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Colonel James G. Boswell Scholarship recipient Dustin Pearce has recently returned home to give back to his community. Pearce who left upon his graduation from Corcoran High in 2009 for the Arizona desert has been working on a project close to home for his master’s program.

After graduating from Arizona State University in 2013 with his Bachelor’s Degree in biological sciences, Pearce enrolled at University of Santa Barbara’s Bren School to earn his Master’s Degree in environmental science and management.


According to Pearce, UCSB’s Bren School requires its students to be a part of a team regarding “real world” projects in order to obtain their master’s degree. At first, Dustin said he was submitting a different proposal for a different project but upon receiving an email regarding a solar development project in the San Joaquin Valley, Pearce knew that project was for him. So despite having just two-days to submit a proposal Pearce submits proposals for both projects and both get accepted.

However, he knew the solar project near his home was the one for him.

“I thought it was awesome,” he said. “I really couldn’t let anyone else do it.”

Pearce was the project manager for the Wildlight group which was created to protect valuable agriculture land while seeking land for solar farms which produce renewal energy.

“If it’s going to get done it needs to get done the right way,” Pearce said. “The Valley is the fruit basket of the United States and that needs to be taken into consideration.”

Just last month, Pearce and his colleagues presented its work and findings in Sacramento to the office of Governor Jerry Brown. And, although Dustin received his master’s degree last month, he is still working on the project which he expects will wrap in November.

Dustin is the son of Alane Pearce and grandson of Ruth and Raymond Ashford, all of Corcoran.

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