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Bioregional Team

  • Keith Pezzoli, PhD

    Keith Pezzoli, PhD

    Director of the Bioregional Center

    Keith Pezzoli teaches courses focused on Food Justice, Science Communication, Sustainable Development, Urban World Systems, and Field Research Methods. He earned his Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA, and a BA in Psychology/Environmental Design from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His books, published and in progress, include: Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability: The Case of Mexico City (2000, MIT Press); The Bioregional Transition (in progress), and Doing Civically Engaged Research (in progress, with Dr. William Oswald). And he is actively engaged in UC Office of the President Initiatives focused on Global Food, Climate and Mexico. He is currently co-leading the UCAlianzaMX Cali-Baja Bioregional Plan Initiative 2023-2024.

  • Leslie R. Lewis, PhD, MPH

    Leslie R. Lewis, PhD, MPH

    Director of Urban Health and Equity Initiatives

    Leslie R Lewis, Ph.D, MPH, is a Continuing Lecturer, and the Director of Urban Health and Equity Initiatives in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at UC San Diego. Dr. Lewis' research interests include the social, environmental, and structural determinants of health, systems of inequality and their health impacts across the lifecourse, social and religious activisms, critical medical anthropology, healthy placemaking, and community-based participatory action research. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Lewis is active with students and communities, both locally and internationally.  She is the founder and Director of the Community Hope Project, an all-volunteer run, non-profit organization that works to create conditions that foster peace, justice, health, wellbeing and resilient, inclusive communities.  She directs the Youth Scholar Activist Program, which unites high school students from San Diego with UC San Diego undergraduates for collaborative learning, critical analysis, leadership development and activities that promote social and environmental justice across local and international communities.  Dr. Lewis is also Co-Director of the Life Course Scholar Program, an interdisciplinary, cross-generational, multi-site learning experience for UC San Diego undergraduates aimed at transforming their understanding of aging, health, learning and research while connecting them more deeply to the “people and places” of surrounding San Diego communities.

  • Angelina Lopez, BA

    Angelina Lopez, BA

    Research and Engagement Facilitator

    Angelina Lopez serves as the Research and Community Engagement Facilitator at the Bioregional Center. They have 2 years of experience in complex research project coordination and grant writing for community-engaged, nature-based climate solutions. They bring a strong analytical perspective to environmental advocacy that centers the voices and power of marginalized identities and communities. Their passion lies within the civically engaged fight for a just and equitable transition to greater climate action, adaptation, and solutions. 

  • Haley Kawar, BS

    Haley Kawar, BS

    Communication and Wellbeing Facilitator

    Haley Kawar serves as the Communication and Wellbeing Facilitator at the Bioregional Center. She has experience in conducting research on the psychology of the climate crisis, organizing educational opportunities, and grant writing for community-focused, nature-based climate solutions. She is passionate about agroecology, data justice, practicing creativity, and working with people.

  • Joey Kaminsky, BS

    Joey Kaminsky, BS

    Undergraduate Data Analytics Specialist

    Joey Kaminsky serves as the Data Analytics Specialist at the Bioregional Center. He helps facilitate data curation and leverages data algorithms and machine learning to deliver insights on geospatial and environmental data. Joey serves as the technical assistant for any tech- or data-related situations. He has experience in leading data curation efforts both within UCSD and in the surrounding San Diego community, mapping geospatial data in ArcGIS, delivering insights on data via Python and SQL, and assisting in web design.