Thursday, October 29, 2015

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 susted@ucsc.edu and we will help you direct your ideas toward fruition! 


University of Missouri Researchers Developing Biodegradable Displays for Electronics
With the amount e-waste growing each year, the need for innovative solutions to consumer electronics disposal has never been higher. Professor Suchismita Guha and graduate student Soma Khanra collaborated with a team from the Federal University of ABC in Brazil to develop organic structures that could be used to light handheld device screens like the kind your using to read this webpage.

Student-installed sensors help monitor Botanical Garden
By monitoring humidity and extreme temperatures via five wireless sensor stations installed at the sprawling Strawberry Canyon site, the students hope to reduce wasteful use of resources in the upkeep of the gardens.

November 2015: Internships, Employment & Voluntering

Employment 

Do you love going to regattas and talking about recycling? Do you think about how to solve plastic pollution issues on a daily basis? Do the abbreviations ISO & GRI make you jump for joy? Then you (or the person that sprang to your mind) may be the perfect candidate for our Sustainability Director position. Click here for more information about the position. The deadline for application is November 16th, so please share with family, friends, and colleagues ASAP! 

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

Green Corps
The mission of Green Corps is to train organizers, provide field support for today’s critical environmental campaigns and graduate activists who possess the skills, temperament and commitment to fight and win tomorrow’s environmental battles. If you're passionate and ready to contribute to the environmental movement, click here.

Internships


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

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

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

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

Volunteering


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

Grid of the Future Summit on Nov 12th
The Grid of the Future Summit engages energy companies, technology companies, and government agencies in a discussion about the direction for the distributed, data-driven grid of the future.
In exchange for three hours of volunteer service, they would give complementary entry for student volunteers (including our concluding networking reception). Not only is this a tremendous savings, but this would be a great opportunity for students in the energy and environment field to network with industry leaders and to learn a great deal from our case study presentations.

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

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

Volunteer at a Campus Garden
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 UC Global Food Initiative
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.

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.

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.

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 www.SproutUp.org.

Join a regional green living magazine startup with ECO-SHIFT in conducting local market research

Internship Description:
Two Santa Cruz County-based environmental professionals are in the early startup phase of launching a regional green living magazine. Targeting a spring-summer 2016 issue, the launch is on an accelerated pace. The first phase requires marketing research to help (a) understand the appetite for this publication in the region and (b) inform the branding, naming, format and content development of the first issue. The yet to be named magazine startup requires 4 interns for 6 hours per week to conduct market research at community events. Community events are within a 40-mile radius of Santa Cruz, so at least 2 interns require a car (mileage will be reimbursed). Interns will also work with the data collected by compiling, organizing, and analyzing it. Interns will also learn to prepare data visualizations and narratives, incorporating them into the magazine’s foundational and supporting documents. The internships are currently unpaid but are available as 2-credits. They are interested in interns starting immediately but can wait until winter quarter for the right fit.

Specific objectives of the projects assigned to the intern
  1. Assist co-founders in developing market research survey instruments and coordinate survey locations.
  2. Complete market research assignments, conducting surveys and developing an audience profile through data analytics.
  3. Serve as an internal advisory member to the co-founders.
  4. If interested, prepare content for magazine based on market research findings.
  5. There is the potential to continue the internship quarter to quarter through the 2015-2016 academic year and summer.
Prerequisites:
No coursework required although demonstration of writing skills developing and use of Microsoft Excel in coursework is a certain plus.

Preferred skills/background:
Previous work with the public is preferred as is a positive attitude and willingness to learn as part of a team. They are a very team-oriented duo who strive to work efficiently, creatively and collaboratively. They highly value these characteristics in applicants. Since the magazine is a written product, they also prefer applicants who demonstrate competent writing skills. With the team's deep expertise in complementary areas of environmental consulting, policy and technology, interns will learn a wide range of best practices, the magazine launch process and organization, and participate in a fast-paced, start-up environment.

Required skills/background:
They require experience in Microsoft Excel, with an understanding of formulas, equations, functions and data manipulation. Most important for this project is that applicant can demonstrate that he/she is a quick learner, detail oriented, dedicated and is enthusiastic to work with us in a startup environment.

If you are interested, please submit a cover letter or introductory email including the following to Agnes Topp at amartelet [at] hotmail [dot] com
Thank you, they look forward to hearing from you!

Relevant coursework
  • A resume or CV highlighting skills or work experience relevant to this internship
  • Your availability for work this quarter and when you can start
  • Whether you have a car
  • Why you are interested in working with them
  • The environmental issue you are passionate about
  • We hope to have our interns selected to start immediately or in winter quarter by early to mid-November!
About The Company:
Two Santa Cruz County-based environmental professionals are launching a regional green living magazine that is yet to be named. The magazine will be the California Central Coast’s source for practical tips and authoritative information for the environmentally conscious consumer. This magazine will be rich with locally relevant content and photography to creatively inspire and enable the reader to gain a deeper understanding of issues, actions, and products and lead a sustainable lifestyle.

The company is seeking to fill a niche for their target audience of mature, eco-conscious consumers. Those consumers are more likely to support local businesses and are willing to spend more for sustainably-sourced and produced goods. Studies show that eco-conscious consumers are more likely to turn to written media in magazines and on the web for information than the television or radio.

According to the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report, nearly 9 in 10 Americans say the words “conscious consumer” describe them well and are more likely to buy from companies that manufacture energy efficient products (90%), promote health and safety benefits (88%), and commit to environmentally-friendly practices (87%). This is especially true in California, where conscious consumers are shaping State policies and political leadership.

November 2015: Classes, Trainings and Community

Sustainability Minor
To learn more about the minor, come to an orientation meeting, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, 6-7 PM in the College Eight Red Room. The minor is open to ALL UCSC students. For more information, click here.

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

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November 2015 Sustainability Profile: Jay Luce Nelson

This month features Jay Luce Nelson, a second-year College Eight affiliated student and this year’s Chancellor’s Undergraduate Intern (CUIP) for the Sustainability Office’s Education and Outreach Team. Jay Luce uses the pronouns they, them, and their.

What does "sustainability" mean to you?
To me, sustainability means preserving cultures, ways of life, and individual well-being while creating a safer global climate both socially and environmentally. I believe the idea of sustainability is inseparable from environmental justice, and that the preservation and restoration of natural systems and resources must work together with the empowering of marginalized peoples to create a better living standard for all.

What projects are you working on?
As a member of the Education and Outreach Team, I assist with the monthly newsletter and tabling. This quarter, my main goal is to work with an assortment of students from various social and environmental sustainability-related groups on campus to coordinate the Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat. A main objective for the retreat is to create conversation regarding environmental and social sustainability with both aspects supporting each other on an equal playing field. This balance of the two aspects will be new to this year’s retreat and I hope that attendees will gain a greater understanding of sustainability as a result.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC?
As a proposed Ecology and Evolution major with an interest in restoration ecology, environmental sustainability is key to the path I wish to pursue in life. My role as a student at UCSC—and in life—is to constantly increase my capability to practice ecology without sacrificing social sustainability. I am also of the belief that the preservation of marginalized groups is a key aspect of social sustainability; often I feel that neurodivergent and mentally ill trans survival should be counted as a sort of self-sustainability.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
I would like to think that living on campus in the Village makes environmental sustainability a part of my daily life. Food comprises most of my consumption, and living on campus makes recycling and composting automatic parts of life. I try to be conscious of what I do buy and avoid plastic packaging and companies known for unfair workplace or environmental policies. Mindfulness is key.

If you wish to get involved in the planning process for the 2016 Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat, please contact Jay Luce at jusnelso [at] ucsc [dot] edu

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Practicing Sustainability Matters


As a member of the Education and Outreach Team at the Sustainability Office, I get asked questions about several things. For example, some frequently asked questions are what we here at the Sustainability Office do, how to be more sustainable, or what’s in our newsletter. These questions are standard to me, and I can fire off the correct answer without even really thinking about it. But every once in awhile I will get a question that stumps me, one I had to seriously think about before I could answer.
One of my close friends asked me why turning off electronics that weren’t being used or using less water even mattered. Even if he did all the sustainable, “green things to do” (in his words), it would not matter, because one person couldn’t fix all the problems. His words reminded me of myself a few years ago. I thought that being sustainable was futile, there would still be pollution, deforestation, global warming, and a whole plethora of environmental problems that would not be solved by me using less plastic. In fact, I said so to my AP Biology teacher in high school while he was trying to explain why we should try to live more eco-friendly lives. He brought up an example of the helium shortage, which is a fairly big problem for scientists. Scientists use helium in a number of things -cryogenics, water manufacturing, energy accelerators. Helium basically powers superconductors instead of electricity. And this shortage not only affected prices but also scientific practices. However, scientists came up with somewhat of a solution -they are creating their own supply. They created a technique to recapture the helium that was created as a byproduct to their scientific reactions and reused it! By adopting a sustainable practice, these scientists were able to use and preserve their limited resources wisely. 

Image Source
This is why even one person adopting sustainable practices is truly making a difference. By doing little things like turning the lights off or taking public transportation, we are doing all that we can to help out. Our global future depends on sustainable practices! The environment is connected to everything we care about. By deteriorating it and wasting our limited resources, we degrade our quality of live, and the lives of those that come after us. By adopting these sustainable practices, we not only contribute to achieving the primary goals of sustainability, but we are also investing in our future.

Image Source






November 2015 Green Tip: Have a Green Thanksgiving

Shop local and organic when it comes to groceries for Thanksgiving. This includes selecting a certified organic, pasture-raised turkey! Localharvest.org is an amazing resource to find places near you where food is grown and raised using sustainable practices! Also, avoid unnecessary food packaging by placing bulk-bin items such as rice or beans in your own reusable bags!

Avoid the use of beef in your Thanksgiving dishes. Not only does it require 1847 gallons of water per lb to produce, but also beef production releases five times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as the average of other animal products and meats.

On Thanksgiving Day, carpool with friends or through zimride.com,  use public transportation, or ride your bike! Not only will this cut your overall gas consumption and carbon emissions, but you'll feel better about eating that last slice of pumpkin pie! During Thanksgiving dinner, remember to use cloth napkins, and if you don’t have enough dishes, go for the most eco-friendly option, like biodegradable plastic dishes!

Avoid wasting food by starting with small portions and taking as you need. If you’re hosting, ask your guests to bring their own Tupperware containers for leftovers to avoid using single plastics such as Ziploc bags or saran wrap. Start a composting bin and compost your food scraps!

Solar-powered streetlight on the Santa Cruz Wharf tests new technology

One of the streetlights at the end of the Santa Cruz Wharf is not like the other ones. Thanks to the solar panel bolted to its spine, it generates its own electricity. The sun-powered streetlight was installed in early August to test new solar technology. It replaced one of the grid-powered LED streetlights that line the rest of the wharf, said Tiffany Wise-West, principal at EcoShift Consulting and former climate action outreach coordinator with the city of Santa Cruz. The city worked with researchers at UC Santa Cruz and Mira Bella Energy of Peoria, Arizona, for the installation.

Read more about how the solar street installation works here.

November 2015: Contests and Funding

Carbon Fund
The UCSC Carbon Fund is a granting body that funds student, staff, and community projects that reduce our carbon footprint. They provide funding, support, and participation in sustainability projects on campus and in the community that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conduct relevant research, or carry out educational programs. Submit an abstract (application is due by November 13th by 11:59 pm).

Cool Campus Challenge: October 6 - December 10
The first ever Cool Campus Challenge aims to engage UC campuses with our carbon neutrality initiative through a bit of friendly competition. Join the challenge, pledge to reduce your carbon footprint, and help us prove that UCSC is the coolest campus! Sign up here.

Scholarship for All Women in STEM Majors Deadline Dec 1
The Science Ambassador Scholarship is a full tuition scholarship for a woman seeking an undergraduate degree in science, engineering, or math. This scholarship is sponsored by the creators of Cards Against Humanity and funded with an exclusive Science Pack Expansion Deck. The winner of this scholarship will receive full tuition coverage for up to four years. Trans women are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by Dec 1.

For more information, click here. To help fund the scholarship, click here.


Zimride 
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, are you still trying to plan how you will make it home for break? This year share the ride home with others in the UCSC Zimride community. It's easy! Simply click the 'Post a Ride' button and find a match with someone from UCSC going the same way.

When you post a new ride on the UCSC Zimride Zimride network between November 1 - 30 you will automatically be entered into the 2015 Zimride by Enterprise Zimsgiving Sweepstakes. Prizes include $200, $100 and $50 MasterCard gift cards. So wherever you need to gobble to, Zimride will help find you a ride home in time for Thanksgiving. Post your ride today!

UCSC Dining strives to meet Zero Waste goals

A new school year means new faces in our dining Halls! UCSC Dining strives to meet our Zero Waste goals by training their employees to use environmentally responsible practices. This means Green training! All dining employees are taught to reduce food waste with small strategies like serving portions out to students. This deters students from over-serving themselves and ensures the accuracy of our nutritional facts sheets. Employees are also taught the right way to recycle items and compost food waste. All the compost we produce is then converted into fertilizers which can be used to feed agricultural fields. We also teach employees to recycle all possible items from our dining aprons to pizza sauce tins!

EcoShift releases groundbreaking study on the role of US public lands policy in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions

In a ground-breaking report covered by Reuters, NBC News, Salon, Grist and more, EcoShift Consulting found that ending new fossil fuel leasing on lands and offshore areas controlled by the US government would keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gasses from polluting the atmosphere. This amount far exceeds the US greenhouse gas quota under numerous policy scenarios and is nearly a third as much as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes’ global limit for greenhouse gas emissions to stay within 2°C of global warming. The study and accompanying report, released in August, were prepared on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth.

EcoShift’s interdisciplinary team is comprised of expertise than spans the natural, social and engineering sciences and is led by Environmental Studies doctoral alumni James Barsimantov, Alexander Gershenson, Dustin Mulvaney, and Tiffany Wise-West. EcoShift works with public, private and academic organizations, and green technology firms to help find solutions that drive sustainable outcomes.

Read the report: http://www.ecoshiftconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/Potential-Greenhouse-Gas-Emissions-U-S-Federal-Fossil-Fuels.pdf  

Press Release: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/greenhouse-gas-emissions-08-19-2015.html

Bugs in an urban jungle: What green spaces mean for ecology and community

Since 2013, UC Santa Cruz environmental studies professor Stacy Philpott has studied insect biodiversity in urban gardens to better understand the ecological role these green spaces provide. Her research has taken her to 18 gardens across central California. From Watsonville to Salinas, San Jose, and Santa Cruz, Philpott discovered that each urban garden is different with cultural and economic factors influencing its biodiversity. This is reflected in the Beach Flats Community Garden near the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. Only half an acre, it is the only green space in the area, a lush oasis tucked behind urban grit.

For more information, click here.




Four UC Santa Cruz students receive Global Food Initiative fellowships

Four UC Santa Cruz students have received $4,000 UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) fellowships for the 2015–2016 academic year. They will be involved in one of the ongoing GFI projects at UCSC, which include efforts to address food equity and improve food security for students on UC campuses, and to increase opportunities for experiential learning at the campus’s farm and gardens.

Graduate students Hamutahl Cohen and Katherine Ennis, and undergraduates David Robles and Judy Xie are among the 44 GFI fellows from throughout the UC system who are advancing work to increase food system sustainability and improve food access and nutrition at the state, national, and international levels.

Read more about their research here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sue Carter named UCSC's Faculty Climate Action Champion for 2015-16

We are pleased to announce that Professor Sue Carter, Physics, has been selected by the Sustainability Office and Academic Senate’s Committee on Research as UC Santa Cruz’s faculty Climate Action Champion for the 2015-16 Academic Year.

As the Climate Action Champion, Professor Carter will implement a sustainability living-laboratory on campus to support student-led research and training in areas that promote carbon emissions reductions and sustainable use of natural resources. Her proposal demonstrated a strong plan for student and community engagement as well as the potential for long-term, cross-disciplinary climate action research and teaching to endure well past the Champion award year.

The Sustainability Lab (or “S-lab”) will encompass indoor and outdoor laboratory space, educational tools and resources for students. As Champion, Professor Carter will also develop curriculum and a mentorship network for entrepreneurship focused on sustainability and climate action in the broader community. The curriculum will include a sustainability module for a summer entrepreneurship academy to train students about entrepreneurial skills and resources that are specific to sustainable innovations, and provide a mentoring network of entrepreneurs from Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley who have been successful in launching “green” enterprises who will serve as mentors for the student teams. Finally, Professor Carter will also offer a K-12 Climate Action Summer Camp at the S-lab in summer 2016.

The Faculty Climate Action Champion Award incentivizes and supports faculty engagement in climate change research, teaching, and engagement. The award was developed through the Office of the President’s Global Climate Leadership Council to support UC’s Carbon Neutrality initiative, which commits UC to emitting net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025, something no other major university system has done.

The award provides $25,000 and institutional support for one selected faculty member to deepen climate change teaching and research on campus. Selected champions and their projects are intended to help meet and focus student demand for climate action and education. The purpose of the award is to enable faculty engagement in climate change research, teaching and both campus and community engagement.

Congratulations, Professor Carter!

To learn more about Professor Carter’s work, please visit her website here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 2015 Green Tip: Reducing Halloween Waste

Pumpkin spice is quickly taking over the menus and shelves of the nation, the Halloween puns are beginning, and it’s time to start planning for the season. But instead of using plastic in your costumes and dumping rotting Jack-o’-lanterns in the garbage, here are some tips to keep waste out of the landfill!

Pumpkins are the perfect seasonal, edible, and compostable decoration! Instead of tossing pumpkin guts in the landfill this year, try some recipes such as pumpkin butter or classic roasted pumpkin seeds. Not interested in eating gourd guts or being stuck with a decaying Jack-o’-Lantern? Pumpkin is also easily compostable. Uncarved pumpkins can last for around 10 weeks depending on the variety, leaving plenty of time to enjoy your squash. Check out 50 pumpkin recipes to try this fall here!

Instead of buying a new costume and decorations, try making your own or buy one secondhand. If you’re up to the challenge, make a recycled costume out of cardboard, fabrics, or other materials you and your fellow costumers already have. Remind trick-or-treaters in your life to use reusable candy containers like canvas bags. Alternatively, have a decoration and costume swap with friends!

Reduce candy waste by choosing candies with relatively smaller amounts of wrapping. Opt for those in recyclable boxes instead of individually wrapped plastic when possible, and remember that you will always find someone else more than willing to eat any candy you may not want.

Remember to turn off and unplug electronic decorations when not in use, and have a safe and happy Halloween season!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 2015 Sustainability Profile: Jamison Czarnecki and Jordi Vasquez

Jamison Czarnecki and Jordi Vaquez are the new Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows for UC Santa Cruz. The CNI Fellows support the University of California's Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which commits UC to emitting net zero greenhouse gasses from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025, something no other major university system has done. As part of a network of CNI Fellows throughout the UC system, Jamison and Jordi are responsible for helping to promote and engage the campus through the Cool Campus Challenge, an online competition to reduce our carbon emissions through behavior change. We decided to learn more about our new fellows.
Jamison Czarnecki (left) Jordi Vasquez (right)

What is your major and college affiliation? 
  • Jamison: Environmental Studies BA/Sustainability Studies Minor. Kresge College.
  • Jordi: Earth Science, B.S. College Nine.
What's your favorite green tip? 
  • Jamison: Don't take the bus on campus, walk! Especially around fall and winter when our mascot is out in full force from the rain and everything smells fresh and renewed. Also, drink sustainably! Order brews from the tap instead of the bottle and local brews over national brands. It's a smaller impact and usually better taste.
  • Jordi: Be water wise! Every drop counts whether it’s a wet or dry year, recognize the importance of water. Full loads of laundry, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, or using reusable water containers all promote water efficiency. 
What does "sustainability" mean to you? 
  • Jamison: Focusing on the triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit. Our increasingly complex global society is showing us that environmental and social issues are inter-connected. To truly solve them, we have to incorporate all disciplines and backgrounds to approach this important nexus. 
  • Jordi: For me, sustainability means to remember that our Earth, that one speck of life in a vast universe, only has a finite amount of resources. Therefore, we all have a responsibility to sustain what matters for today and tomorrow. 
How do you practice sustainability in your daily life? 
  • Jamison: I try to be conscious about my everyday actions and making good habits of those. For example, keeping my shower time under 5 minutes, unplugging my coffee pot when I'm done, or composting my food scraps. They're easy steps with BIG impacts! 
  • Jordi: Besides being water wise I also do simple tasks such as recycling, unplugging unused appliances, and by walking or busing around. 
How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC? 
  • Jamison: As a Carbon Neutrality Fellow and a conscious student, I am always trying to research, learn, and share new ideas that we can become as sustainable as possible. We've made a lot of progress, but we can do so much more! 
  • Jordi: As a Carbon Neutrality Fellow, sustainability is our main focus, promoting a carbon-neutral campus by the year 2025. Knowing the dedication of UCSC staff, students, and faculty, I’m sure we can achieve such an ambitious goal! 
Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC? 
  • Jamison: Attending the workshops with the Student Environmental Center and the Winter Inter-Organizational Retreat. They really taught me how to become more conscious and aware in an inspiring way. They're also great ways to get to know like-minded students! 
  • Jordi: As a fresh-eyed freshman, the strive for sustainability was eye-opening! The first few days it was amazing to realize that if a university could push for energy, food, and waste sustainability, then certainly I or any individual could achieve the same. 
Can you tell us about what it means to be a Carbon Neutrality Fellow? 
  • Jamison: It's truly an honor to be selected. The UC system has pushed itself to achieve the tremendous feat of being carbon neutral by 2025. This will show that if we as a huge entity can do it, then other educational systems and businesses can become carbon neutral as well. Being a fellow this year will not only give me great professional skills to advance my career, it will allow me help other people see the importance of this goal and how they can be a part of this movement too! 
  • Jordi: Being a Fellow means much more than the title portrays. The work on the 2025 Carbon Neutrality goal goes far beyond our campus and UC System; here we have the chance to promote sustainability as an everyday aspect of life. I’m excited and honored to get started!

Cool Campus Challenge

Launching Oct. 6 and running through Dec. 10, the first Cool Campus Challenge aims to get everyone across the UC campuses on board with the carbon neutrality effort with a bit of friendly competition to get things moving. Help prove that UCSC is the coolest campus!

During the 10-week contest, UC faculty, staff and students will be challenged to take steps to reduce their carbon footprints using an online tool to track their activity and earn points for their campus. Show how cool you can be all by yourself, or form teams among your friends, colleagues, and roommates. 


Here’s what you can do to be an important part of the Cool Campus Challenge (#UCool):
  • Sign up and take the Challenge: http://www.coolcampuschallenge.org. Then invite your colleagues to do the same.
  • Better yet, create a team so you can earn points together.
  • Share this email with staff, students and colleagues.
  • Send an announcement to campus listservs you’re on.
  • Share your profile, the sign-up link, pledge you’re taking, etc., online with the Challenge hashtag: #UCool.
  • Faculty, have your students take the Challenge as extra credit.

Once you sign up you will be given a variety of ways to learn more about your carbon footprint and to pledge to numerous actions that have a direct impact on reducing energy use. Each week, there will be a highlight for important theme along with suggested actions (or pledges) you can take that will either directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or increase education and awareness about climate disruption.

For every action you take, you’ll earn valuable points for our campus that will enter you in a raffle to win cool, energy efficient prizes. You can also earn “bonus points” for completing the action within a specified time period or for taking new and creative actions that aren’t yet on the pledge list.

Find out more and sign up to compete on the Cool Campus Challenge website.

To help spread the word, share this article. We have 10 years to be carbon neutral and we can’t be carbon neutral without you.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Annual UCSC Right Livelihood College Lecture Indigenous Peoples' Day

Annual UCSC Right Livelihood College Lecture Indigenous Peoples' Day Presentation and Dialogue With Survival International Founder Stephen Corry

Oct 12 I 5:00-7:00pm Kresge Seminar Room #159

What are some of the current issues facing tribal communities? What role do tribal peoples' play in conservation? How can we collaborate on issues of common concern?

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights invites you to a discussion about indigenous peoples and the myths/cons that lead to their abuse. Economic progress and environmentalism are the dominant opposing ideologies claiming to save the world, yet tribal peoples–the best guardians of the natural world–are being destroyed by both. This discussion is led by Survival director Stephen Corry, activist for tribal peoples for 40 years.

Survival International was given the Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, in 1989 for their work. In 2013 Kresge's Common Ground Center became the first Right Livelihood College in North America. Click here to learn more.

Sponsored by Survival InternationalUCSC Right Livelihood College, and Common Ground Center.

Free & Open to the Public. $3 Parking in Core West Parking Structure.

City of Santa Cruz & UC Santa Cruz Install Solar Streetlamp Research Pilot at Wharf

As part of the award-winning GreenWharf partnership, the City of Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz have installed an innovative solar streetlamp at the end of the Wharf as a research pilot project.

Provided by Mira Bella Energy of Peoria, Arizona, the solar streetlamp mirrors the gooseneck style of the existing streetlamps at the Wharf, which were upgraded to LED technology over the past two years. This design is intended to outperform other conventional panel technologies through a bifacial solar cell capturing scattered light on both sides of the cell array, even in overcast sunlight conditions. The vertically oriented panel design also reduces the potential for seagull excrement fouling which has limited the effectiveness of previously installed solar technologies at the Wharf. The solar streetlamp is outfitted with a battery pack inside the lamp pole, yet is also tied to the electrical grid for backup to the solar-battery system. The solar streetlamp’s performance will be monitored and timing and intensity can be adjusted via an online dashboard. Research will focus on the impact of an overwater installation on energy production and performance in a harsh marine environment.

“In addition to the vertical axis wind turbine in operation since 2011, the solar streetlamp is an innovative technology being piloted at the Wharf. Its real-time, web-based performance monitoring creates many research opportunities for students and faculty” said Dr. Michael Isaacson, Director of UCSC’s Center for Sustainable Energy Power Systems and principal investigator on the project.

It is a goal of the project to provide the public and other researchers access to the solar streetlamp’s performance data. UCSC researchers currently collect data on wind speed, solar irradiance and energy generation from the wind turbine and solar panel at the Wharf Headquarters. Access to the data sets and more information on the GreenWharf partnership is at www.greenwharf.org.

Wharf Supervisor Jon Bombaci adds “The solar streetlamp research pilot is another successful public-private project launched through the City-UCSC partnership, providing valuable research opportunities, educational experiences and helping to make the Wharf green.”

For more information on the GreenWharf partnership, please contact Ross Clark at (831) 420-5113 or rclark [at] cityofsantacruz [dot] com.