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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Youth Empowerment for Transformative Food Systems

by Adriana Murguia

Food insecurity, chronic poverty, and outmigration plague coffee growing communities in Latin America. Rural youth find farming livelihoods as unviable and search for a wage elsewhere. In response to these problems, the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) facilitates agroecology-based food security projects in its "AgroEco" coffee sites to create viable economic opportunities to reverse the trend of youth leaving their communities to find work elsewhere. An opportunity to connect with young people from these communities is taking place in February, and volunteers are needed to make the Intercambio (Exchange) a success.

In 2011, the Youth Network for Food Security and Food Sovereignty (Jovenes SSAN) formed to promote youth leadership opportunities in order to involve younger generations in creating transformative food systems. The youth network has expanded from its coffee sites in Nicaragua and Mexico and has included university students from Veracruz and Quintana Roo. Connecting and training youth leaders across multiple project initiatives deepens knowledge and capacity, creating beneficial exchange and innovation within each of the associated communities. The youth network comes together annually as an 8 day conference known as Intercambio (Exchange), which has become a platform for knowledge exchange on strategies and models for achieving food sovereignty. A similar food security initiative is being developed in Santa Cruz. Last spring (2014) FoCAN held a local intercambio, “Beyond Organic,” in which they brought multiple workers in the food systems into one panel. This year's Intercambio will take place February 13-20, 2015.

The Youth Network has had four annual exchanges and two regional exchanges. After participating in the Intercambio, youth leaders have expressed a strong desire to continue expanding the youth network, receive more training in agroecology, and build stronger national and international ties. 

Interested in volunteering during their stay in Santa Cruz? 
Volunteers will be needed to prepare meals, shop for food, set up and clean up events, and provide translations during Intercambio, which will take place February 13-20, 2015. To sign up to volunteer this year, please follow this link.

Questions? Email focan [at] ucsc [dot] edu


Adriana Murguia is the Intercambio Coordinator for Friends of Community Agroecology Network. Last year, she was a Provost's Sustainability Intern for the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Real Food Project.

Friday, November 21, 2014

December 2014 Green Tip: Have a Sustainable Holiday

Looking for a way to give back to Mother Earth while you're in the holiday giving mood? We can all enjoy these sustainable treats and tips no matter what we are celebrating this season.

Sustainable Holiday Meals:

Want to enjoy delicious wintertime foods without as many greenhouse gas emissions as usual? Whip up these yummy recipes for friends and family—they won’t even know the difference!

Traditional Style Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Featuring vegan mayonnaise, soy milk, and vegan cream cheese in place of chicken   and cow products, this recipe for shepherd’s pie will convince you that you really do live in a cozy farmhouse with a flock of sheep! But really, this sounds delicious, and it’s a warm dish to serve on a chilly day!

Visit for the recipe!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Apple Cider Reduction 

The title of this recipe is 100% wintertime deliciousness, and it’s completely vegan! Using vegan cream cheese, tofu, and soy milk in place of cow milk products, it can be sweetened with agave nectar and it’s spiced with cinnamon, arrowroot, nutmeg, agar, and pumpkin.

Learn how to make it on the Sierra Club website  here.

Seeking more sustainable holiday meals? Visit the Huffington Post’s “5 Sustainable Courses for a Healthy Holiday Meal” here.

Green Party Planning:

Hosting a party over the break? Integrate sustainable choices into your planning to reduce waste and educate friends and family about environmental conservation.
  • Send e-cards or look for greetings made with recycled content (the more post-consumer content, the better)
  • Set the table with cloth napkins, reusable plates and reusable utensils to reduce waste going to landfills. Compostable options are second best—but only if you live somewhere that collects compost!
  • Turn down the heat and bundle up. As your guests arrive, turn down the thermostat and let your guests’ body heat naturally warm the room.
  • If your party features gift opening, try to salvage reusable materials and then recycle the rest (unless your gift wrap is shiny and non-recyclable). Remove tape, ribbons and other decorations before tossing in the recycle bin.
  • If possible, compost food scraps. If not, toss them in the trash instead of washing them down the disposal to save water. 
  • Since you’re using reusable dishes and utensils, be sure you aren’t wasting water (after all, we’re in a drought!) Use just a little water to get your sponge soapy and wet and then turn off the faucet while scrubbing. Put them in the dishwasher, or fill the sink or a tub with water to rinse instead of running the faucet.

Find more green party tips online at Mother Nature Network and

Thanks for reading! Now it’s your turn: How do you make your annual wintertime traditions more kind to the planet?

December 2014: Contests & Funding

Measure 43: Deadline December 10
Measure 43 funding is available for UCSC undergraduate research and education programs related to sustainable food, health and wellness. The application deadline is December 10, 2014. For more information and to apply, visit the websiteMeasure 43 will ensure that all undergraduate students have access to education and programs that enhance their understanding of the food system and their food choices, and that increase opportunities for classes, workshops, “learning journeys,” hands-on gardening experiences, and other campus activities.

Race to Zero Student Design Competition: Deadline December 15
Open to students and faculty in the U.S. and Canada, this competition, formerly known as the Challenge Home Student Design Competition, poses teams with a specific design problem and requires either a redesign of an existing floor plan or creation of a new house design that satisfies the project requirements. Learn more and apply here.

Energy Dept $1M Funding Opportunity for University Research: Deadline December 19
This funding opportunity makes available competitive, 2-year cooperative agreements for teams at U.S.based institutions of higher education to research and develop innovative building energy efficiency technologies. Submission deadline for concept papers is December 19. To apply, visit the website.

CSSC Zero Waste Mini-Grant Program: Deadline January 16
In partnership with World Centric, the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) will be providing mini-grants to selected campus projects in spring 2015 to develop and/or scale student-generated zero waste solutions. In early and mid-December, informational webinars and 1-1 calls will be scheduled to provide applicants detailed information and assist with project strategy development. Applications are due January 16. Learn more here.

Sustainability Teaching Activities: Deadline January 20
Submissions are now being accepted for the peer-reviewed and edited book “Learner-Centered Teaching Activities for Environmental and Sustainability Studies.” Instructors are invited to submit descriptions of novel, easy to implement and engaging in-class activities. To be considered for publication, contributions must be submitted by January 20, 2015. Learn more here.

December 2014: Innovative Approaches to Sustainability at Other Campuses

Here are a few selections of the innovative approaches to sustainability taking place on other college campuses. Each of these examples was chosen because they represent ideas that UCSC could potentially implement in some form, or in some cases, already has begun to. If you see something here that you want to make a reality at UCSC, contact the Sustainability Office [at] ucsc [dot] edu and we will help you direct your ideas toward fruition!

UCLA Creates Nation’s Largest Self-Replenishing Fund For Green Projects 
UCLA is the 46th institution in the nation to join the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, which encourages colleges and universities to create their own sustainability-focused revolving funds — pools of money that are continually replenished when loan recipients return some or all of their cost savings each year. Now, the savings from energy efficiency and other projects will fund future projects. UC Santa Cruz has a Green Revolving Loan Fund that’s similar to this, which you can learn more about on our website or by emailing Chrissy at cthomure [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Students’ ‘Feeding Forward’ Fights Hunger, Food Waste
A student at UC Berkeley has created a "Feeding Forward" website, a food-recovery platform that connects organizations that have surplus perishable food with social agencies that feed the hungry. More than 400 donor groups — including Cal Dining, Cal Catering and scores of Bay Area restaurants — are currently registered on the site, along with some 100 recipient nonprofits. More than a half-million pounds of food have been recovered since the platform’s launch spring 2013.

Pomona College Diverts 23 Tons From Landfill and Saves Students Money
Pomona College has a "Clean Swap" that goes through the residence halls collecting items left behind by students after move-out. Last May, the student team collected 23 tons of used appliances, dorm furnishings, books and other items. In the fall, those items were offered for sale at discounted prices to students, raising more than $9,500 for sustainability programs. Operation Clean Sweep began as a pilot project in 2007 and recovered 17 tons of items. Over its eight-year span, the program is estimated to have diverted more than 150 tons of material from landfills, saved students thousands of dollars and helped a number of local charities. UC Santa Cruz has zero-waste move out stations at all of the colleges each spring that include donation bins for unwanted items. We also have a surplus store, which you can learn more about here.

Indiana State University to Host Community Sustainability Contest 
The event kicks off with a poster competition for students in kindergarten through college. Students will be divided into groups based on their ages and will be given a sustainability-related question that they will have to answer using a poster. What a great way to connect college students with the local community through art and sustainability!

Flintstones Meets the Jetsons: Solar Powered Pedal Car at Bridgewater College
At the cost of $6,000 and load capacity of 150 pounds, the ELF (Electric, Light, Fun) vehicle, gifted by alumni, is now used by students as part of the campus' student-operated recycling program. The vehicle requires solar, a corresponding range of 15 miles, and/or human power to operate.

U Illinois Proposes Bike Fee 
A recent referendum proposed a $1 student-initiated bike fee that would be slated for creating better bike infrastructure, safety courses and education. What do you think about this idea? At UC Santa Cruz, all sustainable transportation services provided by TAPS are subsidized by parking fees--which ultimately means that to continue to have free bike shuttles, loop buses, and other programs, people have to keep buying parking permits. Would this be a possible partial funding solution here?

Why care about climate?

by Alden Phinney 

I stood watching glaciers crack and calve with a horrendous crash into bright blue swirling seas. It was summer in Alaska, around 80℉ (approximately 26℃), and I was on the deck of a monstrous cruise ship in Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay was named for its monolith of ice that once extended to the mouth of the sea. They estimate that by this summer no ice will touch the water in Glacier Bay.
(Image source)
Over the loudspeaker, a National Park Ranger droned on about how “man-made global warming is a force outside our control”. I literally shouted “WHAT?!” to the heavens, and earned a couple of sideways glances from passengers trying to enjoy what remains of the great outdoors.

Climate change is a big and complex problem, no doubt. The rapid warming of the planet is arguably the most potent existential threat that our species and civilization has ever faced. But to argue that the problems of humankind are outside of humankind’s control was defeatist at best. To perpetuate this fallacy to the consumptive class most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions was appalling. The Ranger was preaching to a myopic choir singing slogans of American exceptionalism in the face of impending catastrophe.

We must be the change we intend to see in the world. In the face of climate change, we must pursue effective, equitable and bold action if we wish to live up to the United States’ mantle of a global leader. Continuing to advance the comfortable status quo at the expense of future generations is unconscionable. We are saddling our children with a debt repayable in war, droughts and famines.

I was disgusted by the gluttony, but more so by the apathy. Though the public discourse is rife with climate denial, the scientific consensus is settled. (Aggregate) global warming is occurring, is accelerating, and threatens every facet of human existence. However, it’s not all doom and gloom; according to the United Nations, the worst effects of climate change can still be avoided if governments quickly enact aggressive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reductions.

So when the world must set binding targets for GHG emissions, we should make every effort and sacrifice to be bold, to think forward and systemically, rather than backwards about the extractive industries that have driven economic growth for so long.
"The greater danger for us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark." - Michelangelo
Interested in learning more about climate action, climate justice or fossil fuel divestment at UCSC? Like Fossil Free UCSC on Facebook, check out the homepage of the Fossil Free campaign, or feel free to send me an email at aphinney [at] ucsc [dot] edu.


Alden Phinney is the Sustainability Office Climate Action Analyst through the Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program; a member of the Campus Sustainability Council; and a coordinator for Fossil Free UC Santa Cruz.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Assessment Criteria for Green Labs Certification Program

The UC Santa Cruz Sustainability Office's Green Labs program is proud to announce the implementation a new of a new scorecard for their certification program on campus, which promotes sustainability in our research labs. The Green Labs certification program rewards research labs that continuously practice sustainability in their work and encourage these practices throughout the year. In collaboration with other UC Green Labs programs throughout the UC system, a new detailed set of assessment criteria has been created in order to properly certify on-campus labs. After a walk-through and assessment based on this criteria, labs that have met sustainable standards are granted a Green Labs certification.

The new assessment has made drastic improvements to ensure proper certification, evaluating such criteria as proper waste disposal, water management, and sustainable lab protocol (i.e closing fume hoods when not in use, decreasing plug loads). The goals of the new certification process are not only to acknowledge current sustainable practices in labs, but also to suggest improvements and recommend new sustainable practices. By offering lab sustainability guidelines and feedback, the program directly supports campus sustainability goals related to waste, water and energy reductions.


Through the original assessment criteria used in the past couple of years, the Green Labs programs has certified two labs on campus. Their goals for the coming year are to outreach and certify as many labs as possible. Labs that become certified will soon be eligible for certification incentives (e.g. equipment upgrades) in the coming year. Using the new assessment process, the Green Labs team hopes to be efficient and effective when certifying labs and create a trend among campus to pursue environmentally sustainable practices.

If you work in a lab on campus and would like to speak with a Green Labs team member, please email Lily at lurmann [at] ucsc [dot] edu. To learn more about the program, please visit their website.

December 2014: Classes, Training, and Community

Student Sustainability Advisors
Need another way to stay up to date with sustainability related information, news and events? The Student Sustainability Advisors are a resource to residential life staff in the colleges, as well as students, staff, and faculty who wish to learn more about sustainability at UCSC. They just got a new Facebook page--give the page a like to further connect with the sustainability community.

Join PICA for the last garden workday of fall quarter! On Saturday, December 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., meet in the A-quad of the Village for a free garden grown lunch before Winter Break begins.

The UCSC Holiday Food Drive Team is dedicated to making a difference in our community by helping to provide healthy meals to our neighbors in need. In the holiday spirit of giving, the Second Harvest Food Drive has already begun to collect donations on campus. Every dollar donated provides four meals, and donations can be made here. Students can also donate meals or Flexi dollars at every Dining Hall. Every meal that is donated gives nine meals to people in our community. Canned food donations can also be made at Safeway on Mission Street and other areas around town. Please consider donating to those who would otherwise not have a meal this holiday season.
Part of conservation is planting! In the past 50 years, the Arboretum has grown from a small field of Eucalyptus trees to 143 acres featuring plants from the World's Mediterranean climates and a large and growing collection of California Natives. These gardens support researchers from all over the world. Take a tour and come explore the world, learn about the collection and be inspired about the natural world! These gardens and plant material have supported research on native bees, swallows, genetic lineage of flowering plants, and helped conserve native succulents through-out California where they were once lost. For more information, visit the website.

Winter Quarter: Collaborative Learning for Sustainable Communities & Reclaiming the Commons
The second quarter in the Collaborative Learning course series focuses on intergenerational learning in service of building thriving, just, and sustainable communities locally and globally. The class will discuss Sustainable Communities, Ecovillages and Reclaiming the Commons through guest lectures, intergenerational dialogue, and engagement with long-term projects. Enrollment is now open! To learn more, please contact instructor Christine King at chlking [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Winter Quarter: Transformative Action
Do you want to learn more about yourself and how you can engage -- in a positive way -- with the world around you? Are you looking for a different type of experiential course? Transformative Action focuses on key skills for effective transformation agents including: creativity and innovation; transformative communication; servant leadership; optimism and resilience, risk taking, initiative; luck; failure; and relationship building. Students create their own portfolio and commit to weekly civic engagement projects. Enrollment is now open!

The 16th Annual Agroecology Shortcourse will explore the roots of agroecology as a global movement as well as a science and a practice from July 12-25, 2015. Santa Cruz offers the ideal context to examine historical and current issues of social and environmental equity and sustainability that agroecology movements confront all over the world. The course aims to introduce agroecology and strategically connect the diverse and powerful agroecology experiences and movements active worldwide and create a collective overarching view of the current global situation. The course will end with a vision of how to better facilitate cross-fertilization across agroecology movements and overcome obstacles to convergence. For more information, contact can.shortcourse [at] gmail [dot] com or visit the website.

Free Phenology Workshop - Nature's Calendar: December 13
Juliet Oshiro, UC Santa Cruz Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, is hosting workshops designed to introduce participants to the science of phenology--the study of seasonal cycles of plants and animals--and how it's used to track the effects of climate change on diverse landscapes. If you want to help researchers gather data on climate change, come to this workshop and learn how to observe/collect data on native plants through the seasons for a national database that is used by researchers to study climate change. This is important research as it will teach us how plants behavior are impacted by climate change and will help inform future land management practices. For more information about phenology, visit the Arboretum website. This workshop will take place December 13 at 2 p.m. in Horticulture II. Event details here.

"Cultivating a Daily Revolution" Winter Course
Friends of Community Agroecology Network's "Cultivating a Daily Revolution" is a discussion-based class with internship opportunities, hands-on activities, and guest speakers. Winter quarter speakers include Andrew Szazs for "Grassroot Organizing" and Jeff Bury "Research in Indigenous Communities." The course is recommended for anyone interested in furthering their understanding of sustainable food systems and social movements. For more information, contact FoCAN [at] ucsc [dot] edu or visit the website.

22 units and 3 organizations aren't enough for you? Consider taking FREE classes on Climate Change and Sustainable Development online. Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), is a free online education platform created to advance the field of sustainable development in all regions of the world. Questions? Email edu [at] unsdsn [dot] org or visit their website.

International University & College Campus Sustainability Listserv
Inspired by the Making Universities Sustainable Conference in Copenhagen 2014, this list is for the international university community to discuss sustainability issues and solutions. The aim is to provide a global network for sharing best practices in the field of sustainability and its application to university operations.

Maui Wowi: Food Systems, Agriculture, and Outdoor Adventure Spring Break Trip
Though this is fall quarter, registration is open (and will fill) for the annual experiential learning and food system engagement spring break trip. Join the Food Systems Working Group & Rec Department on Maui to explore traditional food and farming sites, explore different aspects of culture, and adventure into bamboo forests, ranch lands, and marine sanctuaries to explore the ecological aspects of the island. This trip will also include a 2 unit Environmental Studies internship in winter quarter to prepare the group for different concepts and frameworks of food system engagement they will explore in March. Sign up on the OPERS Recreation website this quarter to reserve your spot!

A new program launching in fall 2015 will immerse students from across the UC system in the outdoor classrooms of the UC Natural Reserve System. The NRS Field Quarter Program will give students opportunities to closely observe California habitats, practice hands-on field research, and gain a deeper understanding of the natural world. California Ecology and Conservation will be the only course students enroll in for the term, and it yields a full complement of quarter units. As they visit up to six of the 39 reserves in the NRS, students will master standard field techniques and get to know a broad range of California habitats, climate regimes, and species. The deadline is February 2, 2015 and instruction begins in the Fall. Visit the website for more information.

PICA Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop
PICA will be hosting a fruit tree pruning workshop with Orin Martin of the Alan Chadwick Garden sometime soon. The date hasn't been set yet, but if you're interested in learning more, please email PICA Outreach Coordinator Kelsey Jones at kemjones [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more information.

This gathering will invite student government and organization leadership, staff program coordinators and directors, faculty and administrators as well as community food agency leadership to UC Santa Barbara to strengthen partnerships and share best practices to inform action steps toward fostering access, equity, and justice for all. The three day summit will include workshops, speakers, and activities of all levels for individuals to engage with critical issues while building skills and relationships to implement change on college campuses and in the surrounding communities. For more information about the Summit, visit or contact Crystal Owings at cowings [at[ ucsc [dot] edu.

The Program in Community and Agroecology welcomes all UCSC students, staff and faculty to their Saturday Garden Workdays. You can learn how to grow your own food and enjoy fun and a fabulous garden fresh lunch. In the winter, the workdays will be Saturdays January 17, 24 and 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet in the A-quad of the Village. Come learn how to garden and share in a communal garden grown lunch!

Thirsty for Justice

On December 1st, Take Back the Tap and Love Foundation will be co-hosting the screening of the film "Thirsty for Justice." It begins at 7:30PM at the Oakes Learning Center and afterwards, there will be a discussion.

"In the richest nation on earth, and wealthiest state in the nation, how can so many people lack access to safe affordable water for their basic human needs? Thirsty for Justice shares powerful stories of those who suffer from this assault on their personal health and human dignity, as well as the inspiring story of the grassroots movement that made the human right to water the law of the land in California. Let’s make that right a reality!" Learn more about the film at

Learn more about Take Back the Tap at

Learn more about Love Foundation at

Get into the Holiday Spirit: Donate to the Harvest Food Bank

Another holiday season is upon us, and with it comes our annual UCSC Holiday Food Drive which works in cooperation with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County providing healthy meals to our friends and neighbors in need. The drive runs between Thanksgiving weekend and the winter break.

One in four children in our county are going without enough meals. We know that this can have a very tangible impact on their social and educational development as well as their long-term health. The people who need calories the most often get the lowest quality ones available as determined by price. That is why we are honored to work with Second Harvest Food Bank, the healthiest food bank in the nation. Second harvest distributes over 65% of their meals in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables while at the same time educating their clients on how to eat smart.

Last year the UCSC holiday food drive raised over 150,000 meals for our friends and neighbors in need, making UCSC the third largest contributor in the county.

Please make a donation to support this great cause, either in one of our campus pantry barrels or by using the donation envelopes distributed through campus mail. Just one dollar provides healthy meals with a much lower carbon footprint than pantry donations. Every dollar donated provides four meals.

Students can also donate meals or Flexi dollars at every Dining Hall. Every meal that is donated gives nine meals to people in our community. Canned food donations can also be made at Safeway on Mission Street and other areas around town. Please consider donating to those who would otherwise not have a meal this holiday season.

Your donations are secure through campus mail services. Donation envelopes are being distributed this week. Please make checks payable to Second Harvest Food Bank and mark your affiliation on the memo line.

Please keep an eye out for this year’s raffle! You can learn more about the drive and how to make donations at the website:

Thank you for your continued support.

Adapted from a letter by John Steele, UCSC Holiday Food Drive Chair.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

EcoShift Consulting and SupplyShift Are Seeking Interns to Support Real-World Projects

Interested in working on fast-paced, applied energy and climate projects in a team environment, and be mentored by seasoned environmental professionals? SupplyShift and EcoShift Consulting are seeking 2-3 motivated interns with strong analytical skills to work with its management staff on three projects next year during winter and spring quarters, possibly longer. If you have 10 hours a week to devote to an exciting internship, read on. 

 EcoShift provides turn-key consulting focused on helping companies and organizations create value through sustainability. EcoShift relies on metrics to set the foundation for change, flexibility, and incorporating sustainability into organizations. EcoShift helps organizations increase innovation, revenue, and strengthen their brand while cutting costs, and reducing risk – all by building sustainability into operations, products, and services. EcoShift seeks interns to work on two projects, ES Project 1 and ES Project 2, as described below. 

SupplyShift is a supply chain sustainability software startup that helps large companies engage the suppliers, factories, and farmers they buy from to track and improve sustainability performance. SupplyShift was a finalist in this year's Sustainable Brands Innovation Open, and is currently working with Stonyfield Farms, Del Monte Foods, UC San Diego and CCF Brands. SupplyShift seeks an intern to work on one project, SS Project, as described below. 

ES Project 1: Support techno-economic studies of solar PV for commercial property owners. For this project, funded by the UCSC Carbon Fund, EcoShift is seeking an intern to work on a variety of tasks related to commercial property energy efficiency and solar PV project characterization, site suitability and economic feasibility studies for target businesses in Santa Cruz County. The project team will work closely with commercial property owner representatives, City of Santa Cruz Climate Action Staff, and financial institutions, as necessary, to complete the scope of work for this six month project. This is an unpaid internship. Course credit can be arranged with the Environmental Studies Internship Office. Preferred skills include: Excel, Word, financial analysis, and familiarity with renewable energy policy, siting and financing. 

 ES Project 2: Support UCSC's Integrated Energy and Climate Strategy project For this project, EcoShift is seeking an intern to work on a variety of tasks related to the firm's role in UCSC's year-long Integrated Energy and Climate Strategy project. Tasks include assisting with data collection and compilation, development and testing of a techno-economic analysis tool, and development of scenarios to support the decision making process on UCSC's long term energy strategy. This is an unpaid internship. Course credit can be arranged with the Environmental Studies Internship Office. Preferred skills include: Excel, Word, building science, and energy efficiency auditing. SS Project: Support SupplyShift, a supply chain sustainability software startup For this project, SupplyShift is seeking an intern to work on a variety of tasks related to onboarding new companies, testing new features, managing their Scorecard Library, graphic design, and research. They're looking for someone who has already had experience working on a sustainability-related internship and who is interested in devoting at least 10 hours a week on an ongoing basis. The internship will begin as unpaid, and could convert to a paid position within 6-9 months. Course credit can be arranged with the Environmental Studies Internship Office. Preferred skills include: Excel, graphic design (In-Design or Photoshop), and familiarity with sustainability rating systems. 

 Most important for all these projects is that applicant can demonstrate that he/she is a quick learner, detail oriented, dedicated and is enthusiastic to work with SupplyShift and EcoShift Consulting, Santa Cruz-based sister firms. If you are interested, please submit a cover letter including which project(s) you are most interested in and why, and a resume with a list of courses completed to Tiffany Wise-West at twisewest [at] ecoshift [dot] com For more information about the two firms, see and

December 2014: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering

Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) will have a few select spots available for Winter 2015 enrollment. IDEASS is looking for Environmental Studies and other social science majors to bring their unique expertise to projects taking place on campus and the Santa Cruz community. Enrollment in IDEASS helps to fulfill senior exit requirements for almost every major (all Environmental Studies majors hoping to do so should contact Adam Millar-Ball at adammb [at] ucsc [dot] edu THIS quarter to be accepted for Winter). Anyone who is interested in applying or is looking for more information should visit the website.
The Food Systems Working Group has an exciting new cadre of student leaders working across their partnerships with Dining, the Farm, and Garden efforts. Are you looking for an internship to join them? Email ucscfswg [at] gmail [dot] com if you'd like to find out more!

Friends of Community Agroecology Network (FoCAN) is looking for additional interns for winter quarter to work with their Intercambio (Exchange) program. This is an internship opportunity for anyone interested in furthering their understanding of social movements, food systems and globalization. Internships skills you would gain consist of event planning, collaborating with sponsors, and working with a team. For additional information contact FoCAN [at] ucsc [dot] edu. Learn more about Intercambio in this blog post by Adriana Murguia.

Interested in working on fast-paced, applied energy and climate projects in a team environment, and be mentored by experienced environmental professionals? SupplyShift and EcoShift Consulting are seeking 2-3 motivated interns with strong analytical skills to work with its management staff on three projects next year during winter and spring quarters, possibly longer. Please see our blog post for a more thorough description of the internship. Visit SupplyShift's site and EcoShift's site for more information and application. 

Student Environmental Center Internships for Winter
The SEC offers 2- and 5-unit internships each quarter. This winter, they have many opportunities to get involved in their seven sustainability campaigns and supportive positions through Co-Chair. If you are interested in a campaign (review them here), please contact seclead-group [at] ucsc [dot] edu stating which campaign you're interested in and why. They can set up an interview with you--contact them ASAP because internships forms are due before the end of fall quarter. Learn more here.

The mission of the Sierra Club is to explore, enjoy, and protect natural places. It is one of the oldest and largest environmental organization in the country, founded by John Muir in the late 1800s. They are seeking interns and volunteers to support outreach efforts, plan events, and conduct research. If you are interested in learning how environmental activism works at the local level, planning fun events and hikes to engage people with our local environment, and more please email [at] sierraclub [dot] org. Visit the websiteFacebook, and MeetUp page for more information.

Coastal Watershed Council Internships Available
The Coastal Watershed Council (CWC) has many great internship opportunities to learn about local watersheds, build your resume, and contribute to cleaner, healthier watersheds in Santa Cruz. They're looking for motivated college and high school students. To apply, email your resume, a 1-2 page writing sample, and why you are interested in a CWC internship to Laurie Egan at legan [at] coastal-watershed [dot] org. For more information, call (831) 464-9200 and view a full list of internship opportunities here.

Are you detail-oriented, driven, industrious, and ready to learn? Then join No Barriers in Fort Collins from January to July 2015 to learn about nonprofit management, impact important life experiences, gain valuable skills and experience, and have fun! This intern will assist in conference planning, logistics, attendee management, marketing, registration, and work with sponsors. Application are due December 10, but they will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply here.

The Offset Project, located in Monterey, California, works to implement sound waste policies and environmental stewardship, is seeking a Sustainability Program Intern to work with the Executive Director to support the Monterey Bay Climate Action Compact by conducting stakeholder outreach, case study development, climate research, grant assistance and more. The intern would start immediately and must commit to a minimum of 6 months and 5-10 hours per work for credit (unpaid). If you are interested, please e-mail a resume and cover letter to Kristin: kristin [at] the offsetproject [dot] org

CSSC Field Organizer Program Internships Available
The California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) Field Organizer Program is a series of paid, unpaid volunteer, and unpaid course credit positions that allow students and recent alumni to get real, on-the-ground organizing experience in the climate justice movement. Field Organizers work on an array of projects to support youth involvement and leadership in CSSC’s Students Against Fracking, Fossil Free Divestment and Reinvestment campaigns. For more information and to apply, visit the website.
myActions on Campus has recognized UC Santa Cruz's commitment to develop next generation leaders and is inviting our students to for two paid internships! Last year 75 campuses across the nation participated, driving over 100,000 sustainable projects and actions in a plethora of communities. These internship roles include Sustainability Campus Intern and Community Service Campus Intern. Don't wait, create change now. For more information visit myActions on Campus page.

Grassroots Internship in Washington, D.C.
When? Spring 2015. Where? Washington, D.C. Who? The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Why? To advocate for federal policy that supports sustainable agriculture and food systems through the development of creative, impactful outreach, assisting NSAC members with grassroots outreach campaigns using social media, email and other advocacy tools, conducting research, data analysis, drafting/editing blog posts, etc. This is a paid, full-time internship. Please send resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information for two references to intern [at] sustainableagriculture [dot] net with "Spring Grassroots Intern" in the subject line. For more information: click here.

Summer Naturalist Internship in Aspen, Colorado
Love nature and leadership? Apply for an internship in Aspen, Colorado to lead nature walks, assist with management of the Hallam Lake visitor center, learn about Rocky Mountain ecology, educate the public. Applicants must have an educational background in the natural sciences, environmental education, or related field as well as first-aid and CPR certification. Employment is from June 8-September 7, 2015. For more information and to apply, click here.

Water Positions Available in the Sustainability Office: Deadline December 4
The Water Action and Drought Response (WADR) Team is dedicated to water conservation and aids UCSC in meeting water rationing goals during this time of drought. They work directly with water fixtures to assess and report for changes, and with student and University staff to promote wise water practices and educate about the seriousness of the drought. The WADR Team is looking for two new students to join a four-person team starting winter quarter. The deadline to apply is December 4, and interviews will happen the following week. View the requirements and application on the Employee Request system here (ER 7324).

Seeking Green Office Certification Program Coordinator
The Sustainability Office is looking for an exceptional leader to oversee the Green Office Certification Program. Lead a team of students to work with staff across campus to improve their business practices and to adopt sustainable behaviors. Full job description and application are available on the UCSC Employment Request system here (ER 6682).

The Field Production Site Manager will assume primary responsibility for day-to-day operations of CASFS, as well as support wholesale, farm cart, and dining hall productions; tillage and cultivation systems; irrigation and infrastructure; and ecological stewardship of the overall 30-acre farm site. For more information, click here. The Assistant Director position will be chief administration officer for the Center and will be responsible for managing the human resources, budget, and coordinating operations with minimal direction. They will also serve as a liasion with the Social Sciences Division on human resources, facilities, and IT. For more information, click here. For more information, email casfs [at] ucsc [dot] edu. 

The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems creates a Campus Food & Garden Guide every year with information about how to get connected and in touch with your food system in Santa Cruz. Gardens, farmer's markets, internships, courses--it's all here! They are now looking for a 2014-2015 Food Guide Editor. Please send an email to ucscfswg [at] gmail [dot] com if you are interested in this opportunity. Download this year's guide here.

Alliance to Save Energy Seeks Associate
The Alliance to Save Energy is seeking a full-time Associate to assist with implementation of its PowerSave Campus Program and work at their Oakland, CA office. The nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security. The PowerSave Campus Program is a student-driven energy efficiency and workforce education and training initiative currently serving 16 campuses in California, including UCSC. For information about the program, position, required qualifications, and to apply, visit their website.

Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is looking for a Communications & Marketing coordinator  to increase recognition, membership, engagement and fundraising efforts. This position requires a Bachelor's degree in marketing, communications, journalism or equivalent. Must have a minimum of 1-2 years' experience in communications or marketing role.  The position remains open until filled. For more information about the position, click here. For general information about SACNAS, click here

CCOF Seeking Programs Assistant, Office & Sales Assistant, and Development Manager
California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is an organic certifier, trade association and educational foundation supporting the growth of organic food and agriculture. They are currently hiring three positions. For more information and to apply, visit the website

Solar Leadership Program Applications Open Soon
SunEdison launched the Solar Leadership Program (SLP) to develop management talent for the company and prepare associates for future leadership roles at SunEdison. The SLP seeks graduate students in programs with an emphasis on broad commercial skills sets such as MBA and similar advanced degree programs with backgrounds in key functions such as engineering, operations, and finance. Full-time Associates complete four 6-month rotations in different business units, followed by placement into a management role in a functional area based on the Associate’s interests and SunEdison’s needs. Recruitments for the class of 2015 will begin shortly. Full-time SLP Associates will be based in Belmont, California, with an expected start date in Summer 2015. For more information please email SLPrecruiting [at] sunedison [dot] com. Learn more here.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is seeking a new Executive Director to provide leadership, vision and direction to fulfill the mission of the National Partnership! See the position description for full details on the role, responsibilities and what an ideal candidate for this position might look like. Prospective candidates can also contact Janet Albert in confidence at janet.albert [at] bridgepartnersllc [dot] com.

Education Manager for Sierra Nevada Journeys
Sierra Nevada Journeys is seeking a dynamic education professional to expand the program base for SNJs in Sacramento, CA. The Education Manager will be responsible for education, school and field programs, facilitating Family Science Night, sales, marketing, administration, selling SNJ programs, and supporting marketing efforts. For more information: click here.

Project Bike Trip is a non-profit organization that offers technical training in bicycle mechanics, preparing youth for job opportunities within the bicycle industry. This is an excellent opportunity to practice sustainability by engaging in a program that offers fun environmentally friendly means of alternative transportation. In order to manage the growing demand for the Bike Tech Program, they are looking for two professional, self-motivated, organize, innovative individuals to join their team. For complete job descriptions and information on how to apply, click here.


How Do You Drop Your Own Drip?
The Drop Your Own Drip campaign of the Student Environmental Center is conducting a survey about water conservation efforts at UCSC. The campaign will use this data to determine possible project ideas for the future, as well as share the results to the Water Working Group and the Water Task Force. Please take the survey 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.

Gaia Magazine Needs Your Help
Gaia Magazine is a student-run environmental magazine on campus which publishes student work both online (year-round) and printed in the annual magazine. Gaia publishes articles, photographs, poems, recipes and other works that are based on the environment and sustainability. Work is accepted on a rolling submit today! For more information on how to submit publications, email gaiamagazineucsc [at] gmail [dot] com.

Sprout Up is recruiting new instructors for next quarter! Drop-in interested instructor presentations will be held on Friday, December 5 and Tuesday, December 9 at the Stevenson Coffee House from 3:30 - 5 p.m. You only need to attend one presentation. Sprout Up provides free, youth-led environmental education programs to 1st and 2nd grade classrooms in Santa Cruz. College student-instructors teach children vital concepts in environmental science and sustainability during the earliest stages of their educational development, cultivating the next generation of passionate caretakers of the earth. For more information, please contact them at directorsc [at] sprout up [dot] org, and feel free to visit their website at

Join the CSSC Operating Team
The California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) Operating Team is holding elections to fill several positions for the Spring 2015 term. Positions are held from the Winter Leadership Retreat (January 16th) until the Summer Leadership Retreat (TBD for the end of July). Learn more about the various positions here. To apply, visit this online application.

Become a Student Blogger for CSSC
Interested in sharing your campus' work with a broad statewide coalition? CSSC is currently seeking new student bloggers! Email info [at] sustainabilitycoalition [dot] org for more details. Learn more about CSSC on the blog here.

Community Engagement with San Lorenzo River Alliance
Help the San Lorenzo River Alliance have more positive attention on and more positive engagement with the San Lorenzo River by signing up to be a community engagement volunteer. You'll learn from Coastal Watershed Council staff what they're working on to improve this key watershed, and share that with friends, neighbors and the Santa Cruz community through events and other methods. To learn more or volunteer, email Laurie Egan at legan [at] coastal-watershed [dot] org. Learn more here.

Teach K-12 Watershed Conservation Lessons
Council Watershed Council presents lessons to K-12 grade students at public schools throughout the county. Volunteer to present lessons on the link between watersheds and our water supply, recycling and composting, water pollution prevention, how to pack a trash free lunch, wise energy use, and many other topics related to climate change and wise resource use. To learn more and sign up, email Stew Jenkins at sjenkins [at] coastal-watershed [dot] org or call him at (831) 464-9200. Learn more here.

Carneros Creek Winter Monitoring
Want to gain field experience in beautiful wetland areas? Volunteer with the Carneros Creek Water Quality Monitoring Program to help monitor seasonal Carneros Creek, a primary freshwater tributary to Elkhorn Slough. You'll be professionally trained to test for field measurements and flow, including how to collect water samples that will be analyzed at a certified lab for bacteria, nutrients, total suspended solids, and pesticides. Contact Debie Chirco-Macdonald at djchirco [at] coastal-watershed [dot] org or (831) 464-9200 to get involved. Learn more here.

Volunteers Sought for March for Climate Leadership: February 7
On February 7, thousands of Californians are gathering in Governor Jerry Brown’s longtime home of Oakland to say that we need real climate leadership in the face of the drought. Across the state wells are drying up, more than a dozen cities are in real danger of running out of water, and there’s no question it’s being made worse by climate change. Volunteers are needed to make the march happen, so volunteer online here. Find out more about the March and how you can participate here.

Arboretum Volunteer Gardening Opportunities
The Arboretum has volunteer gardening hours throughout the week. Visit their website for details. 

Sea Slugs is an ocean-minded campus organization dedicated to environmental stewardship. It is an excellent opportunity for students (both undergrad and grad) to engage in the greater community through public service while making a positive impact on the local environment. For information about meeting times and opportunities, contact Sea Slugs at seaslug.ucsc [at] gmail [dot] com or visit their website.

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.

Get Involved with Integrated Climate & Energy Study
Interested in climate and energy sustainability? Want to get hands-on experience exploring these topics in relation to our campus? Chrissy Thomure, Climate Action Manager in the Sustainability Office, is coordinating an Integrated Climate & Energy Study with key stakeholders and a consultant. The study launches this year, and students are encouraged to participate! Email Chrissy at cthomure [at] ucsc [dot] edu to find out more.

Interested in getting involved in a campus sustainability project, but don't know how? Are you looking for partners for your current project? Have you completed a project that you would like others to learn from? Visit the Sustainability Project Clearinghouse, a centralized database of UCSC sustainability projects, today! You can view published projects or upload your own projects and ideas. For training on how to upload a project, please contact Shauna Casey at scasey [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Use Your Voice and Drop Your Own Drip!

The Drop Your Own Drip campaign within the Student Environmental Center is conducting a survey about water conservation efforts at UCSC. The campaign aims to use this data to determine possible project ideas for the future.

The input from students will also be shared with the Water Working Group and the Water Task Force. Please take the survey here.