In Spotlights

Joyce Ganthavorn – Environmental Professional

Joyce Ganthavorn graduated from U.C. Riverside with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. She has worked on several environmental projects which includes reducing SFUSD’s water usage and diverting waste from university events. For the past few years Joyce has been working as a community organizer to create policy change through local elections and community engagement. She currently sits on the Board of Director as the WEN Secretary and as a member of the Membership and Events Committee.

How did you become interested in environmental work?

My passion for the environment is something that is deeply ingrained in me for as long as I can remember. From elementary school to high school, I would stay behind after school to help collect recycling materials from classrooms. Overtime my interest in conservation grew. I became especially interested in the topic when I learned about the connection of the environment to community and women. I decided in college that I would major in this field and focus my career in targeting environmental issues. I realized that by solving environmental problems, we will be able to solve many other problems our community currently faces.

What environmental issues are of most concern to you?

The incredible (and terrifying) thing about the environment is that it affects everyone. Environmental issues go beyond climate change and sea level rise. It impacts our community and the quality of life we are able to have. One of the major risks is the disconnect we have from the environment. This disconnect leads to the overconsumption of resources and the waste and pollution that results from it. To solve this problem, we must engage our community so that people are educated about the environmental impacts of their decisions and lifestyle.

What do you think are some challenges and opportunities facing women in the environmental movement today?

Unfortunately environmental issues impact women more directly, especially in regions of poverty. When we look at communities where environmental degradation is apparent, women are often the ones paying the most for it. This is why it is vital that women play a direct role in combating environmental problems. Women hold the key to creating change. When we uplift women and girls, we in turn help the environment. The great news is that this is already happening. With the rise of women, we are making significant progress in developing women leaders.

What are your suggestions on how WEN members can become more involved in your sector and the environmental movement?

Constantly continue to learn more. Be proactive and network so that you get to know more people in the field. Most importantly, get involved and take action. Change is created by you.