Tatiana Butte

Job title: 
Class of 2024
2024 John Gardner Fellowship
2022 Democracy Camp in DC
2023 Democracy Camp DC Student Director

Tatiana Butte, a Geography Major with a Minor in Public Policy, is dedicated to empowering individuals and amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities in environmental justice.  A first-generation Afro-Latina, Tatiana grew up in Southeast San Diego in a single-parent, Caribbean-immigrant household under challenging circumstances. Throughout her life, Tatiana has shown her exemplary leadership talents: from heading her high school JROTC battalion to advocating for outdoor equity and environmental education programs for Black and Brown youth to being a student leader at UC Berkeley.

Before coming to UC Berkeley, while she was a student at a community college, Tatiana worked extensively with Outdoor Outreach in Southeast San Diego. During the pandemic, she co-hosted Outdoor Research’s weekly Leadership Circle Live Streams on Facebook. She also took on the role of Community Engagement Coordinator, where she assessed the impact of COVID-19 on community members' interactions with the outdoors. Her research efforts significantly helped Outdoor Outreach receive two highly competitive grants worth over one million dollars from the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The grants will help fund 600 adventure-based youth development programs, connecting over 8,000 youth participants to the transformative power of the outdoors. Tatiana also lobbied to get free admission to California State Parks for K-4th grade students. In 2019, Tatiana was asked to speak at the California State Parks Foundation Pathway to Parks event, and in 2020, she was awarded the Outdoor Retailer Youth Inspiration Award.

Being selected as a recipient of the prestigious Undergraduate Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship, Tatiana transferred to UC Berkeley in 2021, where she is studying racial ecology and gentrification in San Diego for her honors thesis in the Geography Department.  Outside of the classroom at UC Berkeley, Tatiana serves on the California Youth Empowerment Board with Governor Gavin Newsom to advocate for underprivileged youth. She represented UC Berkeley at the 2022 United Nations Climate Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, spotlighting environmental vulnerabilities in Black and Brown communities. She also was the Student Director of Democracy Camp in Washington DC for the Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service and a long-term advisor and facilitator for the NavCal Program, which helps nontraditional students acclimate and access on-campus resources and opportunities.

As a Gardner Fellow, Tatiana hopes to work at a governmental agency that will provide the foundation for a career advocating for clean air and green space for marginalized communities.

Research interests: 

Major(s): Human Geography