As part of the Texas Environmental Leadership Program, some of Houston’s brightest college students will be dedicating themselves to solving local environmental problems. The students will receive training in environmental advocacy.

Andrea Aramburu, a junior at The University of Texas at Austin, will work with Mothers for Clean Air on their “Ozone Theater” project, a program for students that uses a game to teach kids about air pollution. She has a double major in Latin American studies and anthropology, with a 4.0 GPA.

Joi Bartholomew, who will work with the Sierra Club on their efforts to clean up toxic waste sites in Houston, is a junior at Occidental College. She majors in diplomacy and world affairs, and has a religious studies minor. Joi has served as chair of the Black Student Alliance and has been involved with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Also at the Sierra Club is Thomas Zermeno, who studied communications at the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas. He will be working on conservation programs.

Emily Braid, a Rice freshman, will intern with a program in the Mayor’s Office of Health Policy to convert brownfields into parks. She majors in political science and environmental engineering sciences.

The Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention is hosting several interns: Rice freshman Kevin Daly, a chemical engineering student, will conduct research industrial sources of air pollution; Claire Krebs, a freshman mechanical engineering major at Rice, will evaluate leak detection and repair programs for GHASP; and Nigeria-born Akonyewehe Eluma, currently a candidate for an LLM at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, will use her legal background to assist GHASP in several ways, including reviewing TCEQ permits.

Rice junior Katherine Chang, who is studying English and kinesiology, has volunteered as an emergency medical technician at Rice. Her interest in the crossover between medicine and environmental issues led her to intern at Baylor College of Medicine’s Chronic Disease Prevention Research and Control Center, Environmental Health section.

Billie Haggarty, a psychology and anthropology double major at the University of Houston, will work with the Houston Audubon Society in their bird sanctuary.

The program is a project of the TexPIRG Education Fund and the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. Learn more about the program at the program website.