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Student Advising

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Active and engaged advising is a hallmark of the Earth Systems Program. We offer a tiered advising network that starts with an annual cohort of student advisors and includes committed staff & faculty. We pride ourselves on offering advising and guidance on a "one human being at a time" basis. Please feel free to stop by office hours for help or set up an appointment by emailing the individual student advisor you'd like to meet with. Student Advisors hold weekly office hours in the Earth Systems office during the academic year. Our doors are always open!

Meet our Earth Systems Student Advisors

Zunarah Ahmad

B.S. Earth Systems- Sustainable Food and Agriculture 

Zunarah is a rising senior at Stanford University majoring in Earth Systems, with a focus on sustainable food and agriculture. She is passionate about climate justice, community organization, and radical education. Coming from Richmond, CA, a working-class community across the Bay with its fair share of environmental struggles, Zunarah understands the importance of community care and collaboration quite well. She was born and raised in the East Bay and comes from a family of Pakistani farmers which makes climate justice less of choice for her, but rather a necessity. In her free time, you can find her in the kitchen trying out new recipes, hiking a beautiful trail, or enjoying a nap under the sun. She is an advocate for rest and wellness, strongly believing that we should never have to compromise our well-being.

Emily Liu

B.S. Earth Systems- Human Environmental Systems

Emily is a senior in the Human Environmental Systems track and a data science minor. She is passionate about pursuing clean energy, environmental justice and decarbonization, and is more specifically interested in the intersection of technical analysis and policymaking. She has fostered her interests by taking classes in econ and on energy, being involved in the Stanford Energy club, conducting research on the response of vulnerable communities to wildfires, and is planning on pursuing a coterm in MS&E. In addition, she interned as an energy consultant this past summer and is a former Schneider Fellow and Cardinal Quarter Peer Advisor. Outside of school, you can find her thrifting at Savers, taking film photographs of her friends, and finding cheap eats around the Bay.  

George Rojano

B.S. Earth Systems- Sustainable Food and Agriculture 

George is a senior on the Sustainable Food and Agriculture track from Austin, Texas. His interests include experiments within agriculture, food equity and food justice, photography, and nonprofit work. Involvement in a nonprofit back home for the last 5 years played a large role in the development and reinforcement of his interests as well as serve as an introduction to the wonderful world of sustainable farming. This year, George is also one of two co-presidents of Stanford’s Questbridge chapter, and would be more than happy to talk about his experiences and opportunities on campus and within the Earth Systems department as a FLI student. Outside of class or the Earth Systems student lounge, you can often find George trying to organize a pick-up game of volleyball, calling friends and family from back home, or exploring the Bay Area with homies.

Sydney Schmitter

B.S. Earth Systems Program- Land Systems

Sydney is a senior on the Land Systems track from San Diego, CA. She studies the intersection of marine and land systems and has interests in marine coastal systems, climate resilient urban communities, environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, and fisheries management. During her time at Stanford, Sydney has been involved with Students for a Sustainable Stanford and Stanford SEEDS, worked as a farm hand a few times, been the Zero Waste Intern for the Office of Sustainability, and conducted research with Hopkins Marine Station and Stanford EIPER. She spent the past spring sailing with Stanford@SEA from Honolulu to Palmyra Atoll conducting deep sea environmental DNA research and worked for the Henry’s Fork Foundation and NOAA over the past two summers. In addition to being an Earth Systems advisor, Sydney is a research assistant studying coastal hazard-related planned relocations and will be working on her honors thesis studying the vulnerability of Pacific salmonids to agricultural practices. Outside of school Sydney loves camping, fishing, gardening, playing tennis, and spending time in the ocean! 

Kavya Varkey (she/her)

B.S. Earth Systems-  Human Environmental Systems

Kavya is a junior studying Human Environmental Systems in the Earth Systems Program from Seattle, Washington. She is interested in the intersection of environmental and racial justice issues, climate resilient communities, environmental policy, agricultural management, and environmental education. She spent the past summer in Juneau, Alaska and worked for a climate-smart personal finance startup. Outside of work and classes, you'll find her faking vegetarianism at Wilbur dining, dabbling in calisthenics, and hopefully exploring the Bay Area. 

Meet our Earth Systems staff members

They can guide you on applications, policies, and department resources.

Do you have questions?

For information about programs, applications, deadlines? Contact Anahid Babekian, Assistant Director of Student Services, at or (650) 725-7427. 


We can help.

Contact Melissa Vallejo, Earth Systems program administration, for information about program resources at or (650) 723-8112.


Meet our academic advisors

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Meet our academic advisors

Meet all peer advisors

Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability Peer Advisors has advisors in Geophysics, Geological Sciences, and Energy Resources Engineering too.

Meet all advisors

Meet our academic advisors