Monday, November 30, 2015

Students & Staff Share Takeaways from Fall Conferences

There were many sustainability conferences all over the country this quarter! Students and staff in the Sustainability Office were able to attend many of them and wanted to share what they learned. Here are some key takeaways and stories from the conferences they attended this fall. If you ever attend a sustainability related conference and want to share a report-back in a future newsletter, please email

South by Southwest Eco Conference
"Biomimicry, the idea of innovation inspired by nature, is a relatively new field of science focusing what we can learn from nature rather than what we can extract from nature. After facilitating an Education for Sustainable Living Program class on the topic of Biomimicry last quarter, I have been constantly curious about the world around me. When I heard about this conference, I saw it as a way to learn more about the field and meet the people with big ideas for Biomimicry..." Click here to continue reading this report from Lily Urmann, Green Labs Facilitator.

The Post-Landfill Action Network's Zero Waste Youth Conference 
"This conference was a great experience. We met a ton of hardworking and dedicated students from all across the country who were making positive impacts at their respective campuses. The conference theme was zero waste and we learned how to overcome challenges to get a zero waste program started, how to build a strong initiative, and how to network to leverage your goals. We were also inspired by some amazing speakers! To top it off, we had beautiful farm to table food and all of it was a 100% zero waste event!" - Jamison Czarnecki, Carbon Neutrality Fellow

National Bioneers Conference 
"Bioneers, for me, brought the many threads of 'sustainability' - environment, people, ecology, biodiversity, diversity, justice, equity, celebration of difference, purpose, conservation, conversation, art, climate, water, community, etc. - into a beautifully, vibrantly, amazingly woven cloth that held all of the attendees in its embrace for a weekend, bringing us in contact with new ideas and new people, encouraging us to sink into the realities of our world in their fullness..." Click here to continue reading this report from Melissa Ott, Office Manager/Events Coordinator.

Why I Love Bioneers 
"Even though this was my third time attending Bioneers, I was constantly blown away by the influx of new experiences and inspirations. I was grateful this year to be part of the Youth Leadership program, where I was surrounded by motivated young adults out to change the world. The dire state of our planet is often scary and overwhelming to think about, but the capacity of humans and our ability to collaborate on solutions keeps me hopeful. That is why I love Bioneers..." Click here to continue reading this report from Lily Urmann, Green Labs Facilitator.

Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 
"I had the honor of representing our campus at the national annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Sustainability professionals from all around the world converged on Minneapolis, MN for the occasion. The session that struck me the most was an all-day workshop focused on incorporating sustainability and diversity issues..." Click here to continue reading this report from Elida Erickson, Interim Sustainability Director.

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

UC Office of the President (UCOP) Fellowship Orientation
"On Saturday, November 14th, the UC Santa Cruz Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows and Global Food Initiative Fellows attended the UC Office of the President’s fellowship orientation.  During this daylong event, the UCSC fellows were able to meet all of the other UC-wide fellows and get to know which exciting projects they were working on.  The UCSC fellows were able to share our efforts with the Cool Campus Challenge and which projects they will be undertaking as the academic year continues.  They also learned about new strategies from different workshops on how to maximize student, staff and faculty engagement.  Completing this orientation provided the UCSC fellows with a network of like-minded UC fellows and new strategies that will help UCSC complete the UCOP sustainability initiatives.  The fellows look forward to the future projects and opportunities that will secure UCSC’s carbon neutrality and food security goals." - Jordi Vasquez, Carbon Neutrality Fellow

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