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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April GreenDrinks: Can Smart Technology Save Us from Ourselves?

Can we design and create sustainable systems using green technologies successfully?

A new program at UCSC is exploring the possibilities: Impact Designs - Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) is a 9-month upper division service-learning program geared for entrepreneurial students who are working on experimental sustainable designs at the edge of innovation. These projects focus on a range of sustainable technologies and practices in the built environment, such as energy, water, food, transportation, and waste.

Come to the April GreenDrinks on Monday April 6th at 5:30pm - 7pm at Vino Prima on the Wharf and learn about some of the current IDEASS projects:
  1.  Aquaponics in the rooftop greenhouse at Thiammin Labs: Aquaponics uses the methods of hydroponics and aquaculture to grow plants and fish simultaneously. The IDEASS team is building a demonstration system for the rooftop greenhouse at Thiammin Labs to education students and the general public about the many advantages of aquaponics for sustainable food systems and urban gardening.

  2. Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition: Industry Standards for Off-Grid Solar Lanterns: IDEASS students are working with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) to evaluate sustainable off-grid solar lighting options for impoverished African communities in Kenya and Malawi. Their strategy includes life cycle analysis for selected products; developing a reference set of Design for the Environment criteria for manufacturers; and creating and promoting an open-source database providing data and instruction manuals for producing, repairing, and safely disposing of solar lanterns or its parts.

  3. TowerDome: Embracing the legacy of Buckminster Fuller, this team is experimenting with icosahedral geometry to challenge green-building designs that persist in their reliance on orthogonal right angles. A scale model of a TowerDome is under construction and the team is exploring how this structure might be adapted to support advanced wind turbine designs.

  4. Digital Storytelling for Sustainable Communities: Undergraduate Film & Digital Media majors at UCSC are collaborating with professional videographers to produce four 5-7 minute “digital narratives’ following the development of several sustainable design initiatives in our community. As they work to produce these stories each undergrad is mentoring a group of teenage youth and introducing them to the various phases of film production. Their goal is to introduce these youth to the exciting world of green-technology and inspire them with the confidence to pursue “green-tech careers”. The final productions will be presented for public screening in the theater at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center in September, 2015.
Green Drinks is an informal networking event where environmentally-minded people meet over drinks. If you have questions or comments, please contact greendrinks [at] ecoact [dot] org. Visit the Facebook page for updates. Green Drinks are also being held around the world. Find out where else here

Sustainability 2014 Annual Progress Report

Ever wanted to see the accomplishments UCSC has made towards reaching the Campus Sustainability Plan goals? The Sustainability 2014 Annual Progress Report is now up and has highlighted achievements in each topic of sustainability and the metrics to back it up!

April 2015: Internships, Employment, & Volunteering


Climate & Energy Analyst (Sustainability Office)
This paid student position supports the implementation of energy efficient projects through auditing, diagnostic software and data logging equipment. Compile results of building surveys, analyze trends, energy issues, optimize system selection and gather and analyze greenhouse gas emission data to support campus climate action plan. The position remains open until filled. Position works 20-40 hours, from Monday through Friday at flexible times. For more information and to apply, visit the UCSC ER System, and use ER #7695.

Climate Action Analyst (Sustainability Office)
This paid student position collects, compiles and analyzes data pertaining to projects in development, implements educational programs, conducts research, coordinates and collaborates with other Climate Action Interns, and edits documents, schedules meetings, etc. For more information and to apply, visit the UCSC ER System and use ER #7696.

Carbon Fund Outreach Coordinator (Sustainability Office)
This paid student position provides outreach and communications, attends pertinent events and classes. They act as a liaison between the community and Carbon Fund projects. Student must intimately understand funded Carbon Fund projects and track their individual accomplishments. The position also requires extensive reporting, documentation and administrative duties. For more information and to apply, visit the UCSC ER System and use ER #6161.

Carbon Fund Student Facilitator (Sustainability Office)
The Carbon Fund student facilitator coordinates Carbon Fund committee meetings, works with applicants who are applying for Carbon Fund monies, tracks budgets and expenses for projects, and is the main point of contact for the Carbon Fund. For more information and to apply visit the UCSC ER System, and use ER code #7314.

Student Sustainability Advisors
SSAs are needed for the 2015-2016 school year, and applications are now open. SSAs work with Residential Life and students in on-campus housing to support sustainability efforts, behaviors, and events. SSAs must live on campus during the school year and be able to commit to arriving early in September for training. The SSA position is a school year-long commitment, and compensation includes a quarterly stipend of $1,500 and meals during early move-in. Apply through ER #7056.

Food Recovery Network Fellowship: Deadline April 26
Food Recovery Network is seeking individuals for nine-month, full-time paid internships to help build, grow, and maintain their movement throughout the 2015-2016 school year from their national headquarters in College Park, MD. For more information and to apply, visit the application here. Please submit your application to fellowship [at] foodrecoverynetwork [dot] org.

Zero Waste Program Associate (SF): Deadline April 10
The Associate will assist the Residential and Special Project Zero Waste Coordinator in performing professional work implementing Mandatory Recycling and Composting ordinance in the multifamily and single family residential sectors. For more information, and to apply, click here.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Seeking Web Application Development 
The purpose of the Web Application Developer position is to build high-quality, innovative web-based software that furthers AASHE’s organizational goals and creates lasting impact on the higher-education sustainability movement. For more information about experience, knowledge and skills required, click here.

Fair Trade USA Seeking National Organizer for Fair Trades Colleges and Universities 
The National Organizer works with students, faculty, food service providers and stakeholders to  adopt Fair Trade and create positive impact to farmers, workers and artisans. To see more information about requirements, click here.

This position develops, plans, and administers design, implementation, and analysis of bicycle and pedestrian projects and studies in Orange County, CA. For more information about salary, qualifications, and responsibilities, click here.

Post-Landfill Action Network is hiring a Resource Development Fellow who will write comprehensive, engaging and advanced training manuals to provide resources for students to begin, expand and troubleshoot zero waste programs on their campus. For more information, and to apply, click here.


Are you interested in working to make our campus operations, infrastructure, and physical environment more environmentally and socially sustainable? The PSI program pairs students with staff & faculty mentors to plan and implement a year-long campus sustainability project. Students receive internship credit for the fall, winter, and spring quarters and a $1500 scholarship upon completion of the program. Environmental Studies Senior Exit can be fulfilled with this program. Student applications are due April 28. Mentor applications for departments to host an intern are due April 17. Share this opportunity on Facebook here.

Impact Designs Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service is a 9-month upper division service-learning class that fulfills the ENVS (and other majors) senior exit/thesis requirement by allowing entrepreneurial students to work on experimental sustainable designs and keep on the cusp of innovation. The potential projects span a cornucopia of topics, including: energy, water, food, transportation, and waste. IDEASS encourages students of all disciplines to apply. Applications are now being accepted for the 2015-2016 year. To apply, visit the application page here

IDEASS Aquaponics Team Needs Your Help
The Impact Designs Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) Aquaponics team is constructing and installing an aquaponics system in the Thimann Greenhouse this quarter and is looking for students who want to get involved. They will be installing the system the week of April 13 and planning a tabling event day on Science Hill to raise awareness the week of April 20. Contact Rebecca Hoskins, rhoskins [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more information on how to get involved. 

Want to help plan and implement the second Annual Transportation & Social Justice Festival this spring? Interested in promoting sustainable and active transportation at UCSC? The Student Environmental Center Transportation Campaign is seeking 2- and 5-units interns for spring. Contact Jordan Le at jsle [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more information. Learn more about the Campaign on the SEC website.

PICA, or Program in Community and Agroecology, is hosting a 2-unit internship for UCSC students this Spring Quarter. Interns will learn a variety of hands-on gardening skills including starting with seeds, planting garden beds and building compost piles. Contact Mira Michelle, mmichel1 [at] ucsc [dot] edu, with inquiries and interest in participating. 

This spring, Kresge Garden Co-op is offering a 2-unit internship through the ENVS internship office. Also, if you do not have time to commit to an internship but are still vested in gardening, they host garden work parties every Friday from 5 to 7pm and Sunday from 10am to noon. All are welcome! For more information and if you are interested, contact Eric Medina at eimedina [at] ucsc [dot] edu. 

UC Santa Cruz Bike Library Seeking Intern 
Did you know we have a bike library at UCSC? Are you looking to earn 2-units through a hands-on, biketastic internship? Look no further than the UCSC Bike Library. Contact bikelibrary [at] ucsc [dot] edu to apply and for more information. 

The Environmental Studies has many different internship opportunities available for spring. 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.

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!

Student Seeking Successor to Carry On Renewable Energy Project
Interested in increasing student awareness about renewable energy and looking to complete a graduation requirement? A UCSC student is graduating and looking for a motivated, responsible, and environmentally engaged individual to take over her project, which consists of grant writing for various projects, including a recharging solar station on the UCSC campus. The project continues through 2016. Please contact Jazmin Orozco, at jorozco3 [at] uscsc [dot] edu for more information.

PowerSave Campus Seeking Interns
UCSC PowerSave Campus is hiring for-credit interns! Looking for two units and an opportunity to learn energy efficiency awesomeness through hands-on work? Need a course that covers the PR general education requirement? If so, this internship is for you! Send a resume to powersave [at] googlegroups [dot] com with you interest. Space is limited, so apply now!

RE-volv Seeking Intern Passionate About Renewable Energy 
RE-volv is looking for driven, creative and passionate college students to participate in the Ambassador Program fellowship program for one academic year. For more information about RE-volv and how to apply, click here. Applications are due May 1.

Panamanian Sustainability Internships for Students 
Students from all over the world are welcomed to the Kalu Yala Research Institute in Panama. Participate in research projects, learn and teach sustainability and live in a gorgeous country. This is a fantastic opportunity you do not want to miss. For more information, click here.

Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project Seeking Interns
Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project are seeking interns to help plan community harvest events, as well as organizing other aspects of operations. For more information, visit Fruit Tree Projects website here and contact Steve at steve [at] santacruzhub [dot] org.

Santa Cruz Bike Party Internships
Get internship credit to promote sustainable, active, community-building, awesome parties--Santa Cruz Bike Party! Held on the second Friday of each month, Bike Party creates a safe and cooperative roadway environment for all road users. Riding together builds strong community! If you're interested in getting Environmental Studies internship credit to support this community event, please email Tawn at tawn.kennedy [at] gmail [dot] com. Visit the website here.

Writers & Social Media Interns Wanted for Hilltromper
Hilltromper, the one-stop outdoor recreation web resource for Santa Cruz County, is looking for an intern to help run the calendar, write about recreation and the environment and contribute to social media. Tromping strongly encouraged! If interested, please email Traci [at] hilltromper [dot] com.

Summer Climate Fellowships Available 
University of New Hampshire's Sustainability Institute is inviting applicants to apply for a fellowship. Some fellows may be based in Durham, NH or Boston, MA, or Bozeman, MT. Time commitment requires 40 hours per week, from June 1-August 14th, 2015. For more information, or to apply, click here.

Green Drinks Seeking Coordination Support
Green Drinks is an informal networking event where environmentally-minded people meet over drunks. Green Drinks are seeking coordination support and aims to better serve the Santa Cruz community. Contact hannahjoyhodgson [at] gmail [dot] if you are interested. For more information, visit the Green Drinks website.

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. For more information, call (831) 464-9200 and view a full list of internship opportunities here.


Sea Slugs will be volunteering with Ride-A-Wave to give special needs children an awesome day at the beach on April 11, 25, and 26th. No previous experience is needed, just a big heart and positive attitude. They need two "beach buddies" for every participant, and you do not have to get wet unless you want to. Meet at Cowell's Main Beach from 7:30am-12pm. Lunch is provided! For more information, contact seaslug [dot] ucsc [at] gmail [dot] com.

Kresge Common Ground Center is partnering with Bioneers to host the first annual Bioneers Conference at UCSC, bringing visionaries and leaders in environmental and social justice to campus. However, they cannot do it alone! The Common Ground Center is looking for student keynote speakers and student/faculty/community members to lead workshops! The event will take place on May 1st-3rd at Kresge College. Click here for more information about the conference and/or submit a proposal.

The Student Union Assembly and the Sustainability Office's Zero Waste Team are teaming up to coordinate the First Annual Campus Clean-Up Day on April 25th! They hope to create an event that motivates campus users to properly dispose of waste and encourages campus stewardship. Contact Christian at cmonzon [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more information.

Help Plan a 50th Anniversary Sustainability Film Festival
Do you have a love for organization and planning? Interested in sustainability and have a passion for cinema? Then this is the opportunity for you! Join the Sustainability Office in planning a Sustainability themed Film Festival in celebration of UCSC's 50th Anniversary! To partake or for more information, email Meghan Neureither at mneureit [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Join Central Zone Waste Reduction Team for Conservation Carnival 
The Central Zone Waste Reduction team is planning an on-campus event with games, crafts, music and prizes all focused around water conservation and sustainable living practices and are searching for volunteers to help with the event. The event will take place on Saturday, April 18. If you are interested stay tuned for more information or contact Madeline Halluin at mhalluin [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Join the Fossil Free Training Corps
The Training Corps will help student divestment leaders deepen and diversify peer-based training skills through a 9-month-program, kicking off with a fun, intensive week long training in August. Don't wait, apply now by clicking here.

Volunteer at the Student Environmental Center's 14th Annual Campus Earth Summit Event on Friday, April 24th in the College 9/10 Multipurpose room from 11am-4pm. There will be fresh local food, tabling, keynote speakers, student art, entertainment and much more. To volunteer, view this Google Document and then contact Lucia Calderon at lecalder [at] ucsc [dot] edu with shift(s) you are interested in. Some of the volunteer opportunities include: Volunteer Check-In, Attendee Check-In, Food Helper, Workshop Volunteer, Crafts Assistant, and Clean Up. Visit the Facebook event here.

Do you love bikes? Do you love people? Then volunteer for Bike to Work Day! Volunteers are absolutely vital to this program, and opportunities range from supply/food packaging for the 50+ sites on May 6th, helping check in participants, and so much more. Contact Emily Glanville at (831-515-1328) for more information and to get involved.

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.

Green Building Student Alliance
Have you ever wondered what goes into making a building energy, water, and waste efficient? How can UCSC support sustainability in building designs and retrofits? Tatiana Gefter (Green Building Campaign Coordinator for the Student Environmental Center), Grant Waldron (Provost's Sustainability Intern for Climate Action), and other students are collaborating to create a Green Building Student Alliance. This group will serve as a student advising resource to campus architects and project managers with a goal of increasing student participation in campus infrastructure design to keep the environment in mind. Email Tatiana at tgefter[at]ucsc[dot]edu for more information and to join!

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.

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.

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.

Join Banana Slugs for Animals
Banana Slugs for Animals welcomes all to their weekly meetings. During the meetings they discuss Animal rights and plan events! They will be having a film screening of "Earthlings" (Date and time TBD). If you would like to know more please email slugsforanimals [at] gmail [dot] com. 

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 information.

Volunteer at the Homeless Garden Project Downtown Store
Volunteer in the store, on the register, for merchandising, and providing customer service. New volunteers receive orientation during their first shift. Click here to see the schedule, then contact Jes at jesw [at] homelessgardenproject [dot] org to sign-up. 

Call for Students! Conduct Free Local Business Energy Audits
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.

Global Student Embassy Seeking Garden Leader
Global Student Embassy (GSE) Santa Cruz initiates and runs several high school garden projects here in Santa Cruz county. Would you or someone you know be interested in engaging in GSE projects as a core team member? A commitment would involve some combination of meeting one to two times/month, planning for community workdays, leading after school workdays, and facilitating discussion-based workshops. Contact Wyeth Wunderlich at wyeth [at] globalstudent embassy [dot] org to participate in this awesome program.

Sprout Up Environmental Education Opportunity
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

The Bike Church Community Repair Shop Seeking Volunteers
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. 

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. 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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Upcoming Common Ground Center Events

The mission of the Kresge Common Ground Center is to create cultural change for social justice, environmental regeneration, and economic viability. They act as a catalyst and facilitator of systemic change through undergraduate action-education, research, advocacy, and civic engagement. The Center has a large base of community support from its existing programs in Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Justice, Transformative Action, The World Café and the Kresge Garden, as well as existing partnerships with civil society organizations promoting the values, principles and practices of Common Ground.

Spring quarter at the Common Ground Center will offer the opportunity for transformative education and hands-on permaculture skills. Christine King, will be teaching the classes Transformative Communication (2-units) and Transformative Justice (3-units) and David Shaw will be leading Collaborative Learning: Permaculture Skills and Transition Towns (2 or 5 units). The Collaborative Learning class will be hosting many well-known players in the permaculture world through the speaker series.

Below is a list of Common Ground's upcoming events this spring!

Trathen Heckman - Can we change the world in a garden?: April 9
Join the Common Ground Center's Collaborative Learning Class for their speaker series! On April 9th at the Kresge Town Hall from 2 P.M. to 3:45 P.M., Trathen Heckman will be speaking about how to change the world starting with a garden. The presentation will highlight and encourage engagement with the Community Resilience Challenge, a community action campaign that is inspiring thousands of citizens and over 100 groups regionally and nationally to take action to grow food, conserve water, save energy, reduce waste and build community. 

Community Gardens and Public Orchards in Santa Cruz County: April 11
Join the Common Ground Center's Collaborative Learning Class for their speaker series! On April 11th at the Village A3 from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M., Community Gardens and Public Orchards in Santa Cruz County with Ana Rasmussen (Mesa Verde Gardens), Steve (SC Fruit Tree Project) and others will be speaking. The mission of Mesa Verde Gardens is to empower low-income residents of Santa Cruz County to meet the immediate and basic need for food security by increasing their access to pesticide-free, fresh fruits and vegetables through the creation of small organic gardens. The Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project promotes urban agriculture, builds community, and reduces waste by harvesting surplus fruit, hosting food processing workshops, and supporting the propagation and cultivation of fruit trees.

Jon Young - Understanding Bird Language to Bring More Presence to All That You Do: April 23
Join the Common Ground Center's Collaborative Learning Class for their speaker series! On April 23rd at the Porter Meadow from 2 P.M. to 3:45 P.M., Jon Young will come to speak about how bird language can be added to our everyday lives. Jon has been mentoring folks in the nearly lost art of understanding bird and animal language. Just as science is beginning to see the credibility in this ancient skill, Jon has been leading communities world-wide to get these skills back through lectures, workshops, media.

We Are Wiser Together - Igniting Possibilities Through Intergenerational Connection: April 26
Join the Common Ground Center to celebrate UCSC's 50th Anniversary through igniting possibilities with intergenerational communication. The event is on Sunday April 26th from 12 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. at the Kresge Town Hall.

Pandora Thomas - We Are The One's!: April 30
Join the Common Ground Center's Collaborative Learning Class for their speaker series! On April 30th at Kresge Town Hall at 2 P.M. and again at the Village A3 at 6:30pm, Pandora Thomas will speak to taking action and being the change in the world via hands-on participation. She is co-founder of Earthseed Consulting LLC, a holistic consulting firm whose work deepens the impacts of environmental advocacy in the lives of diverse communities. Most recently she directed the Environmental Service Learning Initiative as well as serving as the environmental educator for Grind for the Green. Both programs aim to reconnect youth of color to the earth using innovative strategies.

UCSC Bioneers Conference: May 1-3
The Kresge Common Ground Center will also be hosting the first annual UCSC Bioneers Conference and are looking for student keynote speakers and student/faculty/community member workshop leaders. Click here to learn more about the UCSC Bioneers Conference or to submit a proposal.

Doniga Markegard - Tools for large Scale Grassland Restoration: May 14 
Join the Common Ground Center's Collaborative Learning Class for their speaker series! On May 14th at Kresge Town Hall at 2 P.M. and again at the Village A3 at 6:30pm, Doniga Markegard will speak to large scale grassland restoration. She will show how producing food by mimicking patterns found in nature will lead to higher nutrition, carbon sequestration and returning biodiversity and abundance. Through her direct experience in stewarding rangeland in California she will provide examples of both the theory and the practice to regenerative ranching.

Patricia St. Onge - Walk Out, Walk On: May 19
Join the Common Ground Center's Collaborative Learning Class for their speaker series! On May 19th at Kresge Town Hall from 2 P.M. to 3:45 P.M., Patricia St. Onge will come to speak about a rite of passage for the people and the planet. is the founder of Seven Generations Consulting and brings over twenty years of experience leading and working with nonprofit and public sector agencies. She provides training, consulting and technical assistance in the areas of community organizing, social justice advocacy, organizational development, cross-cultural effectiveness, consensus building, spiritual & personal coaching.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Santa Cruz and Ecology Action create Complete Streets Master Plan for Santa Cruz

The City of Santa Cruz and Ecology Action have just finished creating a Complete Streets Master Plan for Santa Cruz. Complete Streets are streets for everyone; they are designed with citizens in mind and operated to enable safe access for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Communities seem to reap incredible benefits from participating in Complete Streets.

In a recent study of 37 projects, Smart Growth for America found that Complete Streets project increased biking and walking and provided an inexpensive way to achieve transportation goals. For a more complete analysis of the cost and benefits, please read here.

According to the Executive Summary, Complete Streets addresses congestion, climate change and oil dependence. These streets are designed and managed to allow for safe areas for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders. Complete Streets seeks to serve everyone equally, so that all individuals can feel safe when using the streets. The project was created through the partnership of The City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department and non-profit Ecology Action. The plan was funded in February 2013, by Caltrans.

An example of a program being implemented is the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Movement. It is a national movement to create a safe and even fun opportunity for children to get to school by means other than automobiles. SRTS encourages children to bike, skip, skate, scooter and walk to school! Of course, there are vast benefits when students walk, bike and take public transportation to school. Greenhouse gas emissions reduce drastically, for every vehicle mile that is replaced with non-emitting substitute, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 1 pound on average. Student health is promoted, congestion and traffic is reduced, and there is increased safety for student cyclists and pedestrians.

The most crucial part of this plan has been the community engagement and participation. The forums focused on engaging with parents, school staff, students and public to gather input with the goal of increasing safe student sustainable transport. Two forums were held, October 23rd and 24th in 2013. The first forum was held at Santa Cruz High School, and the second was held at Harbor High School. School site walking and biking audits took place, as well as parental surveys, Student Travel Mode Surveys, Online Outreach and Input, and PTA and school meetings. Some UC Santa Cruz students involved in the Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability (IDEASS) through Student Services program last year attended some of these bike/walk audits and forums as part of their Bicycle Transit Planning internship. Students at the local schools gave input during bike/walk audits along with their parents, City & Ecology Action staff, and other community members.

Some of the recommendations identified that the City and Ecology Action recommend include implementing speed feedback signs around schools; repainting worn-out crosswalks, stop bars, centerlines, and pavement markings as needed. The City will continue the practice of requiring homeowners to cut back intruding vegetation and repair damaged sidewalks, conducting bicycle safety education, and to create crossing guard training to better meet the challenging work the guards perform every day.

To read the final report provided by the City of Santa Cruz, please click here.

Want to live at PICA next year?

The Program in Community and Agroecology, or PICA, is a sustainability-themed housing option at the Village. Located on the picturesque UC Santa Cruz campus, in the Village, PICA features amazing community programs like Garden Workdays, Community Meals and Sustainability Workshops. You also get your own single room, which is a huge perk!

To apply to live at PICA, please visit during the Priority Housing Application Period from April 13th-20th. On the application, mark that you "Strongly Prefer" involvement in PICA and say why in the additional comments section.

For more information, click here or contact Mira Michelle at mmichel1 [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

*Photos courtesy of PICA 

California's Exceptional Drought: "A Year in Water"

Story contributed by UC Santa Cruz Financial Affairs Department 

Even with the recent rains, California’s drought is so severe that a new category had to be created to describe it: "Exceptional Drought," which is ranked as more dry than "Extreme Drought" and "Severe Drought." In response to this water crisis, the Financial Affairs Green Team is putting forth a year long effort known as "A Year In Water," with a series of events focusing on highlighting conservation efforts, water recycling opportunities, and spreading information about local water sources.

In January, the Green Team challenged Financial Affairs departments to commit to conserving water by taking the Water Conservation Coalition of Santa Cruz County's Water Pledge. Many Financial Affairs staff members rose to the challenge, with 60% of staff participating in the event.

On March 25th, the Financial Affairs Green Team visited the Bay Street Reservoir. This reservoir was demolished in 2006 due to a crumbling roof, but in 2014 two six million gallon replacement tanks were put back into operation to help meet the needs of the city's 90,000 customers. Bay Street tanks are considered a critical emergency supply because they hold treated water, unlike the raw rainwater in the Loch Lomond Reservoir.

The Green Team photographed the site and discussed water issues with the plant's water staff. Armed with this information, they will make a presentation to Financial Affairs to help everyone better understand what can be done to conserve Santa Cruz's precious water supply. April 14th from 12:00pm to 1:00pm at 2300 Delaware in room B290, Elida Erickson from the Sustainability Office will be presenting an overview of how the campus coordinated a response to the drought crisis, achieving its 24% reduction target from the City and communicating water saving initiatives to the users in the campus community.

In May, at the Financial Affairs All Hands Meeting Dr. Brent Haddad will speak about his research, which focuses on Integrated Water Management, Regional Water Management, Water and Energy Policy, Political Economy and Renewable Energy. Dr. Haddad has been at the forefront in educating the public about desalination. The Green Team is also in the process of getting each Financial Affairs department re-certified through the Sustainability Office's Green Office Certification program. Due to their improved sustainability efforts, FAR was promoted from "sprout" to "sapling." Way to go!

The Financial Affairs Green Team looks forward to continued efforts in environmental leadership, collaboration, and education.

Photo Source:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

April 2015: Contests & Funding

Sustainability Film & Art Contest
Calling all filmmakers and artists! Are you interested in having your short film or artwork displayed at a film festival series this fall? The Sustainability Office invites you to create a sustainability-related short film or poster. The winner(s) of the competition will have their films and posters shown at the Sustainability Film Festival to celebrate the campus’s 50th Anniversary! Learn more here.

Bike Library Applications
Are you interested in having a bike this quarter? The Bike Library's mission is to make bikes accessible to students, faculty, and staff of UCSC to promote transportation sustainability and self-sufficiency. They believe that financial limitations should not be a barrier and provide services free of charge. The Bike Library is now accepting applications for Spring 2015!

Walk to Class Challenge: April 28th
UCSC's 2nd Annual Walk to Class Challenge Day will take place on April 28, 2015! Registration is open until April 27th, and the first 60 students to register will receive a free event t-shirt. The challenge is a student-led effort to promote walking as a viable and sustainable transportation mode for cross-campus travel, reduce UCSC’s carbon footprint, and help students make more sustainable choices for themselves and the environment. Register for free at and then fill out a survey after the event for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card! Join the Facebook pageInstagram, Twitter and use the hashtag #UCSCwalksAlso, visit the website for more information.

CSC Request for Proposals Deadline May 8th
The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) would like to fund your student organization’s sustainability projects or events in the upcoming year. Proposals adhering to the criteria for student organizations and relevance to the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus are eligible for funding. Here is the Request for Proposal (RFP), which outlines all requirements and mandatory steps to apply for funding from CSC. Please fill out the CSC Proposal Form to RSVP for the mandatory grant trainings.

CSSC Spring Convergence: Deadline April 10th
The CSSC Spring Convergence will be held from April 24th-26th at Loyola Marymount University and hosted by students at Santa Monica College and Loyola Marymount University.The theme for this convergence is Strengthening Connections: Thriving Together. If you're interested in creating a workshop, issue based breakout group, or a caucus, applications are due April 10th.

Applications for Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute Due April 15
The Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute (TELI) is a four-day interdisciplinary workshop that brings together educators from diverse backgrounds to engage in environmental issues. This year's theme is Climate-Safe Energy Futures: Vision, Implementation, and Education. The workshop will take place at Tufts University (near Boston, Mass.) from May 19-22. Topics covered will range from climate change to renewable energy to international equity. Educators are invited to apply by April 15.
Call for Papers - The Third Future of Places Conference: Deadline April 15
In line with the public space agenda for Habitat III, the theme of the academic session is “Growing Public Spaces: Shaping the Agenda for Science, Policy, Practice, and Civil Society.” We recognise that it is not only the quantity of public space as an amenity that must be increased, but the quality of human places and placemaking that must be supported and enhanced, by governments, researchers, practitioners and NGOs – and ultimately, by the people themselves.You are invited to submit a paper abstract of no more than 300 words for initial consideration. If invited, you will be asked to complete a paper of between 3,000 and 6,000 words for the conference proceedings, accompanied by an oral presentation (with slides if desired) of 15 minutes. For more information check out their website.
Call for Stories about Walking
Jay Walljasper is working with America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative to chronicle the progress and potential of the walking movement with a new series of articles focused on promoting walking and walkable communities. To contribute ideas and stories to the two projects currently being developed, contact jay[at]jaywalljasper[dot]com.

Call for Applications! Awards in Solar Energy Research: Deadline May 7
The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Postdoctoral Research Awards support EERE's mission in energy efficiency and renewable energy by offering recent Ph.D. recipients the opportunity to conduct applied research at universities. The objective of the awards is to support scientific research in energy efficiency and renewable energy by attracting the best scientists and engineers to pursue breakthrough technologies in a highly prestigious postdoctoral research program. Deadline to apply is May 7.

Submit Environmental Films for International Film Festival
The International Film Festival for Environment, Health and Culture is accepting submissions for films pertaining to environment, health and culture issues. There are five submission categories: international feature film, international short film, documentary feature, documentary short and newcomer. The film festival will be held on May 27.

Energy Dept. $2.5M for Collegiate Clean Energy Tech: Deadline June 7
The newly announced $2.5 million in funding for the Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) aims to support the commercialization of promising technologies for sectors such as solar and wind that reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy economy. The Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will provide prizes for eight individual university-focused competitions that will equip students with business skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace.

Tools of Change Landmark Designation: Deadline June 12
Tools of Change is now soliciting nominations for its 2015 Landmark behavior change case studies in two topic areas - (1) home / building energy conservation and (2) sustainable transportation. If you know of anyone working on a particularly effective, innovative or impactful approach for changing energy or transportation behaviors, please consider nominating them - or yourself. All nominations must include measured impact results. The Nominations Form must be submitted by June 12, 2015. Designations will be announced by October 2015, and case study webinars will be presented between February and May 2016.

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge: Deadline August 3
The Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation announced the opening of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Students are invited to submit commercially viable, nature-inspired solutions to global food system challenges. All participants get access to the Design Challenge Toolbox and supporting resources, including sessions with mentors and biomimicry professionals. The grand prize, to be awarded in 2016, is $100,000. The deadline for submissions is August 3rd.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

UC Berkeley Job Posting: Communication & Engagement Specialist

Looking for a position in communication and engagement with sustainability as the focus? UC Berkeley is hiring! Please pass along this opportunity to potential applicants.

From Lisa McNeilly, Director of Sustainability and Energy at University of California, Berkeley:

"Departmental and Position Overview
The UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability and Energy provides leadership to campus by setting ambitious sustainability goals and strategies and by accelerating the achievement of these goals through project implementation, planning, partnerships, and community engagement. Our mission is to integrate cutting-edge sustainability practices into our operations and foster a culture of sustainability at home and in the world. We work to achieve climate neutrality with a focus on reducing energy use, and strive for excellence by implementing initiatives to reduce our ecological footprint and by emphasizing transparency and accountability through our plans and reports. The work of the Office includes communication across campus, and faculty, staff, and student engagement.

The Communications and Engagement Specialist will help coordinate communications and community engagement for Office of Sustainability and Energy projects. The position will be responsible for maintenance and growth of the website, organizing engagement and outreach events, designing graphic elements, analyzing identified audiences and the success of outreach efforts, coordinating social media efforts, and other related activities. The Communications and Engagement Specialist will report to the Director of Sustainability and Energy and will also work closely with the Sustainability Manager, other Office staff, and the Real Estate Director of Communications.

The position is located at the UC Berkeley campus. This is a 12 month contract position, with the possibility of extension. Benefits are included in compensation package.

  • Under general supervision, implements Office communications and engagement activities coordinates social media efforts, and organizes engagement and outreach events for buildings and/or Operating Units
  • Maintains and updates website, including interface with energy information software that provides information on energy usage by building 
  • Designs, edits, updates, and designs marketing and communication materials such publications, advertisements, press releases, announcements. 
  • Conducts and reports basic market research and generates and uses marketing reports to make recommendations on changes to plans
  • Supports broader VCRE communication efforts
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications
  • Solid knowledge of communication principles, concepts, strategies and best practices.
  • Strong knowledge of energy efficiency and sustainability strategies, behavior change campaign techniques, community engagement, social marketing, and general sustainability principles.
  • Solid knowledge of website design and maintenance, including familiarity with Drupal. Knowledge of current social media tools and ability to creatively apply tools to reach UC Berkeley's outreach goals.
  • Technical skills in computer applications for web publishing and production, image handling (especially Photoshop), publishing and design, illustration, presentation preparation, animation, web interaction, and/or other state-of-the-art web communication and graphic design capabilities.
  • Knowledge of the campus including its mission, vision, and goals, or similar knowledge of other higher education institutions.
  • Organizational skills and skills in file creation, maintenance and management.
  • Written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and effectively in a team structure with other professionals and vendors.
Bachelors degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training

Preferred Qualifications
  • 1-2 years of experience in website design and maintenance and behavior change campaigns or community engagement activities.
  • Demonstrated experience working in a university or non-profit setting.

Salary & Benefits
For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply
Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Application Review Date
The First Review Date for this job is: 04/02/2015

About Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world’s most iconic teaching and research institutions. Since 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world. Berkeley’s culture of openness, freedom and acceptance—academic and artistic, political and cultural—make it a very special place for students, faculty and staff.

Berkeley is committed to hiring and developing staff who want to work in a high performing culture that supports the outstanding work of our faculty and students. In deciding whether to apply for a staff position at Berkeley, candidates are strongly encouraged to consider the alignment of the Berkeley Workplace Culture with their potential for success at

For the full job description and to apply for this position, visit (search for job # 19358)"

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

State of the Drought

            Santa Cruz is particularly unique because it relies on rainfall, local surface water and groundwater to secure its water supply.  Its four sources include: surface water from three creeks in the northern portion of Santa Cruz County, groundwater from the Live Oak well system, surface water from the San Lorenzo River, and surface water from the Loch Lomond Reservoir.  No water is imported or purchased from state or federal sources.
With passing storm activity in November and December, hopes were high that the effects of 2014’s drought could be diminished as local watersheds were recharged.  However, Santa Cruz experienced no rain in the month of January, calling into question the state of the drought.  The outlook is precarious: March and April are historically wet months, which has the potential to secure much needed water supplies for the rest of the year.  If dry conditions persist, it is possible that the City of Santa Cruz will have to reinstate the mandatory water rationing penalties that were recently suspended.

To see the state of the Loch Lomond Reservoir and weekly precipitation: Click here

The WADR team! Lauren, Lindsay, Cat and Michael.

 What are we doing to address scarce water supplies here on campus?

            As a team, we're working hard to foster efficient water practices on campus.  We test water fixtures to monitor the water usage on campus, and gather and analyze the data we find to promote and research more efficient practices.  You can find us tabling at events such as last week's successful February Fest or getting involved with the Water Working Group, a collective of different groups and entities on campus that discuss a multitude of issues related to water.

Regional Water Supplies: California

When looking at California’s drought monitor, the situation we are facing seems a bit grim.  Fortunately, there are statewide efforts being made to address the situation with new and innovative approaches.  Take this water challenge to see the cost of different approaches that are being advocated to handle the drought!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

February Festival Went Green

This year's annual February Festival celebration was on February 27th, celebrating not only campus organization collaboration, but also sustainability!

The February Festival is a campuswide event hosted by the Dean of Students Office where campus organizations come together, table, and celebrate their accomplishments and year goals. Students who attend are able to walk around the event and learn about campus resources and how to get involved in organizations. Historically, the event has been a lot of fun with interactive games, passionate performances, raffles, and really good free food! This was the first year that the Dean of Students Office made one of their major events Zero Waste, supporting our UC sustainability goal of zero waste by 2020. This included compost collection, "trash talkers” at the waste stations from the Zero Waste Team, and taking proactive initiatives like providing only napkins to serve the free pizza. Thank you to the planners of this event and those who made the zero waste efforts possible!

Congratulations to the February Fest planning team for yet another successful and inspiring event!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Free LEED Green Building Training Series Beginning This Spring

The UCSC Sustainability Office is hosting three workshops this spring on LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized green building certification program used by thousands of organizations to demonstrate their leadership in and commitment to sustainability.
  • Enhance professional development 
  • Receive training on the most widely-used green building certification program nationwide
  • Learn what's new in Version 4.0 
Workshop 1: LEED GA (Green Associate) (April 20, 9-3pm, University Center at College 9/10)
  • Geared towards UCSC staff, faculty and students interested in pursuing their LEED accreditation
  • Prepares attendees to take the Green Associate exam for LEED V4.0, which demonstrates an up-to-date understanding of the most current green building practice and principles 
Workshop 2: LEED AP (Accredited Professional) (April 21, 9-3pm, Location TBD) 
  • Prepares attendees to take the Accredited Professional exam for LEED V4.0, which demonstrates expertise in the design and construction phases of green buildings 
  • Serves commercial, residential, education and healthcare sectors 
  • You must have your LEED Green Associate accreditation before you can take the LEED AP exam, however, you can sit for both exams at the same time
Workshop 3: LEED 4.0 Updates for Staff (May 1, 8-4pm, Kresge Town Hall) 
  • This workshop is for UCSC staff, and will cover changes with the new version, campus-level challenges and solutions 
  • Includes Q&A session with 4.0 experts 
LEED certification exams can be taken at any time. CE Credits apply for all three workshops. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at all events. Please contact Chrissy Thomure at cthomure [at] ucsc [dot] edu for more information or with inquiries. Please register by April 3rd. To register, please click here

Monday, March 2, 2015

Green Building Student Alliance

Have you ever wondered what goes into making a building energy, water, and waste efficient? How can UCSC support sustainability in building designs and retrofits? What can you do to support these efforts? Tatiana Gefter (Green Building Campaign Coordinator for the Student Environmental Center), Grant Waldron (Provost's Sustainability Intern for Climate Action), and other students are collaborating to create a Green Building Student Alliance. This group will serve as a student advising resource to campus architects and project managers with a goal of increasing student participation in campus infrastructure design to keep the environment in mind.

With the West Campus Housing Development Plan in the works, the need for this type of student advising group is essential in making sure that student needs are heard and met. The Green Building Student Alliance plans to be a monthly collaborative discussion where doors are open to any and all students. In this space, the group will examine and deliberate decisions affecting the expansion of campus buildings. In addition, it will serve to help share resources and support fellow organizations with their goals while pursuing goals for sustainable infrastructure on campus.

Please email Tatiana Gefter at tgefter[at]ucsc[dot]edu if you or an organization you're involved with would be interested in participating in the Green Building Student Alliance.

Image above is Engineering 2, the first LEED-certified building at UCSC. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. Other LEED buildings (both retrofits and new buildings) include the Cowell Student Health Center, Biomedical Building,  and the Porter residence halls. For a complete listing of UC LEED-certified buildings, click here.