Bernardo in the Los Laureles canyon, and has been a committed community leader for many years, working to improve the quality of life in her neighborhood.


    Lisa Cuestas, Casa Familiar

    Lisa Cuestas has worked for Casa Familiar for nearly 17 years, and is experienced in the nonprofit sector for almost 20 years. Her service work began as a volunteer in her hometown of Tucson, AZ at a transitional home for abused and neglected children in 1998. Lisa moved to San Ysidro, CA at the age of 19 and started as a volunteer at a local nonprofit, Casa Familiar, which lead to her opportunity to coordinate and develop activities and projects for youth. Her career has grown and come full circle at Casa Familiar now serving as CEO, seventeen years later. She was honored to accept this role and responsibility and eager to continue the mission of Casa Familiar and improve the quality of life for San Ysidro & South Bay residents.


    2014-2015 PUBLIC SCHOLARS


    Veverly Anderson, Town & Country Learning Center

    For more than twenty years, San Diego Community Housing Corporation (SDCHC) Community Coordinator and Town & Country Village Learning Center Youth Program Coordinator, Ms. Veverly Elizabeth Anderson, has devoted her professional career and a great deal of her personal life towards bettering the lives and circumstances of underprivileged youth in the impoverished neighborhoods of southeast San Diego and the surrounding communities.
A native of the Watts, a suburb of Los Angeles, California, Anderson’s upbringing plays a crucial part in her ability to understand the problems faced by today’s youth and her capacity to relate to them on an individual level.
Among her many accomplishments, Veverly has been instrumental in successfully partnering with the University of California, San Diego, to provide student to student educational reinforcements for the youth of Town & Country.
Ms. Anderson was one of the KPBS local hero’s for Black history month 2011.


    Patrice Baker, Groundworks San Diego

    Patrice Baker grew up in Southeastern San Diego, and earned her BS/BM degree from the University of Phoenix as well as her Master’s in Master’s in Organizational Leadership. After retiring from Pacific Bell, Patrice started a professional speaking business a completed training with the San Diego Mediation Center. She was a Parent Instructor for the Center for Parent Involvement for Education; a Mentor for the Training, Education & Services Program – CALWORKS run by San Diego City Schools; a contract trainer for an international seminar company, and Community Outreach Coordinator for Harmonious Solutions organization. Her community involvement includes: District Advisory Council member, and program facilitator for African American Excellence for Males program at Penn Elementary School; Vice President of National Black Child Development Institute – San Diego Chapter; Co-presenter of Mediation & Diversity in Mediation workshops for the Southern California Mediation Association Annual Conference; Facilitator/Advisory Board for Foster-King Dance Collection, and member of the Board of Managers with the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA.


    David Flores, Casa Familiar

    David Flores is the Community Development Officer at Casa Familiar, Inc. a San Ysidro nonprofit with 42 years of service, housing, economic development and arts and culture provision for San Diego’s South Bay and Border region. With a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona, Flores has over 15 years of working with underserved, disadvantaged communities. Flores leads the community/urban planning and civic engagement at Casa Familiar with issues revolving around the built environment, affordable housing development, art and cultural development, advocacy for equitable infrastructure and environmental justice. He also organizes and directs the community forum called “San Ysidro – Sin Limites/Unlimited” that was created (in January 2002) to discuss housing and community development issues. In addition, he assists with evaluating all of the Casa Familiar facilities for improvements through identifying funding sources, contracting and directing the upgrade/rehabilitation work. Flores successfully designed and developed Casa Familiar’s Art and Culture Gallery, called The FRONT, that opened the only community art gallery in South San Diego in 2007 and continues with great success to the present day. He is a past Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and he has served on three U.S. GSA Art in Architecture Panels to select artist for the Otay Mesa & San Ysidro Ports of Entry. He has served on the Chula Vista Redevelopment Board as a Director (2009-10), and The San Ysidro Community Planning Group (2000-2009 and 2010 to Present). Email:


    Jennifer Hazard, Alter Terra

    Alter Terra Co-director Jennifer Hazard is an experienced environmental planner, project manager, public relations coordinator, grant writer, and presenter. She is recognized by peers and decision makers in the San Diego-Tijuana Border Region as an innovator in coastal wetland conservation and community capacity building. Ms. Hazard received her credentials in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego.


    2013-2014 PUBLIC SCHOLARS


    Oscar Romo, Alter Terra

    Oscar Romo, Ph.D., is a former United Nations diplomat and now the watershed coordinator at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve and lecturer at the UCSD Urban Studies and Planning Program. Romo serves as a delegate to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development; participates as a co-chair of the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission Citizens Forum, the U.S. EPA Border 2012 Water Task Force and the Tijuana River Recovery Team Bi-national Task Force. In Mexico, Romo is a member of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, Baja California Task Force; the City of Tijuana Urban Planning and Ecology SubCommittee; and serves as projects coordinator for the Los Laureles Watershed Council. He is also an advisor to the Baja California State Assemby. On April 2007, Romo was recognized as one of the Environmentalists of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and in 2009 received the Visionary Award from the Urban Land Institute. Romo got his academic credentials in Architecture from La Salle University in Mexico, Urban Studies and Social Housing from the Complutense University and the National Institute for Social Housing in Spain, and Environmental Sciences from La Salle University in Louisiana. Email:


    Andrea Skorepa, Casa Familiar

    Andrea has served as Chief Executive Officer of CASA FAMILIAR since 1980 and is a native San Ysidran. She is directly responsible for the overall administration of the agency's programs, budget and staff. Andrea's experience as a community organizer, Planning Commissioner, founder and Board Chair of the City of San Diego's "Citizen Advisory Board on Police/Community Relations", Mayor's Latino Advisory Committee, ACLU, Chicano Executives Committee, A.I.A. Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team, San Diego Repertory Theater, and a multitude of other community-based activities, boards and commissions on behalf of the community has created a very unique and multi-faceted non-profit in Casa Familiar. She is a force and leader in the development of the Latino community that spearheads efforts for community sustainability, equality and innovation across all fields. She was recently recognized by San Diego State University's President, Dr. Steven Weber, with a lifetime achievement award from her Alma mater.


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    Regent Richard C. Blum visits the Blum Summer Field Interns in Fall 2014.