Friday, January 30, 2015

Announcement: 2014-2015 Carbon Fund Projects!

Congratulations to the projects that have received funding for the year of 2014-2015! We've funded over $150,000 in projects this year! The process began in November with the abstract applications, in which each of the following 7 projects were funded up to $5000.

Increasing Compost Education
Sustainable Commercial Export Packaging For Zero Motorcycles
Walk to Class Challenge Day: Year 2
Santa Cruz High Garden Renaissance
Development of a Versatile Microbial Fuel Cell
Green Field Trips to the Santa Cruz Wharf
Digging Deeper in the Harbor High Grow Quad

For projects requesting over $5000, the second phase of the application process happened in January. Applicants submitted macro-grant applications, and the following 11 projects received further funding.  

Pathway Lighting Retrofit
Water and Energy Efficient Steamers in Campus Dining Halls
Fleet Services Electric Vehicle Upgrade Project
The UCSC Bike Library
Green Labs Equipment Fund
Cowell/Stevenson Dining Hall: Water and Energy-Efficient Dish Machine Replacement
Reducing GHG Emissions by Greatly Reducing 2-Stroke Leaf Blowers on Campus
Microscopy Facility LED Light Source Upgrade
Arboretum Bioponics
Ecotopia House

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Zero Waste Team Schedules Styrofoam Collection Day

The Sustainability Office's Zero Waste Team has scheduled the quarterly Styrofoam Collection day. The event will take place at the Physical & Biological Sciences Loading Dock on February 4th from 11am-2pm. Come by and drop off any unwanted styrofoam materials. Grounds Services is also offering labs mattress bags to collect their Styrofoam in and leave out at the loading dock for pickup anytime of the quarter, rather than always having to wait until the quarterly collection day.

See you there! For more information email Chris Kane (Zero Waste Team Programs Coordinator) at chkane [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

UC creates President's Sustainability Student Fellowship Program

On January 14th, The University of California announced the creation of the President's Sustainability Student Fellowship/Internship Program to support UC's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. The UC Office of the President (UCOP) will provide $7,500 to each of the UC's 10 campuses. At each campus, one award will be designated to support student engagement and communications for the Carbon Neutrality Initiative and the President's Global Climate Leadership Council. For more information, read the complete article here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

LEED Green Building Training

The UCSC Sustainability Office will again be hosting LEED green building training to prepare students, staff and faculty for taking the Green Associate (GA) and/or the Accredited Professional (AP) exams.

Below are some details:
  • A LEED professional credential signifies that you are a leader in the green building field and an active participant in the green building movement. 
  • Draft course agenda may be viewed by clicking here. 
  • You must pass the LEED GA exam before you can sit for the LEED AP exam, however you can sit for both exams at the same time. 
  • Exams can be taken anytime. 
  • The courses include supplementary study materials, online community support and practice exams to help you prepare. 
  • The Sustainability Office will help to organize study groups after the courses. 
  • Courses are free and lunch will be provided. 
Note: If there is limited interest for the AP course, the S.O. may choose to postpone it and just do the GA course. Courses are only open to UCSC staff, faculty and students. Before we schedule the training, we need your input. If you would like to attend these trainings, please fill out the survey below by 5PM on Friday, January 30. This will help us gauge interest in each exam and figure out the best date and time (based on the instructor's availability).

Please fill out the brief survey below:
Email Chrissy Thomure cthomure [at] ucsc [dot] edu with any questions.

Earth Summit Forums

Ever wanted to have a say in how UCSC is approaching sustainability? Here's your chance! The Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus is a student-run living document created by the Student Environmental Center. Every year students, faculty, staff and community members come together to share their visions for the future of sustainable growth at UC Santa Cruz. The Blueprint is meant to serve as a resource and guide for the campus community. The SEC hopes that it will encourage more students to become an active member in their community and take part in sustainability work.

The Earth Summit Forums, formerly known as Blueprint Breakouts, are coming up fast! Attend any of the remaining forums to voice your opinions about how UCSC can further sustainability:

January 14th - Social & Environmental Justice 

 January 21st - Energy & Water 

January 28th - Food Systems 

February 4th - Waste Prevention & Green Purchasing 

February 18th - Transportation 

February 25th - Land, Habitat, and Watershed 

March 4th - Academics and Curriculum

Art and Science Majors Collaborate to Save Joshua Tree

Joshua trees once flourished all over Southwestern America but now the tree is only found in California's Joshua Tree National Park and small areas of Utah, Nevada and Arizona.  As deserts become hotter and drier, seed-spreading is dependent on rats which can't spread it fast enough to keep up with climate change.

A dying Joshua tree at Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by Richard Lui, The Desert Sun

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported an exciting collaboration between digital art, environmental studies, science and engineering students to address these pressing issues:

To save the Joshua tree, a desert plant in peril, UC Santa Cruz art research associate Geoffrey Thomas imagines a future with seed-spreading tarantula robots and genetically-engineered giant sloths. 

These whimsical ideas, the subject of three digital art images, have a ring of truth, said Thomas, who collaborated with Juniper Harrower, a UCSC environmental studies graduate student studying the tree. The duo is planning to create an educational mobile app and short animations from the sketches within the next year.

UCSC students in Geoffrey Thomas's digital art class inspect Joshua tree seedlings at a campus greenhouse in October.

Art and technology have powerful influences on impacting change because they are big parts of any culture around the world.  Incorporating digital art, mobile apps and environmental education is a great way to foster a culture for change and further the sustainability of our ecosystems.

Read the original article here.

Sustainability Office's Zero Waste Team is Coordinating the First Annual Campus Clean-Up Day!

The Student Union Assembly and the Sustainability Office's Zero Waste Team have teamed up to coordinate the First Annual Campus Clean-Up Day on April 25th! The vision for this event is to bring students and campus users together to clean up our beautiful campus and shed light on littering issues and improper cigarette butt disposal. They hope to create an event that motivates campus users to properly dispose of waste and encourages campus stewardship. Stay tuned for more information about this incredible event!