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Titan Spotlight

Dreaming of Bees and Sustainable Community Agriculture: Meet Steve Anticona

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Steve Anticona is a first-generation college student, a DREAMER, and a bee researcher who is set to earn his Master of Science in Environmental Studies from Cal State Fullerton this summer. During his time at CSUF, Steve’s research for the Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE) explored the impact of parasites on honeybees, and sought new ways to prevent bee colony collapse and protect this crucial pollinator species. This work proved valuable when completing the apprentice level for the California Master Beekeeper Program affiliated with UC Davis. This certification requires successful completion of a written exam, hours of apiary and community service, and a hands-on practical exam; he passed them all with flying colors. 

Anticona’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond his research and well into the campus community. His passion for the environment has been with him throughout his life, including jobs as a zookeeper, biologist, and urban farmer. His experiences have shaped his vision for a more sustainable future, one that combines agroecology and community building. At CSUF, Anticona worked with the Center for Sustainability to establish the new campus garden by the Humanities and Social Sciences Building. He also helped found the CSUF student chapter of the Orange County Association of Environmental Professionals and served as a student representative on the Environmental Studies advisory board, where he mentored other graduate students.

With his master’s degree in hand, Anticona is now poised to take his environmental leadership to the next level. He has accepted a position at an urban farm in Santa Ana, where he will continue his work on issues of food sovereignty and food justice while developing agroecological knowledge in the community and promoting environmental education programming, including crop planning, seed saving, vermicomposting, and collectively reclaiming access to growing food.

Anticona’s focus on community building is deeply personal because it stems from his grandmother’s stories about working the land back in her hometown in Peru. His work in urban agriculture and environmental education is a testament to the power of intergenerational storytelling and the role that cultural heritage can play in shaping our vision for a more sustainable future.

For Anticona, the journey is far from over. His master’s degree is just the beginning of a career dedicated to environmental leadership, community building, and sustainability. 

Emilia Gaskell