Rausser College of Natural Resources Spring 2024 Commencement

The Rausser College of Natural Resources will host the Spring 2024 Commencement on Monday, May 13th, at 7pm at the Hearst Greek Theatre.  The Commencement ceremony will include graduate and undergraduate students from the following departments: Agricultural & Resource Economics, Environmental Science, Policy & Management, Nutritional Sciences & Toxciology, and Plant & Microbial Biology. 

Undergraduate majors include:

  • Conservation & Resource Studies
  • Ecosystem Management & Forestry
  • Environmental Economics & Policy
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Genetics & Plant Biology
  • Microbial Biology
  • Molecular Environmental Biology
  • Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics
  • Nutritional Sciences - Physiology & Metabolism
  • Nutritional Sciences - Toxicology
  • Society & Environment 

Graduate programs include:

  • Agricultural & Resource Economics, PhD
  • Comparative Biochemistry, PhD
  • Endocrinology, PhD
  • Environmental Science, Policy & Management, PhD
  • Metabolic Biology, PhD
  • Microbiology, PhD
  • Plant Biology, PhD
  • Forestry, MF
  • Rangeland & Wildlife Management, MS

The Energy & Resource Group will host a separate, intimate ceremony for their students on Friday, May 10th, at the Alumni House.  It is by invitation only.  Please reach out to ergdesk@berkeley.edu if you would like to attend or want more information.

All Rausser students who graduated or will graduate in the following semesters are invited to participate:

  • Summer 2023
  • Fall 2023
  • Spring 2024
  • Summer 2024
  • Fall 2024

Students who participated in the Spring 2023 ceremony are not eligible to participate in the Spring 2024 ceremony.

If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) or information about campus mobility access features in order to fully participate in this event, please fill out the following Accommodation Request form by Friday, May 3rd.

We encourage you to allot extra time to travel around campus. The City of Berkeley has a number of construction projects on the southside of the campus that will impact traffic during the week of graduations. Lane closures, detours, and possible traffic delays on Bancroft (Piedmont to Shattuck) and Fulton (Bancroft to Dwight) as part of the Southside Complete Streets Project. Temporary removal of on-street parking, relocation of bus stops, and rerouting of bike lanes on Bancroft. See more details on the project page, under “Construction Schedule.”

Additional ceremony information can be found at the links below:

Ticketing Information
Student Information
Guest Information

Please direct any questions to commencement.rcnr@berkeley.edu.  

Keynote Speaker: Isaias Hernandez

Isaias Hernandez is an educator and creative devoted to improving environmental literacy through content creation, storytelling, and public engagements. Isaias was born in Los Angeles, California, where he grew up in poverty, was a recipient of food stamps, and lived in a community that had a lack of access to clean air. These firsthand experiences are where he’d eventually find his passion for the environment, justice and equity. As Isaias witnessed the ways pollution affected his body and community, he turned his anger and sadness into a solution: creating environmental education that would prioritize accessibility and intersectionality. Isaias earned his B.S. in Environmental Science at the University of California, Berkeley in 2018.
Isaias is more commonly known by his moniker, Queer Brown Vegan: the independent media platform he started to bring intersectional environmental education to all. His journey to deconstruct complex issues, while centering diversity and authenticity, has resonated with a worldwide audience. He also collaborates with other leaders from the private and public sectors to uplift and produce stories of change for his independent web series, Sustainable Jobs and Teaching Climate Together. Through his platform, Isaias has been able to interview notable figures such as VP Kamala Harris, Billie Eilish, and Dolores Huerta. His work has been featured in several noteworthy publications, including VOGUE, New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Guardian.

Isaias is based in Los Angeles, working as a full-time content creator, public speaker, and connecting to ecological wealth.
Abi Shiva

Undergraduate Student Speaker: Abi Shiva

Abi Shiva is a proud Berkeley graduate, earning dual degrees in Environmental Sciences and Legal Studies with high distinction. He is a consistent Dean’s List honoree, maintaining a near-perfect GPA across both the College of Natural Resources and the College of Letters and Sciences.

At Berkeley, Abi has been an enthusiastic leader and participant in various academic and extracurricular activities. He presided over BEACN, Berkeley’s Environmental Consulting Group, managing a team of 50 students and spearheading projects with major organizations like Dell Technologies, Intel, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. His commitment also extended to competing with the Cal Mock Trial team and coaching Speech and Debate at two local high schools. Beyond his academic and leadership roles, Abi is musically inclined, playing classical percussion and guitar.

Post-graduation, Abi will embark on a series of international research and travel endeavors, including a summer at the University of Oxford studying International Environmental Law, followed by conservation work in Sri Lanka. He is set to join Bain & Company early next year, focusing on energy and natural resources consulting. With aspirations to practice environmental and energy law, Abi plans to continue his education in law school, aiming to influence and innovate in the field of environmental policy and sustainability.


College Awards


Departmental Citations

Departmental Citations are given in recognition of distinguished
undergraduate work by the department bestowing this award.
  • Agricultural & Resource Economics: Lanie Goldberg
  • Environmental Science, Policy, & Management: Alina Leticia Zarate
  • Plant & Microbial Biology: Xinyin Lu
  • Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology: Maggie Cheng

Major Citations

Awarded to the top graduating senior in each major.
  • Conservation & Resource Studies: Rachel Whiteside
  • Ecosystem Management & Forestry: Anya Cutter
  • Environmental Economics & Policy: Tia Pappas
  • Environmental Sciences: Alina Leticia Zarate
  • Genetics & Plant Biology: Xinyin Lu
  • Microbial Biology: Ishaan Dureja
  • Molecular Environmental Biology: Aunnesha Bhowmick
  • Nutritional Sciences-Dietetics: Lola Yasin
  • Nutritional Sciences-Physiology & Metabolism: Maggie Cheng
  • Society & Environment: Marta Tobar

Kenneth L. Babcock Prize in Environmental Science

Awarded to outstanding graduating seniors in the field of Environmental Science.
  • Jade Marum, Environmental Sciences
  • Yiyan Hao, Molecular Environmental Biology
  • Vivian Lee, Molecular Environmental Biology


Livestream of RCNR Commencement Ceremony

Note: As of May 16, the recording of the Rausser College commencement livestream is currently being captioned and will be available soon.