Thursday, April 5, 2018

Interdisciplinary Partnerships to Solve Real World Issues

Clean Oceans International is partnering with UCSC and Cabrillo students on data analysis for plastic to fuel conversion. Students of all disciplines are working in labs right now, analyzing plastics from beaches around the world and how they can be converted into diesel!
They are analyzing how these different plastic pieces burn within a spectroscopy machine and assessing what coastal areas are optimal to implement the machine! Through the IDEASS (Impact Design; Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service) program, undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct research with real-world applications.
Beginning in 2008, Clean Oceans international began to collect debris in Hawaii, Alaska, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Oregon and California. This was the basis of the research and data collection that soon was carried out and developed by the student research team.
Looking forward to the future, COI is seeking more visibility and funding for their campaign. Additionally, they are looking forward to collaborating with local artist to paint a mural on Mission Street in Santa Cruz. The mural is planned to be phased in over the next couple of months outside of Bayview Elementary school in order to reflect the vision and goals of the non-profit.
To the students of UCSC and Cabrillo, this project is much more than an interdisciplinary research opportunity. It is a way to implement their education into the real world and achieve tangible results! One fourth year Chemistry student, Zachary Schwartz characterizes the hands-on learning that is central to every IDEASS project here at UCSC, “I joined the project for the opportunity to both further my knowledge in material science by studying plastic in a laboratory setting as well as have the opportunity to apply my chemistry knowledge to a real-world issue in hopes of solving it.  For me, the most valuable part of the project is the process of completing it.  There are unexpected obstacles that appear when executing the project and the ability to be resilient when circumstances change is key to being successful.  I am excited to analyze plastics in the laboratory and communicating the results if they are positive.” Students involved range from environmental studies majors, Physics majors, chemistry majors, you name it. They are all joined together by their passion to solve this problem. Another student on the team, Adelicia Johnson, characterizes their union perfectly by stating, “Coi to me is a collaboration of different professionals, students, and world citizens that want to solve the plastic problem. It is a project that shows genuine concern and drives towards making a positive impact on our oceans pollutants.”
The partnership of COI international with UCSC and Cabrillo students and faculty is a reminder that change in possible through interdisciplinary work, communication between boundaries, and confrontation of world problems through innovation.
To learn more about COI visit

Written by: Antonette Brito-Berti

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 2018 Flor Maciel

Each month, our newsletter features a person or a group on campus that is working towards a more sustainable world. This month, we had the privilege to interview Flor Maciel, a Student Sustainability Advisor. The Sustainability Office would like to congratulate Maciel for her new internship with Carnegie Science Department of Ecology.
What does sustainability mean to you?
“To me, sustainability is the practice of conserving the Earth’s resources so that future generations can have a comfortable life. Of course, comfort is relative, but it is living in a minimalist way and only purchasing the items you truly need as well as recycling and reusing. It is also being mindful of the environment we live in and sharing with animals, while realizing that humans have had such a huge impact on the Earth, such as climate change, and now taking the step to mitigate it.”

What sustainable practice do you live by in your daily life?
“In my daily life, I practice little steps to be sustainable. These, for me, are taking shorter showers and being careful of the amount of water and energy I use. I also don’t purchase water bottles or plastic bags; I opt for the reusable versions. A favorite practice of mine is to use hand-me-downs from my family members or purchase second-hand clothes.As a few of my fellow SSAs have done, I actually hope to have a clothing swap event this quarter at Crown and Merrill."
What is your long-term vision for UCSC?
"I hope that UCSC, through the work that many sustainability organizations are doing, can further foster an attitude of sustainability for current and new students. This will mean that every student will have a chance to learn about sustainability and practice it, even if they were not able to do so at home. I’d also like for UCSC to achieve its Zero-Waste goal and become Fossil Fuel free. To achieve these goals, I think it’d be incredibly helpful if the Sustainability Office was given the resources to expand its student participation. On the energy usage front, I hope there is solution to incentivize on-campus students to use less energy because they don’t need to pay an energy bill separate from the housing one. This makes it so there is no way to save money from energy as they could be living off campus."
Do you think UC’s should join forces to become more sustainable, are there things we should learn from each other and apply it?  
"I think that it would be ideal if every UC could come together for sustainability. Being a significant high-education institution, the UC system has the influence to advocate and push for sustainability. There are many things to be learned from each university. For example, through the research I have done for my Campus Sustainability Plan project, I learned that some UCs only allow Energy Star mini-fridges in their dorms. Additionally, if feasible, it’d be useful if more UC grants were created, such as the #MyLastTrash grant, to fund a diverse array of sustainability endeavors."
What are your thoughts on Environmental injustice?  
"Environmental injustice is a topic that I hope to learn more about. So far, most of my knowledge comes from ENVS 100 and the paper I wrote concerning the discrepancies in air pollution exposure between socioeconomic levels in China. Overall, it is disheartening to know that the poorest are also the most vulnerable to environmental issues, such as climate change. In my future career, I hope to amplify the voices of such people, so that they can explain the hardships they face. I also want to expand my knowledge on environmental injustice and I will be taking a class next year to do so."

Does sustainability only mean taking care of the planet? If it doesn’t, explain why?
"In my opinion, sustainability encompasses taking care of the Earth, as well as people. People are a part of nature no matter how much we try to separate ourselves from it. So in order to be sustainable, we must take care of people alongside with nature; however, this brings up the issue of equal accessibility for sustainability. People from lower socioeconomic levels may be thinking of other issues, such as employment, housing, or food security before they can think of the Earth. In order for sustainability to succeed, we should offer support for the issues these people are facing and include the ideas they have in the discussion."
Is there a message you would like UCSC students to know?
"Concerning sustainability, the message would be to keep doing simple things: composting, recycling, saving energy and water, or volunteer and donate money to the many sustainability organizations there are. Academically, keep trying your best in your given major and follow through on any opportunity that interests you."
What does it mean to be an Student Sustainability Advisor (SSA) intern?
"I think being a Student Sustainability Advisor is primarily about knowing the attitude of the community you live in. For me, that is Crown and Merrill, where I have lived  for 3 years. It is also using that knowledge to try to create programs about various sustainability topics that you believe will attract residents in your community. Overall, I believe this program has a lot of potential because there is an SSA for every paired college!"

How do you feel about being accepted as an intern at Carnegie Science Department of Ecology?
"I feel so fortunate to be researching a topic that I am passionate about at the Carnegie Science Department of Ecology. I am also excited to work with Dr. Geeta Persad and, under her guidance, research the question I will eventually develop about the climate and air pollution. Although, I sometimes question myself if I actually truly received this internship (which I now know to be “imposter syndrome”). So if anyone else feels this way, you are not alone. I also would like to thank Kristen Lee who advocated me for this position; I’m positive she had influence in me being accepted, so thank you!"

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April 2018: Classes, Trainings, and Community

Ales For Whales (Drink Beer & Raise $5k For The California Ocean Alliance)
Ales For Whales is a local fundraiser hosted by Humble Sea Brewing Co. & the California Ocean Alliance with the singular mission to throw an awesome party and raise $5k in scholarships for high school students interested in pursuing careers in marine biology and ocean conservation. There will be free screen painting, free starfish petting zoo, live music, beer, food and much more. It is $12 entry fee online or $15 at the gate (gets you entry to festival + 1 beer). For more information click here.

Arboretum & Botanic Garden Phenology Walk

Calling all scientists, hikers, families, students, and educators! The Arboretum & Botanic Garden Phenology Walk gathers data on seasonal changes in plants including when they leaf out, flower and form fruit. Come to the Arboretum for a workshop. Phenology researcher Karen Tanner provides hands-on data collection training. The next Workshop takes place on Sunday, April 15th at 11:00am. For more information click here.

Earth Week: Monday, April 23 - Saturday, April 27
Earth Week is a campuswide, week-long series of events dedicated to increasing environmental awareness and engaging students in current sustainability issues. This event is organized by Rachel Carson College. Check out their Earth Week 2017 homepage to find out more information.

The 17th Annual Earth Summit

Enviroslug will host the 17th Annual Earth Summit on April 27th from 10:30am-2:30pm. It will tentatively be held in the College 9/10 Multipurpose Room. There will be awesome speakers and activities that will promote student involvement on and off campus as well as getting student voices heard! Free food will be provided! For more information click here.

Hike, Observe, Draw, Repeat.
Grab your sketchbook and join scientific illustrator Fiona MacLean for a nature journal outing out in the Pogonip. Take in views from one of Tom Killion’s famous prints of downtown Santa Cruz from this scenic spot. This free workshop takes place on Sunday, April 8th from 10am-2pm. Whether you are new to nature journaling or experienced, everyone can enjoy his activity. For more information click here.

Management Development Program 1 of 4: Manager Redefined
"Manager Redefined" is the first module of the Management Development Program. This module explores what is required of managers today and discusses four key areas of focus: Role of the Manager, Building Authenticity and Trust, Executing Tasks Through Others and Developing and Engaging People. It is recommended, but not necessary, to take all four classes in the series. MDP is designed for mid-level managers but is open to anyone who aspires to manage people. The first program takes place on Thursday, April 12th at 8:30am. For more information click here.

Monday Night Supper Club at Jardiniére Restaurant
Jardiniere's Monday Night Supper Club benefits the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, with a themed three-course tasting menu and wine pairings. $65 per person (wine not included in prix fixe cost). Make your reservation today! Call 415 861-5555 or visit Jardinière ( and mention the UCSC Farm & Garden Fundraiser. For more information click here.

Original Thinkers: Earth Night
Harun Mehmedinovic, co-founder of Skyglow Project, will take us on deep dive—with stunning time-lapse visuals—into the history and importance of celestial observation on humans, the proliferation of electrical outdoor lighting spurring the rise of the phenomena known as light pollution, and the Dark–Sky Movement which is fighting back to reclaim the pristine night skies. This event takes place on Wednesday, April 18th and will begin with a wine and small bites reception, as well as science talks and end with a sky observation with the Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz Astronomy Clubs. Admission is $10/person or free for students. For more information click here.

Public Input Forum #2: Mountain View Environmental Sustainability
The City of Mountain View's Environmental Sustainability Task Force has developed a preliminary set of recommendations to lower the city's greenhouse gas emissions. In June, these final recommendations will be brought to the City Council. The public's input is needed to help enhance and finalize the recommendations being presented. Participants will get a sneak peek of their top recommendations on transportation, building and land use, metrics, waste reduction, public outreach and regional collaboration. Delicious light refreshments will be provided. This forum takes place on Monday, April 30th 7:00-9:30pm. For more information click here.

Santa Cruz Farmer's Markets
Downtown Santa Cruz Farmer's Market on Wednesdays, 1:30 to 6:30 pm in Spring & Summer (1:30 to 5:30 pm in Fall & Winter) at Cedar St. and Lincoln St.
Westside Farmer's Market on Saturdays, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm year-round at Mission St. Ext. and Western Dr.
Or drive to one of the other Farmer's Markets in the area including Felton, Live Oak, Scotts Valley.

Student Forum: Navigating Borders, Labor, and Home

Come join this student research forum highlighting four current UC Santa Cruz graduate and undergraduate projects. Selected photos from the scholarship contest will also be on display. The event is on Thursday, April 26th. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. and the program begins at 6:45 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, but attendees are kindly asked to register in advance. For more information click here.

UCSC Farm & Garden Spring Plant Sale

Join the annual Spring Plant Sale! All plants are organically grown and include a wide selection of annual vegetables and flowers, along with wonderful perennials for the landscape. Proceeds benefit the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture training program. This sale takes place on Saturday, April 28th at 10am and is located at the Corner of Bay Street and High Street at the base of campus, next to the Barn Theater. For more information click here.

NOLS Wilderness First Aid #3

Whether spending time in the backcountry is your passion or your profession, you should never have to ask, "What do I do now?" Prepare for the unexpected with this fun, hands-on introduction to wilderness medicine. This workshop takes is from 8:00am on Saturday, April 7th through Sunday, April 8th. Admission fee is required. For more information click here.

Sustainability Classes offered Spring 2018:
CRSN 56-1: Media Internships for Sustainability (2 units)
In the CRSN 56 internship with Professor Ronny Lipschutz, students develop and work on media projects related to the college theme of "Environment and Society" in film, on television, in print, and on the internet. Students work in groups with specific instructors and project leaders. Enrollment by application and instructor consent. May be repeated for credit.

CRSN 151B - 01: Innovation and Professionalization for Sustainability Designers, Engineers, and Entrepreneurs

This class teaches students how to become innovators and entrepreneurs, develop projects and enterprises, and adopt professional practices. It focuses on sustainability for students in Sustainability Studies, especially in connection with students' research and interests.

CRSN 162 - 01: Sustainability Internship Practicum
This class introduces students to sustainable practices and state, local, and UC-wide policies through projects. It matches students with UCSC staff partners to work collaboratively on projects that integrate sustainability into aspects of campus operations. Supports students to develop the competencies necessary to become effective environmental professionals through learning models including hands-on work experience; professional skills training; guest lectures; reading, and discussion; and peer-to-peer advising. In addition to project deliverables, students complete and present a portfolio of their work upon completion of their project. Enrollment limited to Sustainability Office Interns and by instructor permission; an interview, resume, and cover letter are required.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

April 2018: Internships, Employment and Volunteering

Multimedia and Writing Project Intern
We are looking for help with the following efforts:
● Increase photo collection of activities taking place at the Farm & Garden, including weekend workshops, on-site research, students at work on the Farm, and Farm tours. This could involve both taking new photos and reviewing and organizing existing photos. Some of this may include weekend work and work away from campus for research activities.
● Research and recommend “slideshow”-type software for use on websites. Create slideshows.
● Create audio and video clips of CASFS staff and activities to post to CASFS and alumni websites and CASFS Facebook page. Some of this may include weekend work and work away from campus (for research activities).
● Write short profiles of Apprenticeship alumni and find accompanying images to post to CASFS and Alumni websites and CASFS Facebook page
For more information, please click here.

Media Internship 
Ecology Action’s Community Programs team is looking for a Marketing & Outreach Intern to help propel our message forward. Key responsibilities include maintaining various social media platforms, capturing unique content from our field staff (e.g. testimonials from community members, photos and video clips from our school program team, etc), and developing engaging content to be shared through a variety of channels. For more information, please click here.

Epicenter Nursery and Fruit Tree Internship
Epicenter is an organic orchard that specializes in growing apples, pears, plums, and cherries.  The fruit varieties have been selected over a period of years for their ability to fruit well in our microclimate (very cold, high chill winters and a long warm summer and fall).  When harvested, the fruit is sold primarily to restaurants that appreciate highly flavored unusual fruit. For more information, please click here.

Cultivating A Daily Revolution Internship
This internship is a student-based & facilitated program designed to engage, provide experience, and educate participating students in various topics pertaining to communities on and around our campus. This internship will strive to foster a student community that is aware of the importance of gender, economic, and social justice issues within our food and commodity chains. The 2-unit internship will be hosted by the Friends of the Community AgroEcology Network (FoCAN), an on-campus student organization that promotes campus and communal involvement in food awareness, social justice, fair trade, agroecological approaches, and more. For more information, please click here.

Earth Day Santa Cruz 2018: Volunteering
As a volunteer, your time and energy will go into making Earth Day a big success. You’ll be energizing the Santa Cruz community about the environment all while attending a fantastic event and even getting a free lunch. Find more information by clicking here.

Coastal Restoration Day with Groundswell Coastal Ecology:
We are seeking volunteers for two Earth Day coastal restoration events both are on Saturday, April 21 from 8:30 am -12:30 pm. One is at Seabright Beach and the other at Natural Bridges. We will provide all tools as well as coffee and delicious pastries. If you would like to volunteer, simply show up at the specified time and place or contact Bill Henry at for more information. The two project's information are located below:

Seabright Beach: Coastal Restoration Invasive Plant Removal and Native Planting: Earth Day Volunteers will participate in planting and maintenance to support the Seabright Beach Coastal Enhancement Project (100-150 volunteers). Volunteers will plant native plants and remove invasive plant species from coastal restoration sites. Volunteers will also learn about flora and fauna of coastal native ecosystems and how green infrastructure can make coastal habitat more resilient to climate change. This restoration work creates habitat for fauna long absent from Seabright Beach and helps capture sand that will better protect the beach, beach habitat and the Santa Cruz Harbor from sea level rise and other climate change impacts.

Natural Bridges: Coastal Restoration and Infrastructure Updates: Earth Day Volunteers will participate in planting, maintenance and construction to support the Natural Bridges Coastal Enhancement Project.. Volunteers will maintain the restoration site, plant native plants and remove invasive plant species at Natural Bridges (~50 Volunteers). They will also assist with repair of a degraded fences and placement of ‘sitting logs’ at a scenic overlook adjacent to the restoration site (~30 volunteers). This will invite people to spend time at the restored area and improve park access. Volunteers will also learn about flora and fauna of coastal native ecosystems and how green infrastructure can make coastal habitat more resilient to climate change. This restoration work creates habitat for flora and fauna long absent from Natural Bridges, helps capture sand that would ultimately end up on Park roads and promotes ongoing interaction of people and parks.

April 2018: Green Tips

The best way to save energy is by reducing your air conditioner and heater use.
Electronics and Appliances
Turn it off: A habit that should eventually become second nature. All appliances and electronics should be kept off when not in use, even for short amounts of time.
Unplug: This reduces the amount of “vampire electricity,” that energy appliances suck even when they are turned off. Computers, televisions, and DVRs use the most electricity when off but still plugged in. Power strips make this more convenient by using one switch to eliminate all power. Try smart power strips that shut down products that go into standby mode.
Change your settings: Adjust your computer settings to energy-saving options
 • Enable standby (“sleep”) mode. A typical computer uses 50-150 Watts of power, but only 1-6 W when on standby.
 • Don’t use a screensaver – these use just as much energy as active use.
 • Check your power settings – choose “Energy Saver” modes.
 • Turn it off – Leaving your computer for 30 minutes or more? Shut it down for significant savings.
 • Use an energy-saving software that automatically adjusts your settings without affecting your use. Try a free program like Granola Software
Turn off the lights: When you leave your room, be sure all lights are off, even if you will only be gone for a few minutes. Put a note on the door if you forget often.
Upgrade: Replace all incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs, which use almost 90% less energy. A CFL bulb uses 50–80% less energy. LEDs don’t have the same “warm-up” delay that CFLs do and don’t require special disposal. CFLs contain mercury and CANNOT go in the trash.
Use cold water: ENERGY STAR estimates that almost 90% of energy used by washing machines goes to heating water. Change the settings to “Bright colors” to wash your clothes in cold water. To increase effectiveness, buy laundry detergent suited for cold water washing.
Skip the dryer: Try air drying! Clothes dryers require a significant amount of energy to heat up, and they shorten the life of your clothes. Invest in an inexpensive clothing rack for your room or apartment to save energy and money!

April 2018: Contests and Funding

Students aged 14 to 18 who have demonstrated a commitment to the environment and/or their community through their schoolwork and extra-curricular activities are eligible for a Green Ticket Community Service Scholarship including, but not limited to, work in the following areas:
-Environmental issues: global warming, bio-diversity, ecosystem preservation, toxic waste reduction, deforestation, energy conservation, and recycling
-Friends of the earth: agriculture, farming, and food
-Wildlife: preservation of endangered species, including marine life and national parks
-Local service projects: community gardens, under-privileged youth education and after-school programs

Deadline: April 15, 2018

George Stacy has provided scholarships limited to current AGR undergraduates who are enrolled with a declared horticulture-related major in entomology, environmental horticulture, horticulture, landscape gardening, landscape horticulture, ornamental horticulture, pest control, plant breeding, plant pathology, plant science (with horticulture emphasis), pomology, and/or vegetable crops who have completed at least three courses in the department of their declared major. Applicants must supply a current transcript and send an essay. Financial need will not be a determinant in the selection process.
Deadline: April 30, 2018

Brown and Caldwell values diversity in the workplace, supporting organizations like the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers. We've also set up a Minority Scholarship Program to help minority groups succeed in the environmental engineering industry.
Deadline: April 15, 2018

This year's prompt: "From atoms to organisms, from the biosphere to the entire universe, math and science can be found at every size. Describe a natural phenomenon, technological advancement, or scientific discovery by its microscopic and macroscopic features. Draw from various scientific disciplines to explain your topic, and identify how the fields interact with each other to produce a comprehensive model of a complex system."
Deadline: October 5, 2018

Native American/Alaska Native undergraduate students attending tribal colleges and universities are eligible to apply for both the American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship Program and the American Indian College Fund TCU Scholarship Program.
Deadline: May 31, 2018