Rebbekah Castellanos

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As an Environmental Studies major at USC, I have learned about the relationship between humans and the environment by taking interdisciplinary classes that focus on sociology, politics, geography, and urban planning. I chose to minor in Spatial Studies because I began to realize the importance it serves in understanding climate change and the effect it will have on our planet. I recognize that the spatial mindset is also vital to addressing, mitigating, and adapting to natural disasters around the world. We are seeing unprecedented changes to the planet due to climate change, and I am excited to use GIS technology to critically analyze those changes to solve real-world problems.


After I graduate with my bachelors degree, I plan on pursuing a certificate or a masters degree in GIST so that I may enter into the field of urban planning. As a native to Los Angeles, I believe there exists a potential to make it a sustainable and environmentally-friendly city with opportunities for social equity. My desire is to be a change-maker on the frontlines of city planning - working alongside researchers, architects, non-profits, and politicians in order to bring positive change.


Lastly, I hope to use my spatial thinking and GIS skills for humanitarian efforts that help countries which are affected by climate-related disasters. During my studies at USC, I had the opportunity to volunteer with the SC Mappers organization where we utilized the OpenStreetMap platform to assist emergency responders with distributing aid to affected countries in Africa, South America, and Asia. This experience left me with a desire to continue working for relief efforts in the future and possibly conduct my own research at USC that focuses on building climate-change resiliency around the world.

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