Student spotlight: Tyler Barzee, BAE PhD student with numerous fellowships

BAE PhD student Tyler Barzee
BAE PhD student Tyler Barzee

Tyler Barzee graduated from the Biosystems Engineering Program at Clemson University in 2014 and then made his way to UC Davis for PhD studies. Initially drawn to UC Davis because of Dr. Ruihong Zhang's research on anaerobic digestion, he'd always been passionate about environmental issues and is fascinated by technologies to transform waste into energy and other products. Barzee  arrived in Davis shortly after the UCD Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester was opened.  He credits having the opportunity to work closely with that facility as giving his  research excellent practical importance.

Barzee has received several fellowships at UC Davis. In his first year, he received the Graduate Scholars Fellowship. This opportunity allowed him to pursue PhD studies without worrying about finances. It offered compensation for tuition and fees as well as a generous stipend. The next year, he worked up proposals for many different fellowship opportunities, and before long he received the Jastro Shields Fellowship, which provided funding for his research projects. During that year (2015-2016), he continued pursuing every opportunity he could and wound up receiving three more fellowships. The first two were the UC Davis and Humanities Graduate Research Award and the H.A. Lewin Family Fellowship. Both opportunities are providing funding for his research and allowing for bigger and better dreams for the experiments. "For instance," he says, "I have been able to bring in some new items to our lab such as a fluorescence microscope and a new computer. These opportunities help not only me, but also my current lab mates and the generations that follow."

The last fellowship he received in 2016-2017 was the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Engagement Fellowship. For this program, he's working as an ambassador for the UC System-wide Carbon Neutrality Initiative to increase student awareness of this program and the many ways that UC campuses are striving to make their operations more sustainable.

"I have been busy working with student organizations to organize activities and materials to communicate this initiative to their members. As the graduate student engagement fellow, I am especially focused on graduate and professional students. Aside from my outreach activities associated with this program, I am also currently working on a draft proposal to establish a Graduate Academic Certificate in Climate Science and Policy at UC Davis. This program would encourage graduate students, especially those in non-technical fields, to incorporate climate-change related courses into their program of study."

Dr. Ruihong Zhang had this to say about him: "He is such an outstanding and talented student!"

We couldn't agree more!