Simone Pulver

Dr. Simone Pulver, ELI Director

Associate Professor, Environmental Studies


ELI is the brainchild of Dr. Simone Pulver who built and now directs the Environmental Leadership Incubator. Dr. Pulver’s proposal for ELI and commitment to sustainability won her UCSB’s 2019 Faculty Sustainability Champion. She is also the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Academic Senate due to her excellence in teaching and service. As the Director of ELI, Dr. Pulver teaches the core course for the program. 

Dr. Pulver arrived at UCSB as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in 2009. Prior to her arrival at UCSB, she was a research professor at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies and the Center for Environmental Studies. She received her doctorate in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and also hold an M.A. in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, as well as a BA in Physics from Princeton University.  

Her research focuses broadly on the intersection of economic action and environmental harm and seeks to integrate theoretical frameworks related to global governance, organizational theory, and economic and environmental sociology. Specifically, she has led NSF-funded research projects investigating oil industry responses to climate change, climate politics in Mexico, low carbon investments by firms in Brazil and India, and toxic pollution in US manufacturing. 


Erika Zollett

Dr. Erika Zollett, ELI Program Manager



Dr. Erika Zollett is the Program Manager for the Environmental Leadership Incubator. She manages the ELI mentorship program, advises students on their environmental change-making projects, and coordinates logistics of the program.

Dr. Zollett joined ELI after working for over a decade in the environmental consulting sector. As a Senior Marine Scientist for MRAG Americas, she regularly collaborated with various stakeholder groups and used the best available science and innovative solutions to address challenging issues in fisheries management. She possesses an expertise in protected species bycatch and conservation; she won the Frederic Fairfield Memorial Award for innovative research from the Society for Marine Mammalogy for developing a device to reduce dolphin interactions with a fishery. She holds a B.S. degree from Bates College, a Master of Environmental Management Degree from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Cognate in College Teaching from the University of New Hampshire.

Dr. Zollett continues her work, addressing ocean conservation, through research, consulting, and environmental education. For the past two years, she has also co-led a NOAA-funded Ocean Guardian program at a local elementary school. The Ocean Guardian program has successfully raised awareness about ocean health, eliminated single use plastic use at PTA events, started a composting program for students, and more. The student group won a 2019 Explore Ecology Environmental Stewardship Award at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival.