Ava Hedeker is a third-year at the University of Chicago, double majoring in Environment, Geography, & Urbanization and Inquiry & Research in the Humanities with a minor in Architectural Studies. During her undergraduate career, she conducted campus food waste research at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and worked with Commissioner Kimberly du Buclet from the Metropolitan Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Currently, she is a Research Assistant for Dr. Sabina Shaikh, conducting literature reviews for a research project that examines the experiences of climate migrants in Cambodia. On campus, she is co-leading a research project regarding urban design and mental health at Paul Douglas Institute, on the board of Energy & Climate Club, and a member of Phoenix Sustainability Initiative. An aspiring urban planner, she is interested in fostering environmental sustainability in cities through enhancing transit-oriented development and implementing nature-based solutions.

Being surrounded by so many inspiring leaders across diverse climate initiatives, COP28 serves as a compelling reminder for why I aspire to pursue a career that works towards mitigating climate change in the first place. I connected with individuals worldwide whose career focuses align with my background in campus sustainability research and environmental law.”