Ashley Cao ’23


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Million Tree Project

Presentation Link

View Ashley 's Presentation

I had the great opportunity to work on the Million Tree Project (MTP) with Shanghai Roots & Shoots, a nongovernmental organization whose work centers around large-scale tree planting projects to combat climate change and desertification. Their newest MTP effort focuses on planting trees in the Bangliang Gibbon National Nature Reserve to connect and restore the existing fragmented habitats of the critically endangered cao vit gibbon (CVG). I contributed to the MTP by taking on a number of my own small projects, from redesigning the outdated learning guide, to creating introductory materials for the newest CVG program. I exercised my design skills in particular, working on the online design platform Canva to put together promotional and educational materials ranging from “Save the Gibbon” stickers to “Desertification 101” infographics. Perhaps the most interesting part of my work was being able to witness firsthand how to build the foundations for a program in active restoration. This internship reignited my passion for conservation, and I would like to learn more about restoring and strengthening ecosystem health as I continue in my academic career.

Internship Year


Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation


Shanghai Roots & Shoots


Xian Liu, Million Tree Project Director, Shanghai Roots & Shoots; Hanlong Chen, Million Tree Project Coordinator, Shanghai Roots & Shoots; Kai Wang, Million Tree Project Regional Manager, Shanghai Roots & Shoots