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Erika Zavaleta studies cross-scale ecological responses to climate and biodiversity changes. Her teaching emphasizes inquiry-based, experiential learning. Zavaleta founded and directs the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, the goal of which is to diversify U.S. conservation. In 2018 she founded the Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-Based Opportunities (CAMINO) to expand inclusive undergraduate research experiences and inspire and prepare students for scientific careers. While most inquiry-based teaching emphasizes prescribed lab experiences, Zavaleta’s teaching emphasizes collaborative, field-based engagement in the start-to-finish process of scientific research – from generating the research question and study design to communicating findings.