Nurjannah Wiryadimejo

Nurjannah Wiryadimejo


Environmental Science and Management, Natural Resource Management track

Urban Tree Stewardship Team

Nurjannah Wiryadimejo


My involvement in the Leading by Learning program was a way to explore my passion for the environment amongst other passionate individuals and staff. Before joining the program, I had previously worked for a non-profit in my hometown that aimed to expand green spaces in low-income neighborhoods. It was a cause that deeply resonated with me, as I grew up in those same types of communities and knew the negative effects depleted green spaces had on the health of communities. Returning to Davis after almost two years of asynchronous learning due to COVID, I was desperate to find a hands-on experience where I could directly interact with my environment. I stumbled upon the application for the Urban Tree Stewardship internship and found that the program description aligned with what I was most passionate about -- the expansion of tree canopies within urban landscapes.

Since my involvement, one of my favorite projects has been coordinating the Learning by Leading Winter Tree Planting, where students from all of the internship groups were able to come out and plant over sixty trees together in West Davis. It was amazing to see students from these different internship groups being able to finally interact with one another by communicating and working together to get trees in the ground. Not only was it a great experience to teach other people how to plant trees for the first time, but it was great seeing new friendships and connections being made.

Being in the Learning by Leading program has taught me how to communicate and collaborate with my peers, staff mentors, and volunteers in the community. One thing I wasn’t anticipating going into the role as a student co-coordinator was the amount of cross-communication needed for certain events, programs, work activities, etc. to be accomplished. But the more I did it, the more I was able to not only learn how to communicate with others around me, especially in terms of what kind of support I needed trying to maintain being a co-coordinator and student at the same time. Knowing this, it allowed me to understand my limits and what support I needed from my outer circle to get certain tasks done. I’ve learned that as a leader I thrive in spaces where there is open communication and friendly camaraderie between peers as this foundation is necessary for teams to not only accomplish tasks but create strong bonds.

I believe my work in the Learning by Leading program has contributed to the growth and expansion of the UC Davis urban canopy by planting trees that have the potential to adapt to climate change and the extreme heat events that come with it. As many Davis residents and students know, comfortably getting around town in the summertime is almost impossible, especially with temperatures that can reach highs above the hundreds. I believe the trees that we’re planting today will grow into flourishing, permanent structures of the urban landscape and protect future residents and students from the scorching sun all to create a more liveable city. Additionally, the observations from the research project of the Texas Tree Trials program can hopefully inform future arborists or home gardeners as to what trees are most resilient to climate impacts.

Being a part of the Urban Tree Stewardship team has greatly fostered my passion for finding solutions for tree inequity problems in urban areas and the importance of them in a climate change-driven future. My experience at the Arboretum has made me consider a career in the arboriculture field or a position as a community events coordinator. Both careers have been inspired by my love for trees and the beauty in which they can bring a community together whether it be through planting them or using their shade as a place of congregation and comfort.

Secondary Categories

Student Leadership