Meet our Graduate Mentor Ankit K Singh!

Hey there! My name is Ankit K Singh (he/him/his), and I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut. 

I have worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) for almost two years, working as a Graduate Mentor in the CAP and CTP programs.  I am most passionate about teaching environmental science to a large audience.  What drives my passion is my desire to demonstrate that you can dedicate your life to the betterment and protection of the environment without being an expert in the environment.  You can study law, politics, music, arts, or even gender studies; you can use that knowledge to work in the environment.  I am also passionate about urban agriculture and using it as means to attenuate food insecurity in food deserts, particularly affecting socio-economically disadvantaged communities.  I am grateful for the incredible opportunity to research the technical and financial feasibility of the GREENBOX technology for crop production in urban settings that can potentially help make fresh foods easily accessible.  

At the NRCA, I work as a Graduate Mentor, where I support the undergraduate Difference Maker Mentors (DMM) as they carry out community conservation projects with residents of Connecticut.  We also work on issues of environmental justice and equitable access to nature for all, based on which we carry out professional development activities.  I am most excited to collaborate with the DMM’s and with our shared experiences, we can work towards effective environmental stewardship and inclusivity.

My educational background has been diverse.  I have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (Manipal University) and a master’s degree in environmental engineering (University of Virginia).  After this, I worked as an environmental engineer for an environmental consulting firm based in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area that served projects in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.  I completed projects that dealt with air, water, and soil pollution monitoring, remediation and associated permitting.

This summer, I was named as one of six AmericanHort Scholars 2021, which allowed me the opportunity to spend a week in Columbus, Ohio. Through this opportunity, I was able to present my work in Urban Agriculture at Cultivate’21, and also meet people who share my passion for horticulture.  In addition, I recently just got back from another conference in Washington, DC, by AmericanHort (Impact Washington – The Summit 2021), where we got to present issues currently facing the horticultural industry to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

After my doctorate, I desire to be an environmental educator at a University level.  In my free time, I enjoy visiting museums, spending time outdoors, engaging with the arts, kayaking, paddle boarding (anything riparian), and trying new recipes.  In addition, I enjoy the culture CT has to offer and love the easy access to trails within the state, beautiful drives, and close proximity to New York City, Boston, and Providence (which I visit often).