A Brief Introduction

I am Kyle Haines, a Ph.D. Candidate in the UCSD Political Science program.  I was born in Santa Barbara and grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley, 20 miles north.  I attended undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Cruz, taking a year abroad and living in Dublin, Ireland, attending Trinity College Dublin.  I graduated in 2006 and traveled for a year through South America and the Iberian Peninsula before returning in debt to begin working for the State Parks in Santa Barbara.  Eventually, I moved to the East Bay, living in Berkeley, El Cerrito, and Oakland where I taught as a substitute teacher in public high schools and waited tables at night and on weekends.

I have lived in San Diego since 2009 when I entered to PhD program in Political Science here at UC San Diego.  I plan on finishing in June 2016.  Drawing on and refining radical environmental theories from the 1960s and 1970s which sought the unification of political and ecosystem boundaries, I look at the practical ecological effects of political decentralization (in its different forms and contexts).  My examples come from California, the San Diego/Tijuana Conurbation, Southern Mexico, and Bolivia.  Although I am a political theorist by training, I also borrow heavily from comparative politics and many distinct disciplinary approaches.  Beyond my own writing, I am focused on teaching and projects here in San Diego and throughout our binational community (both here in San Diego County and immediately across the national border with Mexico in Tijuana).


End of the 2nd UCSD/Blum Cross-Border Initiative Summer Field Internship

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I’m relieved and also sad that the two-month long adventure between UCSD, San Ysidro, and Tijuana conducted through the Blum Cross-Border Initiative is (mostly) finished for the summer!  Many important thanks to co-instructor Elizabeth Chaney Hensley, our community partners (Casa Familiar in San Ysidro, and Alter Tera in Tijuana), and the many collaborators who donated their time and energy to help our nine interdisciplinary students understand and respond to regional issues on each side of the border.

A full photo- blog of our experience is up at: http://www.flickr.com/BSFI/ , as well as more materials online at: blum.ucsd.edu

Year 3 of the Bi-National Interdisciplinary Forum for Environmental Research!


Happy to celebrate the beginning of a third year of the Interdisciplinary Forum on Environmental Research, a collaboration between UCSD Humanities, the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Integral Environmental Administration program at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte-Tijuana, and our newest partner, the Center for US-Mexican Studies at UCSD.

Pictures of the last 2 years (30 events) are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/interdisciplinaryforum/
We also keep a blog of our meetings, here: http://iferucsd.blogspot.com/
and here (older): http://humctr.ucsd.edu/criticalecologies/

Congratulations due to Proyecto SUAVE!


Congratulations to former interns in the UCSD/Blum Cross-Border Initiative Field Internship program, now become project partners, Proyecto Sustainable Unity and Vegetation Empowerment (SUAVE), winners of the prestigious Clinton Global Inititiative Social Venture Fellowship, one of only 15 groups selected nation-wide to receive seed funding for their social venture, free exercise classes and community gardening in Tijuana.

I’m proud to be a mentor on this program and look forward to seeing the great results.  Congratulations!


UC President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership


I am humbled to receive the UC President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership for 2015.  This award would be impossible without the hard work of many, many other people involved with the Interdisciplinary Forum and the Blum Cross-Border Initiative.  As I told the Regents Meeting, I take this as recognition of the expanding need to both address social and ecological systems as linked and to look beyond traditional national borders when we think about our community.

Thank you to everyone, especially Sarah McCullough (Associate Director of UCSD Center for the Humanities) and Dick Norris (Professor, Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography).