Sean Burns

Dr. Sean Burns, UC Berkeley

Sean Burns is Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. Sean earned his PhD at UC Santa Cruz's History of Consciousness Department. His scholarship and teaching focus on U.S. social movement history and the dynamic intersections of community activism, political education, and the remaking of the social imagination.  In terms of contacting Sean about SURF, all program questions should be directed to him by sending an email to, with "program question" in the subject heading. 

Justin Lopez

Justin Lopez serves as the SURF STEM Advisor. He is a PhD candidate in bioengineering through a program offered jointly by UC Berkeley and UCSF. He graduated in 2013 from the University of Nevada, Reno with a dual B.S./B.S. in general biology and biochemistry-molecular biology, with minors in mathematics, Spanish, and analytical organic chemistry. Prior to beginning his graduate program, Justin performed research in a molecular biology and physiology lab for five years, while advising international undergraduate students in their independent research projects. His current research investigates the dynamic molecular and biomechanical processes in bone, and how these processes are disrupted in the context of musculoskeletal disease. You can sign up for Justin's office hours at this link - he is happy to support you in the application process. 

Jeff Vance Martin

Jeff serves as the Social Science and Humanities SURF Advisor. He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography, wrapping up his dissertation on wolf-livestock conflict and coexistence in the Intermountain West through the lens of political ecology. He holds an MSc in Environmental Governance from the University of Manchester, and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley. Other interests include complexity and scientific method; mythology, worldbuilding, and speculative fiction; and political theory and strategy. To schedule an office hour appointment with Jeff, please email him at: