Michael has served 14 years in the nonprofit industry. He holds a PhD in Anthropology and is passionate about the environment and mental health. In his free time, he enjoys reading, traveling, surfing and making mosaics out of recycled material (michaelbernsart.com).
Here’s more from Michael about why he’s a part of California Greenworks:
I grew up in the Santa Monica mountains of Los Angeles, where I ran cross country from an early age. Oak savannas and the grassy hills were always my happy place. As I got older, I began to surf and began to notice how everything, and I mean everything, funnels into the bay of LA. After a storm, we were warned not to surf for at least 48 hours due to the increase in contaminants. This really hit home when I saw all the trash, litter, diapers and dead possums in the water.
CGW’s drive towards climate equity keeps me passionate. As a secular Jew from Los Angeles, the concept of social justice was constantly discussed in my family and community. I love that I am able to learn about the specific environmental aspects of social justice; and, I feel honored that CGW provides me with opportunities to correct the glaring injustices of the world.
I hope to create an impact at CGW by following the mantra of scalability. The world won’t be saved in one day, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I hope to create more research and insights into the correlation between mental health and the environment. I hope to create opportunities of redressing historical environmental injustices. I hope to leave the world a better place than how I found it. I am an asset to the mission because of my training and passion towards research: I like reading and I like learning! I can also bridge seemingly disparate parts into a whole. I will continue to contribute to CGW through my passion, research skills, unique insights and perseverance.