2016-2017 Luce Scholar

Asian International Rivers Center Yunnan University

For her Luce year, Rebecca Peters will support the programs and research of the Asian International Rivers Center (AIRC) at Yunnan University in Kunming. The AIRC, established in 2000 by Dr. He Daming, is the first not-for-profit organization in China devoted to the study of international rivers and watersheds. The primary goal of the AIRC is to generate theoretical and practical research on trans-boundary rivers in China, the Greater Mekong Sub-region and elsewhere in Asia, and on associated questions of natural resources and ecological security.

Growing up on a river in the progressive corridors of Los Angeles fostered Rebecca’s interest in a career that combines water research and policy. She pursued an interdisciplinary education, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014 as the University Medalist with degrees in Society and Environment (B.Sc.) and International Development Economics (B.A.), and a minor in Global Poverty. While at Berkeley, she founded the Pachamama Project, which has continued to collaborate with water-focused NGOs in Mexico and Bolivia to establish gender and water programs in schools and maintain water treatment systems. She co-created and facilitated an undergraduate course on water and human rights, served as president of the Berkeley Water Group, and co-wrote a pamphlet on nitrate contaminated water in the Central Valley with California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). Rebecca received a master’s degree in Poverty and Development Economics with distinction from the University of Manchester, and another in Water Science and Governance at King’s College London, both supported by a Marshall Scholarship. She was also a Truman and a Udall Scholar. Active in water and community leadership, she served on the Board of the Global Scholars Symposium, and as a regional leader in the Water Youth Network. Rebecca is an avid outdoorswoman and enjoys learning from different cultural traditions, especially by sharing meals, music, and art.