Tuesday, November 24, 2015

UC Carbon Neutrality Summit- Bending the Curve

UC Carbon Neutrality Summit- Bending the Curve
It's not often that UC President Napolitano, Governor Jerry Brown, 50+ faculty and researchers, Nobel laureates, and business leaders get together in one place to focus on a topic.  But on October 26 & 27, these movers and shakers got together at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego to focus on one of the most critical issues facing society; climate change.

The latest science presented at the conference revealed that under the current “business as usual” practices, the planet is on target to exceed a 2 degrees Celsius increase relative to the pre-industrial average by 2050 and a 4 degrees Celsius increase by 2100, triggering serious large-scale problems including droughts, forest fires and sea level rise from 1.5–2 meters by the end of the century. Catastrophic climatic events are becoming more and more common, and are disproportionately affecting the world’s most vulnerable people.

Despite the stark facts that were presented, there was a sense of excitement and optimism in the air as we heard from the leaders of a committee of 50 academics and researchers from across UC’s 10 campuses who worked over the summer to develop a report recommending a set of actionable solutions for curbing climate change using existing technologies.  The report, called Bending the Curve, pulled together experts from a broad spectrum of fields ranging from climate science to ethics, economics, ecology, energy, environmental justice, political science and religion.  The Chair of the Committee, Veerabhadran "Ram" Ramanathan- who in 1975 discovered the greenhouse effect of chlorofluorocarbons in the Earth’s atmosphere- insists, “there is still time to mitigate the most disastrous of the predicted changes.”  Governor Brown iterated this point by saying, “The challenge for us is to imagine the likely extreme outcomes of climate change and take actions now to prevent it.”

Yes, this is a monumental challenge.  The encouraging thing is that it was apparent at this Summit that these leaders are not just “talking the talk” but are also “walking the walk.”  With the Carbon Neutrality Initiative announced by President Napolitano in 2013, the University of California pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.  The state of California has its own ambitious climate targets: Reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels, shift California’s electricity production to at least 50 percent renewable sources, and increase building energy efficiency by 50 percent – all by 2030.  To learn more about UCSC’s commitment to climate action, click here. -Chrissy Thomure

Monday, November 23, 2015

EPA recognizes dining’s waste reduction efforts


December 2015: Contests and Funding

Cool Campus Challenge
As the end of Fall quarter approaches, so too does the end of the Cool Campus Challenge. This event supports the UC Office of the President’s 2025 Carbon Neutrality Initiative and raises awareness on being greener amongst student staff and faculty. While a friendly competition with the other UCs on which campus can be the “Coolest Campus,” UCSC is currently in 4th place! As a point of Slug pride, let’s move up in number of participants and green pledges, showing the UCs we care about Carbon Neutrality. Sign up and pledge today at coolcampuschallenge.org!

Just Sustainability Deadline Jan. 18
The Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS) invites papers for its second biennial conference “Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons” to be held in Seattle on August 7-9, 2016. Attendees will have a unique opportunity to connect with researchers, businesses, and communities that are bringing EJS issues to the fore of public discourse. Authors will have the opportunity to publish papers in a special issue of the journal Interdisciplinary Environmental Review.

Authors should submit abstracts of no more than 200 words by January 18th, 2016 by using the conference paper submission system. Authors should indicate their preference for an oral or poster presentation. Authors should also indicate if they would like to submit a full paper for a special issue of the journal Interdisciplinary Environmental Review. Full papers will be due on July 1st, 2016, and final versions of accepted papers will be due on October 1st, 2016.

Pitch Slam
If you're interested in sustainable innovations to present at a live competition on December 1st, email Sue Carter (sacarter [at] ucsc [dot] edu). They are awarding 4 prizes, each $500, to the top 4 presenters.  Students can present any idea as long as it involves some type of innovative product or service.

Cool Campus Challege update

As the end of Fall quarter approaches, so too does the end of the Cool Campus Challenge. This event supports the UC Office of the President’s 2025 Carbon Neutrality Initiative and raises awareness on being greener amongst student staff and faculty. While a friendly competition with the other UCs on which campus can be the “Coolest Campus,” UCSC is currently in 4th place! As a point of Slug pride (and the chance to win cool prizes like a Momentum Bicycle), let’s move up in number of participants and green pledges, showing the UCs we care about Carbon Neutrality. Sign up and pledge today at coolcampuschallenge.org!

December 2015: Classes, Trainings and Community


Sustainability Minor
The minor will incorporate courses offered by College Eight and departments across campus, student-initiated classes through the Education for Sustainable Living Program, and an interdisciplinary capstone. The minor is open to ALL UCSC students. For more information, click here.

Kresge 64: Tools for World Changers
Wed 11:00am-1:40pm (2 units)
Develops life skills that support you and help you support others. Implement effective methods for personal productivity (managing your to-dos, calendar, and inbox), interpersonal communication, meeting facilitation, event hosting, collaboration, and regenerative community design.

Kresge 67: Transformative Justice Seminar
    Tu Th 9:30am-11:45am (2 units)
    Examines the principles and processes of restorative justice juxtaposed to current practices in the judicial and educational systems of contemporary society. Students study leading restorative justice practices and their implication for individual and community transformation. Click here to learn more about restorative justice at Kresge.

If you are a UCSC student and are interested in enrolling in a Spring semester class 
in Cabrillo ’s Construction & Energy Management Program, please see the list of courses 
in the attachment, here. Then contact Ronnie Lipschutz (rlipsch [at] ucsc [dot] edu) for further information about enrolling and having your tuition paid by College Eight.


Thu, Dec 10, 2015 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Come learn more about interior lighting, with a focus on troffers and how new technology can significantly reduce energy use in higher education spaces. Colleges and universities in the U.S. spend around $1.10 per square foot on electricity with lighting representing 31% of the energy usage. The presentation will cover Princeton University’s recent lighting and controls upgrades, the University Financing Foundation assistance to education and research organizations with planning, development, and financing of facilities and equipment at below-market costs, and an overview of the Interior Lighting Campaign. 


Tuesdays 6:00-7:30pm 
During Winter Quarter: Jan 5 - Mar 8
Save the date! Common Ground Center is offering a permaculture film and discussion series during winter quarter. Stay tuned for a list of films in their next newsletter. The series is free & open to the public, and students enrolled in Kresge-161: Permaculture & Whole Systems Design are encouraged to attend the series to see examples of thriving, resilient and sustainable communities worldwide. 

Mondays 5-7pm in the Kresge Seminar Room 159.
The World Cafe is a weekly potluck of both food and ideas. It aims to bring a diversity of people together to explore whatever topics matter to them. Each night is focused on a different theme, often proposed by a student club or passionate individual wanting to develop their conversational leadership. Savor the inquiry as you savor the food and tea, connect deeply with one another, form friendships, move projects forward, and create actionable knowledge. The World Cafe is a process used around the globe to surface the collective intelligence of groups of all sizes.

Produce Stand in the Quarry Plaza
CASFS has just ended its apprenticeship program and farm stand for the year, but there is still a chance for to get fresh produce on campus! Currently, students from the Food Systems Working Group (FSWG) and the Global Food Initiative (GFI) are hosting a produce stand on Wednesdays from 2:30-5 in the Quarry Plaza! Come by to get fresh leafy greens from our on-campus farm and fresh fruit from our local farmers market! We look forward to seeing you there! If you would like more information please contact abillys [at] ucsc [dot] edu or ucscfswg [at] gmail [dot] com

Divestment Student Network People Of Color Caucus
The People of Color (POC) Caucus is a place for organizers of color in the divestment movement to meet, collaborate on shared projects, and support each other to build the Climate Justice movement the world needs. Check their Purpose, Principles and how to get involved hereDivestors of color who are interested in learning more, fill out this quick membership form to be shared on their listserve, membership contact page, and facebook group.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

December 2015: Internships, Employment & Voluntering


SCMNH is seeking a creative, team-oriented Education Manager to lead our programmatic efforts. The Education Manager has primary responsibility for all of the Museum’s educational programs, including public and school programming. They will lead the Education team as well as implement programs themselves. The ideal candidate will be experienced in developing, leading and evaluating informal science education programs, preferably in a museum setting. They will have great managerial, organizational, and interpersonal skills. Above that, they will have a love of nature and will enjoy being part of a close team whose primary goal is to engage people of all ages in the fascination of the natural world. To apply, submit a cover letter and detailed resume to Angela Ward (employment [at] santacruzmuseum [dot] org) by December 4th. Click here for more detail.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association, in partnership with Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and the USFWS Pacific Region Inventory and Monitoring Program, seeks an individual with strong restoration ecology, database development, and ecological monitoring design skills for an 18-month period to help Refuge staff meet scientific information needs associated with expanding habitat restoration and weed control programming. The selected individual will be an employee of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and will work closely with Refuge staff and volunteers to develop robust data collection procedures, design databases, and data management systems for currently implemented weed control, native plant propagation and habitat restoration activities. The primary goal of this position is to set-up a robust habitat restoration monitoring system that can be utilized and maintained by USFWS staff to holistically evaluate the success of restoration efforts, encompassing and integrating complex and large-scale weed control and native plant propagation programs. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume/CV, and list of at least 3 professional references to both Anne Truslow (atruslow [at] refugeassociation [dot] org) and Meg Duhr-Schultz (meg_duhrschultz [at] fws [dot] gov) by December 11. The selection is made by January 15, 2016. The project will take place at Midway Atoll April 12, 2016-September 2017. For more information, click here.

The non-profit Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge seeks two, half-time technicians to process Brandt’s Cormorant diet samples in a temporary position. The data collected from the seabird diet samples will be used in an ecosystem scale analysis to inform recommendations for fisheries in the California Current System. Work for this position will be conducted at the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, California Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Santa Cruz, California. Primary duties will include processing and sorting cormorant pellets and removing prey hard parts for subsequent identification in a laboratory setting. Position start date is no later than December 10, 2015. To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to Erica Donnelly-Greenan (erica [at] oikonos [dot] org). Click here for more information.

Both organizers will work with SEC's Blueprint Coordinator to compile the 2016-2017 Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. The Blueprint is a document re-written by students each year. It outlines students' visions and actions for on-campus sustainability. Work includes researching topics in sustainability (see Blueprint topics), attending working group meetings, writing and editing. Both positions start Fall quarter and end in June, requiring about 8-10 hours a week. Applicants must have previous experience in a student organization. To apply, email: seclead-group [at] ucsc [dot] edu and indicate SEC Student Organizer Job in subject line.

Graduate assistantships/fellowships are available for outstanding self-motivated students to conduct innovative and high-impact research at the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS) at Michigan State University (MSU). With support from the U.S. National Science Foundation and other funding sources, research topics may include sustainability science, coupled human and natural systems, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, human well-being, land change science, forest and landscape ecology, global change, systems integration and so much more. If interested in applying, click here.


Environmental Studies Internships Open to All Majors
The Environmental Studies Internship Office has many different internship opportunities available for fall. These 2 and 5-unit internships are open to all majors. Review some of the internships and learn how to apply on the Environmental Studies website here. Contact Chris Krohn for more information and additional internship listings at ckrohn [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Concerned about our drought? Get involved in rainwater catchment on campus!
A rainwater catchment system is being implemented in Porter dorms where purple pipes will recycle rainwater captured from the rooftop runoff to then be used to flush toilets. Students have the opportunity to work with both on-campus and off-campus engineers and UCSC alum to help design the system and work on incorporating creative approaches that promote and raise awareness for the project both on campus and to the wider community.
A possible paid internship is offered for students interested in helping design drainage systems at Bay View Elementary. To get involved or learn more email khurshma [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Join a regional green living magazine startup with Eco-Shift in conducting local market research.

InnerView Interns spend a few hours a week (2-4) connecting with student leaders, event organizers and campus staff. They partner and help spread the word about events and programs and help participants get recognition for their activities - all to amp up the good on our campus. Click here to learn more and to apply.


Campus Clean-Up Day
Are you interested in helping plan the second annual campus cleanup day? The Sustainability Office is looking for volunteers. If you are interested email Bella Montez (bmontez [at] ucsc [dot] edu). She looks forward to working with you. Here's some information about our first campus cleanup.

Bike Santa Cruz County looking for help with bike club at school program
They are currently hosting 2x clubs, one at Mission Hill middle school and one at Branciforte middle school, both in Santa Cruz.  Help support these super enthusiastic up and coming pedal-powered climate protectors! Bike Santa Cruz County meets every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters at both of the schools mentioned.
Please contact Tawn Kennedy at greenways [at] bikesantacruzcounty [dot] org for more info. No experience necessary.

Passionate about solar? Take Action with Sunrun Policy by writing a letter to the UPUC Commissioners in support of rooftop solar and net metering in California. Thier letter writing campaign is here.

Their organization is a great way for students to grow as individuals, learn leadership skills, and gain invaluable work experience. Volunteers with the Student Environmental Center learn about current campus projects and policies and have the opportunity to participate or take on leadership roles in many topic areas.

Want to get your hands dirty and nurture the plants in our campus gardens? Visit the calendar to find out when garden work days are happening here.

The UC Global Food Initiative aims to address global issues in the food system. All 10 UCs are working collectively towards this effort to support sustainable agriculture, healthy eating, and food security. UCSC is playing a critical role in this effort with the support of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Join a subcommittee and get involved by contacting ucscfswg [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Interested in greening offices and energy conservation? The Green Impact Campaign is a national student-powered movement working to raise awareness of energy consumption. Become part of the movement today and join Green Impact Campaign, here.

Have a knack for cycling, biking and learning to maintain bikes? Interested in learning to divert bike parts from the waste stream? Then this is the opportunity for you! Click here for more information.

Sprout Up Santa Cruz is seeking college student-instructors instructors to deliver free environmental education to 1st and 2nd graders in the Santa Cruz community, cultivating the next generation of passionate caretakers of the earth. Commitment is maximum 3 hours/week for 8 weeks, by UCSC academic quarter. For more information, please contact directorsc[at]sproutup[dot]org, and visit their website at www.SproutUp.org.

Friday, November 20, 2015

December 2015 Green Tip: Curtailment At Home and Away

Even as the Cool Campus Challenge draws to a close, it’s important to keep up the good work as the UC system strives towards carbon neutrality. Whether you’re traveling over the break or staying in town, make sure to stick to your pledges and stay sustainable! This December, try out these tips to curtail your energy usage, resource use, and carbon footprint.

Image by John Loo

If you’re leaving town:
  • Unplug appliances, including Wi-Fi routers, refrigerators, microwaves, and lamps. Also consider using a power strip to reduce energy drain of many appliances at once.
  • Close windows and blinds to insulate your room or house.
  • Shut off or lower your thermostat if you have one. A good temperature to have your thermostat at while you’re out of the house is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Wear your warm clothing inside as well.
No matter where you are:
  • Check for leaks in faucets and toilets. If you live on campus and find one before you leave, file a maintenance request.
  • Seal air leaks or file a maintenance request to reduce heating needs. Often, drafts under doors can be reduced by laying a rolled up bath towel in front of the door gap.

Also, keep in mind these holiday tips:

Cut down on oils and grease. Fats, oils and grease can pose health hazards if thrown out with the dishwater or if poured down the drain. An excess in the sewer system can even result in sewage overflow leading to harmful effects on aquatic life as well as human well-being. If you do cook with these, make sure to pour the excess into a non-recyclable container, wait for it to solidify, and throw it in the trash rather than down the drain.

Reduce gift waste. Giving gifts? Try to reduce the amount of plastic packaging, or go for gifts that use materials other than plastic. Opt for unpackaged products or those packaged in cardboard and reusable or recyclable packaging. Hope to get gifts? Keep or recycle your wrapping paper and boxes! Both can be reused for future gifting or various craft projects. Check out our previous Green Tips about gift-giving here.

And, as with every vacation, try to carpool or take a bus whenever possible to cut down on carbon emissions. Safe travels to everyone leaving town and a happy vacation to all!