Thursday, February 23, 2017

March 2017 Sustainability Profile: Angela Duong

What does "sustainability" mean to you?
Sustainability means the world to me! Although there are official definitions for sustainability, I believe sustainability has many definitions. It can mean using a reusable water bottle or saving plastic containers for knick knack storage and snacks. Sustainability is a diverse term that can span across different spectrums of of culture, perspective and daily actions. By committing myself to sustainability, I have learned so much about reducing, reusing, refusing and conserving my actions and choices to more limited and sustainable choices. I believe sustainability can be more than economic choices; it can be simple behavioral changes or understanding the impact of our choices on the environment!

What projects are you working on?
Currently, I am working on creating more awareness for zero waste on our campus. As the Zero Waste Team Coordinator, I manage a team of five dedicated individuals towards the “Zero Waste by 2020” goal. I work with campus stakeholders to effectively communicate our commitment towards zero waste by supporting Zero Waste Events on and off campus, coordinating with student organizations or staff/faculty about making their organizations and departments more zero waste and creating material for the campus on becoming more zero waste. I would consider myself to be a great student resource for zero waste and am always willing to chat or answer any questions related to waste.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC?
Sustainability relates to my role at UC Santa Cruz in my day to day life. I made the decision to major in Environmental Studies with a double minor in Legal and Sustainability Studies due to my passion for environmental policy and its importance in setting the stage for environmental regulations and legislations in our political world. My greater passion is within waste management and resource reclaim. I believe more focus needs to be on the where and how derived materials are extracted for the products we use rather than the eventual recyclability. 

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
I always carry around my love for reusables! My backpack holds my reusable water bottle, reusable coffee cup and sleeve, reusable cloth napkin, a glass straw, my spoon fork knife, reusable sandwich bags and tupperware for snacks. I am conscious of my economic choices and what I consume.  

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
Inter-org is the best time ever. Inter-org is a place where sustainabilities are made! I love Inter-org because I met my best friends there and I have never been to a retreat where I had opened my perspectives so much than Inter-org!

Favorite Green Tip?
BYOE- Bring your own everything!

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Campus Sustainability Orgs Build Relationships and Trade Ideas at Inter-Org 2017

The first weekend in January 2017, more than 60 students, staff, alumni, and faculty representing 30 campus organizations came together for the 7th Annual Sustainability Inter-Organizational Retreat. “It was really motivating and inspiring. I feel like I learned a lot and made a lot of connections with Sustainabilibuddies on campus. It was a powerful and emotional experience.” said Dylan Huntzinger, an Education and Outreach Team Associate for the Sustainability Office.

The retreat, which was organized by a team of mostly students and a couple staff, was centered around social and environmental justice issues, following the theme “Decolonizing Sustainability: Challenging Myths and Disrupting Narratives.” The retreat opened with a keynote talk from UCSC alum mark! Lopez, Executive Director of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justicewho shared his stories of growing up in an activist household in L.A., the colonial history of environmentalism and conservation, what decolonizing sustainability means to him, and his experiences with community organizing. You can watch most of mark!'s talk here.

UCSC alum mark! Lopez giving his Friday night keynote.
After mark!'s talk, the audience participated in a World Cafe facilitated by Sustainability Office Manager & Events Coordinator Melissa Ott. This was Melissa's 6th Inter-Org Retreat and 5th and final time being an active member of the planning committee. (She is leaving her position to become an apprentice at the UCSC Farm in April, and applications for this job are being accepted until February 5!)  The discussion focused on two questions. The first was, "Reflect on the talk mark! Lopez gave before dinner. What did you learn or have re-affirmed? What are you curious about? How will you take what he shared into your work for the coming year?" The second question, which you are encouraged to consider for yourself, was, "As 2017 brings change for our country, as well as for each of us personally as we begin another year of our lives, what challenges do you foresee or fear related to the work that you do in the world (as a student, as an activist, as a changemaker, as an environmentalist, as a citizen, etc.)? What are you most hopeful for in our world in 2017?"

On Saturday morning, the retreat moved to Camp Campbell in Boulder Creek, CA. The morning featured a workshop with Khafre James, founder of Hip-Hop for Change, a non-profit based out of Oakland that “Empowers the community through Hip-Hop culture, dismantling systems of oppression that hold us down.” After sharing the history of hip hop, Khafre got everyone writing and performing raps in front of the group. Topics ranged from decolonization to coffee to justice issues and more. “It was really fun and empowering. I was especially impressed with Elida’s rap,” said Alana Mandrick, a Green Office Team Associate. Elida Erickson is the Director of the UCSC Sustainability Office.

Student Sustainability Advisor Edson Perez performs a rap he wrote during the Hip Hop for Change workshop.

A variety of other student, staff, and alumni-led workshops were held throughout the day including “American Indians 101" with Dr. Rebecca Rosser, Director of the American Indian Resource Center; “Acroyoga” with UCSC alum Carson Watts; and “Decolonizing Coffee: Cultivating Coffee Food Forest for Food Sovereignty" with Friends of Community Agroecology Network. You can read the full list of workshop offerings here.

The retreat closed on Sunday with Open Space Technology, in which participants designed the agenda together and hosted sessions on a variety of topics. Discussions included a wide range, including issues facing students on campus, active listening, family planning, vegetarianism, art and activism, and sustainability orientations for new students.

“It was an honor and very rewarding to be a part of the planning committee for the retreat. I learned so much from both our keynote speakers about Decolonizing Sustainability. The best part of the retreat was our ‘Open Space’ workshop, where students from different orgs were able to come together and discuss topics that we were all passionate about. Inter-Org really helped myself and other students find ways to collaborate and take action beyond the retreat!” said Jessica Sanchez-Sanchez, the Chancellor's Undergraduate Intern and Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Sustainability Office.

Jax Puliatti, the Sustainability Office Graphic Artist echoed this sentiment, adding, "I felt like we made some great plans on how we can take our ideas beyond the retreat.  We got organized and set our sights towards the future.  I'm excited to see where we go from here!"

Thanks to everyone who made this year's retreat a success! Take a look at the fun photos from the weekend and tag yourself and friends!

We look forward to seeing you again next year at the retreat, and if you're interested in joining the planning committee for the 2018 retreat, please email

Amelia Maurer and Jason Simmons with their up-cycled succulents, products of one of the student-led workshops on Saturday at Camp Campbell.

Monday, January 30, 2017

February 2017: Contests and Funding

Donald A. Strauss Scholarship: Deadline February 2
The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation allows students to pursue a public service project during their junior or senior year. The scholarship provides $10,000 for expenses of the public service project and for some tuition, fees, books, room and board. More information can be found on the Strauss Foundation website. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Thursday, February 2, 2017 to the second floor reception desk at Kerr Hall, attn: Strauss Campus Representative. If you have questions and for assistance with the application process, please email

2017 CHESC Call for Presentations: Deadline February 10
CHESC (California Higher Education Sustainability Conference) is seeking speakers who have crossed silos within their institutions to create sustainable change, infused concepts of sustainability into curriculum, and/or pursued research questions related to sustainability. To see more information, check out their website here. If you are interested in applying, please visit the Proposal Collection System website.

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund: Deadline February 10
The Davis-Putter Scholarship fund is pleased to announce that the online application is available for student activists who are organizing for social change and building progressive movements on campus and community. They are in a critical time of resistance with growing numbers on the frontlines of social change in movements for economic and racial justice, prison abolition, immigration struggles, indigenous rights, reproductive justice, climate justice, and LGBTQ rights. Find more information about the fund by visiting the Davis-Putter website.

Join AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) as they focus on how the campus sustainability community can break down walls, build bridges and continue to make progress toward a healthy and equitable future for all with their conference theme, "Stronger in Solidarity". The call for proposals and reviewers closes on Monday, February 13, 2017. Submit your proposal on the AASHE website today!

RFP - A Research Roadmap for Transportation and Public Health, National Cooperative Research Program: Deadline February 28
The TRB (Transportation Research Board) is offering a fund up to $250,000 to researchers hoping to innovate the future of transportation. Research is needed to provide transportation agencies with the information and tools necessary for integrating public health considerations into transportation agency decision making and performance measurement at the policy, program, project, and operations levels. Visit the Research Roadmap application website.

Launched in 2007, the Fuller Challenge has defined an emerging field of practice: the whole systems approach on understanding and intervening in complex and interrelated crises for wide-scale social and environmental impact. The Buckminster Fuller Institute is now accepting applications for the Fuller Challenge - a $100,000 award for socially-responsible design. Visit the Fuller Challenge application site.

Danny Kennedy's California Clean Energy Fund: Deadline April 1 
Initiative (CalSEED) is a funding and professional development program for innovators and entrepreneurs working to bring early-stage clean energy concepts to market. CalSEED is a funding initiative of the California Energy Commission. CalSEED has begun taking applications for the $24MM California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (CalSEED) program. Visit the CalSEED website to apply.

Friday, January 27, 2017

February 2017 Sustainability Profile: Jeremy West

Name: Jeremy West

What is your title on campus? 
Assistant Professor of Economics

Where are you from? 
Austin, Texas, though I’ve lived in states at all four edges of the U.S.: California, Texas, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. 

What is your educational background? 
I have BSc and PhD degrees in Economics from Texas A&M. I did my post-doc at MIT before joining the faculty of UCSC in 2016.

What does “sustainability” mean to you? 
To me, sustainability means ensuring that future inhabitants of the Earth have at least as good opportunities and environment as inhabitants today, in every way possible.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC? 
I practice (and preach) sustainability at UCSC in my research, teaching, and service. My work focuses on public policy and its role in society’s management of our scarce environmental resources. I apply scientific and statistical methods to study human behavior and facilitate smarter environmental policies with minimal undesirable side-effects. In addition to research in these areas, I teach environmental economics and public policy at undergraduate and graduate levels (for interested students: I’ll be teaching both during the spring 2017 quarter). I am also collaborating with faculty from disciplines across UCSC to design and teach a novel graduate program in Coastal Science and Policy.

What are your research interests?
I empirically study economics related to public policy, consumer behavior, resource conservation, energy, and the environment.

How do you practice sustainability in your own life? 
People readily think of the “big” ways to practice sustainability -- buying an electric car, for example. While these actions clearly matter, there are plenty of smaller ways to regularly practice sustainable behavior. Personally, I practice such “micro-sustainability” through choices such as commuting by bicycle to my UCSC office, minimizing my use of non-reusable household products, and supporting our country’s amazing parks and greenspace as often as possible!

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Vox Limax: UCSC Talks Trump

This piece is the inaugural installment of "Vox Limax" a new section of the Sustainability Newsletter featuring student perspectives on sustainability and related issues. Vox Limax features the opinions of students, staff, and other contributors that may not reflect the opinions of the University of California.

The first actions of President Trump and his cabinet have fired up the sustainability community and Americans as a whole. This month we have seen a renaissance of political action in Santa Cruz and across the nation from marches, to teach-ins, to a flurry of letters, emails, and phone calls to representatives. With this at our attention, we set out to ask slugs this question:

What are your plans to support or oppose the Trump administration?

“If this executive order does come to fruition I will advocate for Planned Parenthood to become funded by the state of California so that President Trump will not intervene with this.  Because Planned Parenthood is simply more than just an abortion clinic. It provides many opportunities for women to prepare better for childbirth. This as well as advocating to my own local representative, his name is Congressman Steven Knight, to voice my opinion on certain issues and provide facts.”

“My advice to any person who wants to contact their representative: call the office. Do not email them. Emails will just go to spam. Contact the office locally, voice your opinion, leave your name, and know specifically where your representative is in your district. Because towns themselves can be broken up into different districts.”

“Go to Sacramento if you really want to voice your opinion. Talk to the California Senate and the Assembly. And then they'll really hear what you have to say. If you come prepared with the proper information, research, statistics, eyewitness accounts, then you will really have a substantial argument that will cause the the politicians to listen to you.” - Noahchoudhuri (1st year, Computer Engineering)

“My current plan is to continue my education and not let it become disrupted by this. To become a science teacher in a red area. I feel like my personality is pretty innocuous at first glance and maybe I won’t ruffle feathers, but also teach new things and change minds.”

“In the more immediate future I’m trying to figure out what House seats are up for grabs in the midterm elections. I’m currently still registered in my home town and that’s a red area of California.” - Anonymous
“I like the Trump administration, unlike many people on this campus, so I'm okay with it personally. I think it's a much needed change in our democratic system. Our government goes through these swings every eight years. You look at Bush - it was Bush for eight, and then it was Obama for eight, and now it’s red again. It’s gonna be blue in eight years. It’s just what happens.  I think this is gonna be a good four years, my man!” - Cyrus (2nd year, Undeclared)

“The whole point is to get people who are like-minded and also feel as fiercely as you do to get together regularly and use each other as support in writing letters or making phone calls. You can set goals to make phone calls every week, and that actually sounds like a pretty helpful thing to do. But in all honesty, taking care of ourselves and getting together with people with like minded values.” - Katie (4th year, Environmental Studies and Economics)

“I support his foreign policy. I also like his immigration policy, because I think immigration should be legal. Number three, I support his plan to bring jobs back because I think outsourcing is really killing the U.S. manufacturing. And number four, fighting ISIS instead of dictators. Removing Saddam Hussein and removing Qaddafi in my opinion, was a really stupid policy. What should have been done is the fighting terrorists and at least having cordial relations with people who at least keep some kind stability in the Middle East. So personally I’m not against dictators for the Middle East, it’s better than terrorists.” 

“So, what would be a way to support or oppose it? With university atmosphere, it’s impossible to say these things, number one. And number two, Nancy Pelosi’s house is like two blocks away from my parent’s house in San Francisco. So, basically, with my congressional representative basically saying that she will do everything in her power to oppose the new administration, it’s kind of like Californians don’t have a voice. Or at least Bay Area people don’t have a voice. Maybe if I lived in Nevada I’d have more of a voice. Feel more comfortable, you know?” - Anonymous

“Shelter inside my house, and let the little voices inside my head talk to me.” - Steve (Shuttle-bus Driver)

“Make art that engenders empathy in people. Teach people that other people are human too.” - Chris (4th year, Theater)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Women's March on Washington Reflection

On November 21, a day that would otherwise be full of anger, frustration and sorrow, was instead a day of empowerment, activism, and collective action. The Women's March on Washington was an unprecedented global event. The reality of having a president who disregards science, has next to no knowledge of the issues, and whose ideology is sexist, racist and homophobic, has jolted many otherwise passive people into action.

The Women’s March was a worldwide reinforcement of community. A disengaged electorate, facilitated by the many comforts most Americans experience, has fostered a disengagement in public discourse. However, recognizing the vast number of people who want to see a world that is inclusive, equal, and sustainable, has been a healing experience and a reminder that we are in this together.

Consistently, the speakers at the Women’s March on Washington, who were largely women of color, repeated the sentiment that women’s rights are inseparable from social and environmental justice. This view was reinforced in the hundreds of clever and profound posters hand-crafted by marchers. Knowing that there are so many people who share a vision for a world where all humans, all animals and the environment are respected and protected, was deeply empowering.

I am humbled by this experience. However, there have been negative reactions to this historic event: bashing of the pussyhat campaign, questioning the validity of the march as being considered activism, dismissing the march as an event for white women, the lack of inclusion of people of color and trans-people. These issues are all valid and I want to make sure that I do not disregard these critics. I would just say that people of privilege can be activists too and while this may be the first protest some of the participants attended, you gotta start somewhere!

I urge participants to keep the fire within you alive (Trumps is probably going to make it pretty easy)! Continue to be active! Attend the next Black Lives Matter march near you! Attend the national march on April 15th, Tax day! Volunteer for other local activist organizations. And don't let negative messages dissuade you from believing in the power of this event and your individual action!

February 2017: Internships, Employment, and Volunteering


Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program: Deadline February 12
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (2-year program, UCSC) is launching recruitment for its 2017 class of Scholars. Their goal is to recruit 20 freshman/sophomore students from underrepresented groups across disciplines with the highest potential to make sustained contributions as conservation innovators and leaders. The scholarship covers all program expenses and provides each Scholar with a $4000 stipend during each of their two summers. For more information, or to apply, please visit the Doris Duke scholarship's website. For questions, email Justin Cummings at jacummin[at]ucsc[dot]edu. The deadline to apply is February 12, 2017.

Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program: Deadline February 16 at 5:00pm
The Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP) provides students with on-campus internships in programs and departments throughout the campus. Interns work with a mentor to develop personal and professional skills, and take a leading role in producing project in their internship. Enrollment in a two-unit leadership seminar class is required for fall, winter and spring quarters. A scholarship of $8,200 is paid towards the intern's registration fees for the academic year.  Application must include at least two letters of recommendation. Visit the CUIP webpage for full details or to apply.

UC Student Regent & UC Student Advisor to the Regents: Deadline February 26
The Board of Regents are looking for two students to represent UCSC. The Student Regent is a full voting member of the Board of Regents and attends all meetings of the Board and its Committees during their one-year term commencing July 1, 2018. The Student Advisor the the Regents is an experimental, non-voting position that advises the Regents on student issues. View the application for full details.

American Indian Resource Center Intern: Deadline June 16
The American Indian Resource Center is dedicated to supporting the needs of American Indian students and increasing Native visibility on campus by advocating students centered programs, cultural events, and tools for academic success. AIRC student interns gain leadership, facilitation, event planning, research, and project management skills as well as the opportunity to learn more about American Indian culture, history, and current issues.  10 hour-per-week commitment.  For more info, please contact AIRC Director Rebecca Rosser at rrosser[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

University of New Hampshire Sustainability Project Fellowships: Deadline February 17 
The University of New Hampshire is offering multiple paid, sustainability-related summer projects.  Projects range from monitoring sustainability metrics to mapping sea level rise.  All details can be found at UNH's website.  For questions, email Megan Carney at megan[dot]carney[at]unh[dot]edu.


UCSC Sustainability Office Office Manager & Events Coordinator: Deadline February 5
Have strong opinions about the quality of this newsletter? Wish you were the editor? You can be!  The UCSC Sustainability Office is looking for an Office Manager and Events Coordinator (one position). Responsibilities include event planning, maintaining the office, and supervising student staff. Qualified applicants should have a thorough knowledge of sustainability issues and UC Santa Cruz' institutional structures. Applicants should also be highly skilled in leadership and communication. For full details, or to apply, visit the UCSC jobs site (#1706942).

Program in Community Agroecology Events Coordinator: Open Until Filled
The Program in Community Agroecology is seeking an events coordinator. Responsibilities include event planning, logistical support, collaborating with campus organizations, record keeping, grant writing, and updating the PICA website. For more information, email PICA at pica[at]ucsc[dot]eduVisit the UCSC ERS site to apply.

Ecology Action Hiring Bike and Walk Youth Educator / Program Assistant
Ecology Action (based in Santa Cruz, CA) is seeking either one full time or two part-time Bike and Walk Youth Educator / Program Assistants. The position(s) will help build community, empower kids, improve their health and tackle climate change by training and encouraging youth to walk and bike safely to school. With primary delivery in Watsonville and Salinas, they would love to find a bilingual/bicultural staff person(s) from those communities to join their team and someone with teaching experience. For more information and to apply, visit their website.

UC Davis Student Farm is seeking a new director: Deadline February 21
The Student Farm at UC Davis (SF) is seeking a new director to lead the continued development of the SF as a learning community where students from many disciplines work to create, maintain and explore sustainable food systems on a 20+ acre farm. A key component of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), the SF has served UC Davis students and faculty and the public with educational, research, and outreach opportunities focused on sustainable agriculture and food systems for 40 years. The SF Director provides intellectual, academic, and community leadership to the SF and has primary responsibility for overall vision and administration as well as the programs’ educational, research and public service functions. See a full job description and apply for the position on their website.

Bike San Luis Obispo County Executive Director: Open Until Filled
Bike SLO County, a bicycle advocacy group based out of San Luis Obispo, is looking to hire an Executive Director. Responsibilities of the Executive Director include implementing Bike SLO County's strategic plan, empowering staff, speaking with the media, and managing their budget. Qualified applicants should have a bachelor's degree (or commensurate education) management experience, strong communication and financial skills, and a passion for sustainable transportation! Full details avaliable on Bike SLO County's website. To apply, email a cover letter and resume to edsearch[at]bikeslocounty[dot]org. Please include “Executive Director – YOUR NAME” in the subject line.

Bioneers: Multiple Offerings: Open Until Filled
Bioneers is a nonprofit organization that serves as a hub of social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges.  Their San Francisco offices are seeking an office manager, a communications director, and an Everywoman's Leadership program director. Visit the Bioneers jobs page for information. To apply, send a cover letter and curriculum vitae to careers[at]

Sustainability Analyst at American University: Open Until Filled
Our sustainabilibuddies at American University's Office of Sustainability (Washington, D.C.) are seeking a Sustainability Analyst. The Sustainability Analyst parses sustainability-related data and ensures completion of  assessments and reports. Additionally, this position identifies opportunities for sustainability while benchmarking metrics related to sustainability in operations. A bachelor's degree in environmental studies, business, architecture, or a related area is required. Qualified applicants should advanced skills in communication, Microsoft Office, and sustainability-related metrics.  Full details avaliable on AU's job-posting site. One must create a login to apply.

San Francisco State University Energy Manager: Open Until Filled
San Francisco State University is looking to hire an energy manager. The energy manager promotes, supports, and provides strategic management oversight for San Francisco State's energy and utility systems. Qualified applicants should have through knowledge of energy systems and sustainability concerns, as well as a bachelor's degree in Engineering, Industrial Technology, Energy Management, or a utility, energy, or a sustainability-related field.  For full details and to apply, visit UCSF's online posting.

Fund for the Public Interest
Fund for the Public Interest is a national, non-profit organization that builds the people power for America’s leading environmental and social change organizations. They are hiring for a number of positions, including Canvass Director. Here in Santa Cruz the Fund is working with Environment California on our campaign to save the bees. The Fund advertises that one can make $450-$650 a week Canvassers are paid $10.50 per hour, with a bonus commission if one exceeds quota.  Full-time and part-time positions available, starting immediately. Visit the Fund's website for full details and to apply. For more information, email Hannah Furbush.


UCSC Campus Clean-ups: February 4, 26
The Zero Waste Team invites you to their sister college cleanups this quarter! There will be two cleanups in February, the first at Rachel Carson/Oakes on Saturday, February 4th and the second at Cowell/Stevenson on Sunday, February 26th. For the first clean-up, meet at the RCC/Oakes Dining Hall at around 10:30am for a quick "trash talker" training about what items go into what streams. The cleanup will start at 11:00am and finish up at around 12:00pm to enjoy a snack, a raffle, and weigh the trash collected! View the Zero Waste Team's flyer for more information.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Docent Training: February 4
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary docent training program prepares volunteer docents to interpret the natural and cultural resources of the Sanctuary. A non-mandatory informational meeting will be held Feb 4 at 10:30 am at the Sanctuary Exploration Center, 35 Pacific Avenue. Visit the Sanctuary's website for more information or to apply.

Land Trust Santa Cruz County Antonelli Pond Clean-up: February 12
Join the volunteers at Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and UCSC restore native plants by removing invasive English Ivy!  The clean-up will start at 10:00am at the kiosk off of the West-end Delaware entrance.  Volunteers should bring closed-toed shoes, water, a lunch, and gardening gloves if they have them.  Volunteers must be 18 or have their guardian sign a liability waiver before attending.  Please RSVP through Land Trust's website.  For questions, email volunteer[at]landtrustsantacruz[dot]org.  If you live on campus and are in need of transportation, email gcalvare[at]