Connect With Us!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

National News: Flint Water Crisis

Jake May/The Flint Journal, via Associated Press

Santa Cruz is privileged to have clean and safe to drink tap water. The situation in Flint, a city in Michigan that does not have this privilege, has recently been featured in the news as a result of the environmental neglect leading to Flint's current water crisis. The dangerous condition of Flint's water has spurred many conversations nationally about environmental racism and the ways in which communities of color are put at risk by environmental degradation and neglect.

Many articles are available online detailing the water crisis. "A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint" by John Eligon is one such article that provides an introduction to Flint's current condition as well as the danger of environmental racism.

Those interested in providing aid may donate to any of the campaigns on GoFundMe's Flint Water Crisis Relief page here.

February 2016: Nicki Doan

What is your title, affiliation, and year?
Hi! My name is Nicki Doan, and I am an SSA, which stands for Student Sustainability Adviser, for the sister colleges of Porter and Kresge. I am a 2nd year Kresge affiliate.

What does “sustainability” mean to you?
When I imagine the term “sustainability,” I think of a ying-yang circle. The concept of ying and yang is that one side balances the other, in a uniformed manner. No side is sharper or more intricate than the other, hence the circular shape and the simplistic color schemes of black and white. I believe that sustainability has the same concept; it’s about taking only what you need, but also knowing that what you take comes with a price, and returning the favor. Like the symbol, sustaining means balancing, and when we take something from the environment, such as trees and paper, we must give it back, just as in recycling.

What made you interested in sustainability?
I think that being sustainable has always been a part of me as I was growing up. For example, my family always rewashed containers to use as portable food holders, and they have always kept gift bags and tissue papers to reuse next Christmas. My religion also plays a big role in my interest in sustainability. I was taught to treat every living thing with compassion, and to always give more than to take. I think these influences are very similar to the practice of sustainability.

Tell us about the Hydration Games, a campuswide competition in the colleges to reduce water.
The Hydration Games was a really fun project to do since I have never done anything campus wide! It also took a lot of time and outreach to make it work, and I think that is where my team and I lacked. The 7 of us were unable to spread awareness about water conservation as well as we had hoped. Other factors that didn’t give us the results that we had wanted could also have been due to the Carbon Neutrality project UC-wide that also sprang up during our Hydration Games.

Any similar events you're looking forward to this year?
Yes! We are promoting Zero Waste this quarter! To do so, we are going to be tabling during college nights and sending emails and a survey that we are working on to get a good idea of how aware our residents are about their waste contribution.

What’s your favorite thing about being an SSA?
My favorite thing about being an SSA is the experience. I have learned so much more about the “real world” than I do in a chemistry and biology class. We have guest speakers who are chemists and biologists working in the fields of sustainability. They express their passion for what they do, and it amazes me every time I listen. I am inspired by what they do and how they do what they do every time. Kinda makes me unsure about my future, but I mean, I do know now that I hope to find a career that I am extremely passionate about like them.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
You know, I think UCSC itself is a sustainability moment. Ever since coming here, I have adapted to the lifestyle of this campus, such as recycling pretty much everything, bringing reusable bags to the stores, and bringing my own reusable water bottle. Coming from a place where sustainability is a choice (SoCal) to a place where sustainability is a lifestyle (Santa Cruz), it’s quite amazing!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

February 2016: Contests and Funding

Write to Change the World: Deadline to Apply February 1
The “Write to Change the World” program is an opportunity for UC faculty that will build capacity to translate their research for the public and to engage in debate at a national level based on their areas of
 expertise. Invitational priorities for applicants include: 1) sustainability and the environment 2) social justice and inequality 3) big data and digital humanities 4) public health and medical humanities 5) arts and public life. After the 1-day workshop, fellows will have access to a yearlong mentorship with media mentors through the OpEd Project. This program provides extraordinary resources, access and support, including cutting edge game-based, research-driven programming, and access to a prestigious network of fellows at peer institutions nationwide. Learn more here.

Campus Sustainability Council Funding Applications: Deadline February 12
Apply for funding through the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC)! Proposals adhering to the criteria for student organizations and relevance to the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus are eligible for funding. Review the Request for Proposal, which outlines all requirements and mandatory steps to apply for funding from CSC. For more information, visit the CSC website.

Grad Slam: Deadline March 4
Grad Slam is a competition that challenges graduate students to present years' worth of academic research in a concise, compelling, three-minute talk to a non-expert audience. Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy and are enrolled in winter and spring 2016 are eligible to compete in Grad Slam. The contest begins with a video round of competition, during which 10 finalists will be selected for our campus live event to be held on Wednesday, April 6. The winner from that event will take home $3,000 and go on to compete in the UC-wide Grad Slam in San Francisco on April 22. UCSC's runner-up receives $1,500, and the people's choice winner receives $750. Check out the online instructions for all the details.

Zero Waste Youth USA Convergence: Deadline February 1
Organized by youth, for youth, the Zero Waste Youth USA Convergence will include a full day of visioning, organizing and celebrating zero waste and will empower youth to bring the zero waste message back to their schools and communities. The day will feature a keynote address, hands-on activities, and presentations on exciting zero waste topics both from the youth as well as from exceptional leaders from the community. If you are interested in speaking or performing at the event on March 26, 2016 at the Ocean Campus of City College of San Francisco, please fill out this form.

8th Annual International Sustainable Campus Network Award: Deadline February 1
The International Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards recognize sustainable campus projects that demonstrate leadership, creativity, effectiveness and outstanding performance. The award categories have been modified this year to reflect the evolution of campus sustainability. Campus projects can be submitted for one of the following categories: Buildings and Innovative Infrastructure, Campus Planning and Management Systems, Innovative Collaboration, or Student Leadership. Click here to apply.

Get Loud (About Climate Change) Challenge
ACE and NextGen Climate America just launched a new initiative, the Get Loud Challenge, an innovative climate competition that will engage young people across the country to turn up the volume on climate change. The Get Loud Challenge will motivate young people (ages 13-24) in all 50 states to take highly visible, online and offline actions to catapult climate change into the spotlight. Earn points for a range of climate actions — from having a conversation about climate with a family member to calling on our leaders to embrace clean energy policies in their communities. Go to to learn more.

Students with Drive
Each month, Zipcar awards $27,000 in transportation grants to student organizations across the country so groups like yours can drive for free to volunteer opportunities, academic conferences, concerts, games or wherever you need to go.Ready to enter? Visit the Students With Drive page to enter your organization today. Each month, 15 finalists will get a chance to win big. Apply here!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat Highlights

Jay Luce Nelson, the Sustainability Office CUIP Events Coordinator, reports back on the Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat.

Over the weekend of January 8th-10th, members and representatives of 42 different UCSC organizations came together to enjoy the 6th Annual Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat. The retreat, coordinated by leaders of social and environmental sustainability efforts around campus, aims to build leadership skills, explore concepts of sustainability, build community, and promote collaboration between sustainability-minded organizations.

Friday's events included an alumni panel, dinner catered by Vivas Mexican Food, and small alumni group discussions. Student and staff attendees were given the opportunity to talk to alumni about their lives and careers post-graduation.

Saturday and Sunday's events took place at YMCA Camp Campbell in Boulder Creek. Saturday began with a group activity that explored our understanding of words and ideas such as "space" and "decolonizing," led by Adriana Renteria, People of Color Sustainability Collective Coordinator, and Elida Erickson, Interim Sustainability Director and Sustainability Programs Manager. Following was the keynote presentation by Pandora Thomas, environmental educator and co-founder of the Black Permaculture Network, who spoke about her experiences regarding community education, environmental racism, and the importance of recognizing and celebrating the sustainable practices of communities of color. Workshops later in the day explored topics such as self care, food sovereignty, the power of storytelling, global agricultural coalitions such as La Via Campesina, and more.

As a coordinator of the retreat, seeing the Planning, Programming and Logistics Committees' plans come to fruition was an amazing experience. The Inter-Org Retreat allowed me to meet members of other organizations that I might not have the opportunity to interact with otherwise; it was wonderful meeting so many people with such varied interests and backgrounds, each bringing their own ideas of sustainability.

On Saturday I attended the workshop "Food Justice & Oppression" facilitated by Adriana Renteria and Crystal Owings, Food Equity and Access Specialist for the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems. Participants at this workshop were enabled to examine bias and injustice inherent in our food system. Later I attended "La Via Campesina: Globalizing Hope, Globalizing the Struggle" with People of Color Sustainability Collective interns Amran Khan, Catherine Alfaro, Raymond Lebeau, and Cristal Gonzalez. Through role-playing, we learned about the various agricultural groups comprising the agricultural justice coalition La Via Campesina. I highly encourage others to look into this movement if you, like myself before attending this workshop, do not have prior knowledge of it.

Special thanks go out to the Sustainability Office Zero Waste Team for providing funding used to make Friday a zero waste event; everyone involved in the planning process; our many carpool drivers; the workshop leaders; Camp Campbell, which has recently made the switch to reduce waste by using reusable cloth napkins; and keynote speaker Pandora Thomas. Pandora's website can be found at

Pictures from the retreat can be found on Facebook here. For future updates about this annual retreat, please visit the website here.

Sustainability Minor in Full Swing

Written by Kelsee Hurschman, with contributions by Christine Ongjoco

Opportunities for UCSC students to pursue sustainability education and research are growing! The College Eight Sustainable Studies pilot minor is now in full swing. Sustainability Studies was officially launched in 2014 and provides students with hands-on, interdisciplinary educational experiences -- teaching students applied skills and knowledge through a focus on real-world problem solving.

Students enrolled in the minor have the freedom to choose between a broad range of upper division courses offered by several different departments including anthropology, economics, sociology, and legal studies. The minor can be completed easily in two years; see the website for more information about requirements and how to enroll.

Angela Duong, a student in the Sustainability minor, believes that "sustainability is such a 'new age' field and it's super cool that UCSC has a minor for it! [It] is important to learn and practice in our everyday lives and will help improve our future."

Another student, Kelsee Hurshman, says "... learning about living sustainably is important because all of our resources come from the earth and we need to change our habits so that we can live in harmony with the planet. Being in these classes sheds light on problem-solving instead on dwelling on the horrible state of the planet other classes do, giving a feeling of hopelessness."

In the minor, the Sustainability Practicum allows students to work in research groups to develop policy solutions for sustainability problems and fieldwork projects that build analytical and applied skills.

Some students like Jamison Czarneck transferred to UCSC exactly for the Sustainability minor because of the hands-on experience in the program. He was involved with a project that did a LEED analysis of a building in downtown Santa Cruz and looked at the predicted energy usage versus the actual energy usage of the building with 2 years of data.
So far, it has been a positive and rewarding impact on my studies and my perception on the challenges around achieving sustainability. I am looking into sustainability management as a career so the minor seemed to make a lot of sense. So far I've learned about service learning, life cycle analysis of products, energy efficiency strategies, social behavior of sustainability problems, analytical tools and policy influences, and a lot more.  - Jamison Czarneck
This year, other students are working on three projects: an Urban Agriculture protocol, “Ecotopia House”, and a Renewable Energy Microgrid.

The Urban Agriculture Research Project is working to obtain quantifiable data by developing small-scale, long-term planting beds in College Eight Garden and PICA.  Students have developed a system to measure all of the inputs and end products of the garden. Analyzing this, students will find the best practices for urban agriculture – to create a maximum output of crops with little labor in the garden and money spent.

A student part of the Urban Agriculture Research Projects, gave us an update on the project:
Last quarter we set up galvanized beds and felt pots in the College Eight Garden. We planted lettuce, spinach, kale, garlic, snap peas, beets, and onions. We will be harvesting some produce soon and recording the pounds of produce as well as the amount of calories of food harvested. Who thought I could be doing research as I garden and produce food to eat? - Kelsee Hurshman

Ecotopia House is a collaboration between College Eight and Cabrillo Community College as part of a collegiate competition sponsored by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The completed Ecotopia House will be a small living space with a smaller carbon footprint directed toward affordable and resource-efficient housing, especially for urban areas. Students are analyzing various household features to include the most energy efficiency, cost-effective attributes.

The Renewable Energy Microgrid project involves behavioral analysis and technical monitoring of energy and water consumption at a cohousing development in Santa Cruz county. Fieldwork includes behavioral surveys and interviews focused on residents energy attitudes and practices; high resolution, real-time monitoring of electric energy use (with more funding, gas energy and water use as well) at a plug load, circuit load, and meter load level; and design, deployment (subject to the outcome of emerging electric energy policy), and monitoring of an advanced neighborhood microgrid.

Students can also do the IDEASS program as an elective for the minor. IDEASS participants work with researchers and professionals to plan, design, and then implement a selection of projects that use cutting-edge technologies in the development of sustainable systems. In 2016, there are five IDEASS projects: Clean Oceans International, Smart Irrigation, Tiny House, Smart Energy, Solar Lanterns, DROPS, and Porter Purple Pipes.

IDEASS students are partnering with Clean Oceans International, a nonprofit using Captain Homer’s plastics-to-fuel (P2F) conversion machine, to explore the costs and benefits of using this technology to clean up the vast amounts of plastics accumulating in our biosphere and threatening marine ecology. The new P2F conversion machine is expected to recycle about ten pounds of plastic into a gallon of clean fuel per hour. Students at UCSC are working with the non-profit to analyze the machine’s energy efficiency and characterize pollutants and other byproducts of the conversion process.

The Smart Irrigation II project is expanding on the software design and electrical system components delivered by a team of engineering students in spring of 2014-2015. This project will demonstrate how sensor network will use real-time data to calibrate the release of capture rainwater with changes in soil moisture. The improved system will not only use moisture sensors to offer autonomous irrigation control but will integrate sensors to monitor temperature, pH, phosphorous, potassium, salt, and nitrogen concentration. Accommodations for off-grid solar power and energy storage make this system truly avant garde. The irrigation system will be installed on campus at Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) and College Eight garden after initial installation at Natural Bridges High School.

Students are working to create industry standards for the manufacture and distribution of off-grid Solar Lanterns to replace kerosene lanterns used across the Global South, especially Africa. Although international organizations including Solar Aid and the World Trade Organization, promote this off-grid alternative, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition has determined that the short life span of these products and lack of proper waste management is unsustainable. Old or broken lanterns are usually incinerated with other refuse in communities that lack the resources, knowledge or infrastructure to repair or recycle components. Students involved During 2016, IDEASS Solar Lantern students are working to disassemble and re-engineer the lanterns in order to develop guidelines for a more sustainable prototype.

DROPS students are reducing negative water quality impacts on Neary Lagoon, and Bayview Elementary School by using rainwater catchment, bioswales, and rain gardens to recycle greywater for lawn and garden irrigation. Bayview Elementary School has a Life Lab Program that will integrate water conservation into the curriculum and teach students about how water travels across the watershed and how to test water quality in nearby watersheds.

Bayview Elementary’s lawn (left) Lifelab classroom vegetable beds (right)

Graphene is a potential material that could replace silicon as a semiconductor. Smart Energy (also see this website) students are determining the best methods of Graphene production in terms of cost, environmental impact, and scalability. They are composing a list of methods to maximize the effectiveness of graphene as a substrate supercapacitor with the smallest impacts to the environment.

IDEASS students working on the Porter Purple Pipes Project are collaborating with engineers, planners, and plumbers to participate in the process of planning, designing, and constructing a graywater recycling system for flushing toilets in Porter dorms.


With the Sustainability Studies minor now in full swing, we can't wait to see what future student-led projects will accomplish!

February 2016: Classes, Trainings and Community

Leadership for Social Justice: Sikh American Perspectives: February 6
This workshop in Humanities 1, Room 210 from 10 AM - 4 PM on February 6 will provide participants with practical tools for conceptualizing and effecting social change. Led by Jyotswaroop Kaur, Education Director for  the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, workshop modules will include understanding and changing mindsets, community cultural leadership, implementing adaptive change, and supporting citizen-centered rather than client-centered approaches. An agenda of events can be found here.

College Campus Cleanups: February 7 and February 21
February 7th, 11:00 am, outside College 9/10 Dining Hall and Multipurpose Room
February 21st, 11:00 am, College Eight Plaza
There will be two cleanup days this quarter sponsored by the Sustainability Office Zero Waste Team. Each cleanup will focus on a specific college area; members of any college are welcome and encouraged to attend. Snacks will be provided after the cleanups. For more information, contact Bella Montez at bmontez [at] ucsc [dot] edu. Visit the Facebook page for details.

Mixed Ethnicities Student Headquarters (MESH) Conference: February 20
MESH will be hosting a Mixed Student Union Conference on the subject of Defining & Exploring Mixed Identity on February 20 in the Cervantes & Velasquez Conference Room in the Bay Tree Conference Center. There will be three keynote speakers and a variety of workshops to choose from. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. RSVP required here.

Gaia Magazine Submissions: Magazine Deadline February 22
Gaia Magazine is accepting submissions for both the website ( and Issue VIII of the magazine. There is no deadline for website content, but magazine content must be submitted before February 22nd. Works are submitted via email to gaiamagazineucsc [at] gmail [dot] com; guidelines and instructions can be found here. Gaia Magazine accepts all types of work (art, poetry, articles, photography, recipes, etc.). Work must have an environmental or sustainable theme that relates to UCSC or the greater Santa Cruz community.

Food Systems Learning Journeys will take you from the classroom and the halls of campus into a not too distant world of farming, distributing, cooking, consuming, and composting food. Upcoming journeys include Sustainable Oysters and the World of Shellfish (February 10th), The Craft of Fermentation (February 21st), and Viticulture and Regional Terroir (February 24th). Register online through OPERS and click here for more information.

UCSC Climate & Science Policy Conference: February 26-27
The 3rd annual UCSC climate conference, co-sponsored by the divisions of Social Sciences and Physical & Biological Sciences, will be taking place February 26-27 in the College 9/10 Multipurpose Room. This year's title is Earth's Climate Future: Uncharted Territory. Panels will focus on public health, geoengineering, and geopolitics. Visit the site here to RSVP and learn more.

Permaculture Film Series
Common Ground Center is offering a permaculture film and discussion series on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:30 PM during winter quarter. The series is free & open to the public, and students enrolled in Kresge-161: Permaculture & Whole Systems Design are encouraged to attend the series to see examples of thriving, resilient and sustainable communities worldwide. For more information, contact commonground [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Education for Sustainable Living Program Team (ESLP)
ESLP is looking for engaged students who wish to be a part of the organizing team for the next year. Ideally, students will shadow current positions this winter quarter to gain skills and training to carry on into the 2016-2017 year. Open positions include:

  • Collaboration and networking sphere organizers: organizers work together to design and create colorful advertisement flyers for the organization. Regular maintenance of the ESLP website, Facebook page, and registering for on-campus events are other collaboration and networking sphere duties. The goal for this sphere is to increase awareness of ESLP, outreach for student facilitators, and Spring Speaker Series students.
  • Academic Sphere organizers: organizers meet every 11-12:10am MWF for the Winter Training Seminar (WTS) to facilitate a group of students in preparation for their spring Action Research Teams. This group of organizers works closely with admin to build relationships and harbor the skills necessary for leading a successful action project.
  • Heart Sphere organizers: Heart sphere organizers work closely with ESLP's staff advisor, Angela Harris, to manage our budget and personnel responsibilities. These organizers work all of Winter quarter contacting and booking guest speakers for the Spring Speaker Series.
Students interested in working with ESLP who would like to shadow these positions can contact ESLP at eslp[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

The minor incorporates courses offered by College Eight and departments across campus, student-initiated classes through the Education for Sustainable Living Program, and an interdisciplinary capstone. The minor is open to all UCSC students. For more information, click here.

Cultivating a Daily Revolution: What's in Your Melting Pot? Histories of Food in the USA: Wednesdays, 6-8 PMThis 2 unit seminar and internship series discusses the social, economic and political conditions that give rise to the food cultures seen in the United States today. Working at the intersection of social justice and environmental justice, discussions (following a free weekly meal) aim to locate histories of food, ethnobotany and oppositionality in today's neoliberal socio-economic climate. For more information, email focan [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Produce Pop-Up Stand in the Quarry Plaza 
Students from the Food Systems Working Group (FSWG) and the Global Food Initiative (GFI) are hosting a produce stand on Wednesdays from 2:30-5:00 PM in the Quarry Plaza! Come by to get fresh leafy greens from the campus farm and fresh fruit from the local farmers market! If you would like more information please contact Alyssa at abillys [at] ucsc [dot] edu or ucscfswg [at] gmail [dot] com.

Volunteer with Take Back The Tap
Take Back The Tap UCSC is on the lookout for new organizers and a candidate for the 2016-2017 campaign coordinator. Students interested in learning valuable skills like grant-writing, social media outreach, campaign organization tactics, meeting with decision makers, or team-building should contact Take Back The Tap at tbttucsc-group [at] ucsc [dot] edu, and/or come to meetings on Mondays from 12:15-1:45 PM in the Kresge Common Ground Center, near STARS. Check out the group's Facebook page, Take Back The Tap UCSC, to learn more. 

Demeter Seed Library

The Demeter Seed Library will be hosting office hours this quarter in Oakes 307. Come by to borrow or donate seeds and learn more about seed saving and campus gardening efforts. Office hours are Mondays 2:00-3:00 and Tuesdays 3:30-4:30 or by appointment. 

The World Cafe: Food, Tea, Conversations That Matter
Mondays 5-7pm in the Kresge Seminar Room 159

The World Cafe is a weekly potluck of both food and ideas. It aims to bring a diversity of people together to explore whatever topics matter to them. Each night is focused on a different theme, often proposed by a student club or passionate individual wanting to develop their conversational leadership. Attendees savor the inquiry as they savor the food and tea, connect deeply with one another, form friendships, move projects forward, and create actionable knowledge. The World Cafe is a process used around the globe to surface the collective intelligence of groups of all sizes.

UCSC Activist Training Workshop with Green Corps: March 7

Green Corps is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that teaches recent college graduates how to run and win environmental campaigns. The activist training will take place at the College 8 Red Room on Monday, March 7th from 5:00-6:30 PM. It will teach students invaluable skills that would improve any group that is trying to achieve a goal and grow stronger, such as how to raise group visibility and membership (including working with the media), how to strategically plan campaigns (from fundraising, to advocacy, to grassroots campaigns), and how to develop leadership. Email ucscgreencorps[at]gmail[dot]com for more information.
Art, Moral Thinking, and Climate Change, A Community Forum: February 5-6
This event at the Peace United Church in Santa Cruz hopes to inform the community about climate change and inspire action. On Friday at 7 PM, Dr. Kathleen Dean Moore will speak, and poetry, music, art exhibits, and refreshments will be featured. On Saturday from 9 AM - 1 PM, there will be a feature presentation by Dr. Kathleen Dean Moore and action opportunities. This event is open to the public and free of charge. Sponsored by the Progressive Christian Forum. For more information, email rstrayer [at] sbcglobal [dot] net. 

Cabrillo Construction Courses: Deadline February 6
Students interested in enrolling in a Spring semester class in Cabrillo’s Construction & Energy Management Program can receive independent study credit through College 8. To enroll in the class, first apply for admission to Cabrillo and then enroll in the chosen class(es). Contact Ronnie Lipschutz (rlipsch [at] ucsc [dot] edu) for further information about enrolling and having your tuition paid by College Eight. Course descriptions can be found here.

Colorado State University Master of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting (MGMA) Degree Program: Deadline March 1The interdisciplinary MGMA degree provides students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds—such as environmental studies, agriculture, forestry, business, engineering, and natural resources—the opportunity to develop the skills needed for emerging sustainability professions focused on greenhouse gas management and accounting. Two graduate fellowships and a teaching assistantship are available to support incoming students for Fall 2016. Applicants interested in graduate fellowships or the teaching assistantship should contact MGMA Program Coordinator Nikki Foxley at WCNR_ESS_info [at] mail [dot] colostate [dot] edu as soon as possible for more information.

Kelp Forest Ecology Summer Course: Deadline April 15Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CAJun 20-Jul 22, 2016 (5-weeks), M-F, 5-units.This course is aimed at upper division undergraduates or beginning graduate students interested in benthic ecology & kelp forests. SCUBA certification (Advanced/Open Water II) & all personal diving gear is required (AAUS scientific certification is not required, but desirable). Summer tuition ($5080) will be covered; class size is limited. The application form is available here

LEED Green Associate (GA) Training: April 21

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program acts as a method of evaluating buildings based on energy-efficient and sustainable design. The LEED Green Associate (GA) credential is the only entry level sustainability designation and shows that those certified are knowledgeable in the green building industry. A new LEED rating system (v4) was introduced recently and this training course is one of the few that has been updated to teach the current rating system. This training will take place on the UCSC campus on April 21 from 6-10 PM. For more information including cost and how to register, see here

Pledge to go Meatless on Mondays to Receive Weekly Tips
Many of us might want to help the environment or the animals but are reluctant to make the change to vegetarian or vegan right away. Meatless Mondays are a less intimidating yet effective way to cut back on our impact on the environment and save a few animals' lives along the way. Whether one eats at the dining halls or cooks at home, cutting out meat for just one day of the week is especially easy after make the pledge here. Participants receive tips and recipe ideas weekly. Join the thousands of students across the nation who have already taken the pledge and sign up today!

The Rudd Mayer Memorial Fellowships support women to participate in WINDPOWER, attending seminars on current wind energy issues, viewing state-of-the-art technology, meeting others in the renewable energy field, and connecting with employers about potential internships or permanent positions. WINDPOWER 2016 will be held from May 23-26 in New Orleans, LA. The Fellowship covers the cost of travel to and from the WINDPOWER conference site, conference registration (and included meals), and lodging. Find out more on the website here.

The People of Color 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 out their Purpose, Principles and how to get involved here. Divestors of color who are interested in learning more can fill out this quick membership form to be shared on their listserve, membership contact page, and Facebook group.

Low Carbon IT Campaign
Offered by Energy Star, the Low Carbon IT Campaign is a nationwide effort to assist and recognize organizations for reducing the energy consumed by their information technology equipment. With six suggested ways to reduce the IT energy costs at your organization, the EPA will recognize institutions that implement two of them, putting computers to sleep and benchmarking data centers. Free phone and email consultations are available to answer questions.

Private Prison Divestment: A Toolkit for Campus Organizers
This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide on how to organize a divestment campaign on campus. With a primer on the reasons to divest from private prison companies, the toolkit features a case study from a historic divestment victory at Columbia University.

Plastic-Free Campus Manual
Post-Landfill Action Network's new manual provides guidance to students and campus organizers about creating a campus environment that is free of plastic. The manual covers topics ranging from turnover in student leadership to working with administrators, and more hands-on topics like conducting plastic waste audits. The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) will be hosting webinars and workshops in 2016 to support those who are trying to bolster a plastic-free campus.

February 2016: Internships, Employment & Volunteering


Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP): Deadline February 11
CUIP provides on-campus internships in programs and departments throughout the campus. Interns work with a mentor to develop personal and professional skills, and take a leading role in producing project in their internship. A two-unit leadership seminar class is required for fall, winter and spring quarters. A scholarship of 8,200 dollars is paid towards the intern’s registration fees for the academic year. Internships are available with employers such as the Sustainability Office, College Eight Environmental Programs, Diversity and Inclusion Programs, and many others.

Seeking Mentors for Provost Sustainability Internship
Are you interested in working to make our campus operations, infrastructure, and physical environment more environmentally and socially sustainable? The PSI program is a great way to get involved! We pair students with staff 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. Application details will be available soon. If you are a student, staff, or faculty who wishes to learn more, please email psi [at] ucsc [dot] edu and stay tuned for details in the March newsletter.

Summer Internship with SF Municipal Transportation Agency: Deadline February 10
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is looking for undergraduate and graduate student interns who are interested in transportation planning and engineering. For more information and to apply, visit the website.

Design and Communications Internship: Deadline February 10
Second Nature, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to proactively build a sustainable and positive global future, is currently seeking exceptional candidates for a paid Design and Communications internship position. The internship will be focusing on tasks including design for documents and websites, website maintenance, newsletter support, blog and social media support, and more. Read more and apply here.

Fossil Free Fellowship: Deadline February 15
The 2016 Fossil Free Fellowship will provide extensive training and support to a diverse group of 24 campus fossil fuel divestment campaigners for 10 weeks this summer. Fellows gain hands-on experience in climate and justice-based organizing by working on projects across the U.S. with and partner organizations, and access to trainings rooted in deep political education on how the climate movement must work with other justice movements. New this year, six mentors will support their peers throughout the program. If you’re interested in being a mentor, email Becca Rast at becca [at] 350 [dot] org.

RE-volv Solar Ambassador Program: Deadline February 29
This program is a unique opportunity for college students to develop key project management, outreach, and communications skills while tangibly taking action on climate change through solar energy. Over the course of one academic year, Solar Ambassadors work in teams to identify a nonprofit or co-op near their campus that wants to go solar. The team works with RE-volv to set-up the project and run a crowdfunding campaign to underwrite the solar energy system. RE-volv is looking for 5 new teams to join the 2016-2017 cohort. For more information, click here.


Multicultural Career Conference
February 20th, 9:30 am
Porter College Dining Hall
For almost 30 years, the Multicultural Career Conference has brought alumni of color back to the UCSC campus to successfully mentor and assist students with career planning, guidance and advice. The MCC provides an opportunity for current students to connect with alumni of color who are successful professionals and allows alumni, who often attended the conference as students, to give back by sharing their experiences with current students. Visit the website for details.

The Common Ground Center is hiring a paid student staff position for a Common Ground Media Coordinator. Duties for the position include: producing high-quality graphics and posters, producing video and written communications, and short videos that promote Common Ground Center and its programs, services, and events. Apply at the UCSC Career Center with ER #7527.

UCSF Sustainability Coordinator
UCSF’s Sustainability Office is hiring a Sustainability Coordinator. Ideal candidates have a passion for sustainability, excellent data management skills, education/outreach and event coordination skills, with website, healthcare, and/or laboratory experience a plus. UCSF has no undergraduate students, so this position works primarily with greening research laboratories and healthcare facilities. Read the job description and apply here.

Employment with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
SACNAS is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Santa Cruz and the largest multicultural and multidisciplinary diversity in STEM organization in the country. SACNAS is currently seeking applicants for the positions of Accountant/Administrative ServicesProgram Manager, and Director of Programs.

Resource Center for Nonviolence Staff Position 
The Resource Center for Nonviolence is hiring an administration and program staff position to conduct social media, outreach, administrative, and program coordination tasks in a collaborative team of 4 half-time staff members. The position is half-time, 23 hours per week, paying $15 per hour. For more information, contact Anita Heckman at rcnvanita[at]gmail[dot]com.

Project ReGeneration/ Nonviolence Education & Training Program Staff: Deadline February 12
The Resource Center for Nonviolence seeks a new staff person to work in a collaborative team of 4 half-time staff members. Emphasis: Project ReGeneration coordination, inspiring the next generation of activists, and Nonviolence Education & Training. The position is half time, 23 hours per week, paying $15 per hour. More information is available here.

The Sustainability Coordinator will support the Senior Sustainability Manager in the development and implementation of Driscoll’s sustainability goals, customer and regulatory compliance, and all other Sustainability efforts. Research, facilitation, support and communication will be critical functions of this role. Click here for more detail.

Energy Manager for Pomona College in Claremont, CA
The Energy Manager provides leadership to the College’s energy program and utility systems and to advance Pomona’s Sustainability Action Plan. This position requires a Bachelors degree in a related technical or engineering discipline or equivalent career experience, Energy Manager Certification strongly preferred and LEED AP or ability to obtain within 18 months. For more information, see here.

Student Housing Sustainability and Conservation Coordinator at Stanford University
The Residential and Dining Enterprises Student Housing Sustainability Programs Office collaborates with students and staff at Stanford University to foster behavior change, reduce energy and water consumption and waste production in residences, and to integrate long-term sustainable thinking into operations. The Coordinator will support the Office's goals and report directly to the Sustainability and Utilities Program Manager. For more information, click here.

Portland State Community GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Project Leader: Deadline February 16
Principal duties of the position include engaging with communities, providing GIS analysis support for projects, contributing to strategic planning, and possibly teaching within the undergraduate or graduate programs within the College of Urban and Public Affairs or in Portland State University’s University Studies program. More information is available here.

Safe Routes to School Organizer, Portland, OR: Deadline February 1 by 4:30 PM
The Bureau of Transportation seeks to hire a Safe Routes to School Organizer within the bureau's Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program. This position will work in schools throughout Portland with parents, students, school staff, and partner organizations to develop and implement encouragement activities, education programs, and events that promote safe, active transportation to school. Apply online today!

Director of Outdoor and Environmental Education at Earlham College in Indiana
Earlham College is currently seeking qualified candidates for the Director of Outdoor and Environmental Education. This is a full-time, 12-month administrative faculty position. Major program areas include the August Wilderness summer pre-orientation program, the Miller Farm sustainable agriculture program, the certificate program in Outdoor Education, and student-led outdoor-based physical education courses. More information is available here.

Production Manager for Duke Campus Farm in North Carolina
This position is responsible for the daily, weekly and season-long management of a one-acre diversified vegetable operation. This position coordinates all aspects of on-farm production, supervises student employees, and serves as a public face of the farm to the campus community. The ideal candidate is passionate about the farm's larger mission, and is highly motivated to teach and inspire others about sustainable agriculture. For more information, see here.

Safe Routes to School Project Manager, New Jersey
RideWise, a non-profit agency located in Bridgewater, NJ that promotes the use of sustainable travel alternatives is seeking a full-time Safe Routes to School Project Manager to plan and implement projects and activities that improve bicycle/pedestrian access and safety for school-age students. Learn more online.

Program Associate with NACTO, New York: Deadline February 7
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), a non-profit association representing large cities on transportation issues of local and national importance, seeks a Program Associate with a degree in the field of city planning, sustainable transportation, architecture, urban design, or public policy. The Program Associate will liaise with a network of visionary transportation practitioners and leaders on pressing issues in the field, such as Vision Zero, bicycle infrastructure, public transit, technological advances such as e-hailing and self-driving vehicles, and local transportation policy. The Program Associate will also play a major role in developing and coordinating the leading national transportation conference, Designing Cities. Apply online.

Ecological Restoration Technician at Missouri Nature Reserve: Deadline February 8
Missouri Botanical Garden has an open application for a Restoration Ecology Technician at Shaw Nature Reserve, a woodland and prairie reserve about 40 minutes from Saint Louis. The person in this position will be the primary coordinator of day to day ecological restoration and native vegetation management activities at Shaw Nature Reserve. More information is available here.

Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator, Florida: Deadline February 12, 11:59 PM ET
This professional urban planning, coordinating and regulatory work includes data collection, analysis, studying infrastructure, and developing and implementing policies. The work includes coordinating with the Traffic Engineering Division regarding bicycle and pedestrian use of right-of-ways; and with the Planning and Development Department on the implementation and ongoing review of the Mobility Plan, managing short and long term bicycle/pedestrian issues to address and improve the transportation system. Learn more online.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Specialist, New Jersey
The successful candidate will assist in the delivery of bike and pedestrian safety programs through TransOptions' Bike Right and Safe Routes to School efforts. The candidate will work closely with the Safe Routes to School Coordinator to develop and deliver a variety of programs related to safe bicycling and walking. Learn more online.

This position aims to promote visibility and understanding of the efforts of the Study Group on Climate Change, the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability (CEEDS) and Campus Sustainability at Smith College. See here for more information.

Sustainability Project Manager for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
The project manager will provide leadership and implementation strategies on sustainable building design and construction, energy, water, stormwater, land management, and waste systems. They will lead the development of and enable the implementation of current and future related sustainability commitments, relevant data management, strategic planning, analysis, and collaborative relationships. More information available can be found here.


College Campus Cleanup Hours
February 7th, 11:00 am-12:00 pm, outside College 9/10 Dining Hall
February 21st, 11:00 am-12:00 pm, College Eight Plaza
There will be two cleanup days this quarter sponsored by the Sustainability Office Zero Waste Team. Each cleanup will focus on a specific college area; members of any college are welcome and encouraged to attend. Snacks will be provided after the cleanups. For more information, check out the Annual UCSC Campus Cleanup Day page on Facebook here or contact Bella Montez at bmontez [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Real Food Strategy Retreat
The Real Food Calculator team is in the process of coordinating with the Real Food Challenge (RFC) West Regional Coordinator to host a Strategy Retreat at UCSC during the weekend of February 19. This retreat will bring together 30-40 students statewide, from different UCs, CSUs, and community colleges, to reinforce the mission of equity in the food system, while also strengthening the bonds between campuses. The RFC team is calling for volunteers who would like to help prepare meals, set up the different workshop spaces, and so on. If you are interested in helping, please contact Judy Xie at juxie [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Earth Day Volunteers Needed
Earth Day Santa Cruz is an annual event to raise environmental awareness; address concerns; showcase solutions; and present balanced modes of living for the well-being of each individual, the community, and the planet. Earth Day Santa Cruz needs about 75 volunteers to help promote, set up and support the booths at the event. If you are interested in volunteering for this great event, email Rebecca Sale at rsale[at]ucsc[dot]edu or earthday[at]ecoact[dot]com.

Take Back The Tap UCSC is on the lookout for new organizers and a candidate for the 2016-2017 campaign coordinator. Students interested in learning valuable skills like grant writing, social media outreach, campaign organization tactics, meeting with decision makers, or team-building should contact Take Back The Tap at tbttucsc-group [at] ucsc [dot] edu, and/or come to meetings on Mondays from 12:15-1:45 in the Kresge Common Ground Center, near STARS. Check out the group's Facebook page, Take Back The Tap UCSC, to learn more. 

Volunteer with the Student Environmental Center (SEC)
The SEC is a great way for students to grow as individuals, learn leadership skills, and gain invaluable work experience. Volunteers learn about current campus projects and policies and have the opportunity to participate or take on leadership roles in many topic areas. To get involved, please email seclead-group [at] ucsc [dot] edu, visit the website at, or attend General Gatherings to meet members and learn about specific volunteer opportunities!

Sprout Up
Sprout Up is environmental education for the next generation. Sprout Up is an organization that teaches environmental science and sustainability to 1st and 2nd grade students in elementary schools all around Santa Cruz! If you want to learn about joining Sprout Up, email communitysc [at] sproutup [dot] org.

Education for Sustainable Living Program Team (ESLP)
ESLP is looking for engaged students who wish to be a part of the organizing team for the next year. Ideally, students will shadow current positions this winter quarter to gain skills and training to carry on into the 2016-2017 year. Open positions include:

  • Collaboration and networking sphere organizers: organizers work together to design and create colorful advertisement flyers for the organization. Regular maintenance of the ESLP website, Facebook page, and registering for on-campus events are other collaboration and networking sphere duties. The goal for this sphere is to increase awareness of ESLP, outreach for student facilitators, and Spring Speaker Series students.
  • Academic Sphere organizers: organizers meet every 11-12:10am MWF for the Winter Training Seminar (WTS) to facilitate a group of students in preparation for their spring Action Research Teams. This group of organizers works closely with admin to build relationships and harbor the skills necessary for leading a successful action project.
  • Heart Sphere organizers: Heart sphere organizers work closely with ESLP's staff advisor, Angela Harris, to manage our budget and personnel responsibilities. These organizers work all of Winter quarter contacting and booking guest speakers for the Spring Speaker Series.
Students interested in working with ESLP who would like to shadow these positions can contact ESLP at eslp [at] ucsc [dot] edu.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Winter 2016 Announcements from Inter-Org

The following notifications were posted on the announcements board at the 2016 Inter-Organizational Sustainability Retreat: 
Alternative Spring Break: conservation work in Memphis. Info and applications at    
The deadline for the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship is in February! 
The Food Systems Working Group (FSWG) quarter meeting will take place on February 5th.   
Campus Sustainability Council Winter 2016 Grant proposals are due on Friday, February 12th. For more information, go to
The Real Food Challenge California Strategy Retreat will take place at UCSC from February 19-21. Find out more about the retreat here
Interested in bringing sustainability back to campus and your work environment? Get your office certified through the Green Office Certification Program! Email us at greenoff[at]ucsc[dot]edu. We certify offices of all sizes! 
Come get your fresh organic produce from the Center for Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) Produce Pop-Up at Quarry Plaza, every Thursday 12pm-4pm. We accept cash, check, and EBT (soon). 
Donate or borrow seeds! Seed Library office hours Monday 2-3 and Tuesday 3:30-4:30 in Oakes 305.   
Gaia Magazine is a student produced, environmentally inspired magazine on campus. Submit your work! (Articles, photos, poems, recipes, etc. accepted.) For more info, visit  
Get involved with our K-12 California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) project where we work with regional school districts to promote an alternative way to eat fresh, wholesome fruits and veggies to kids. CDFA District Promotions are weekly from 10:00am-1:30pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. Contact Tim Galarneau at tgalarne[at]ucsc[dot]edu of Yanelly Alonso at yalonso[at]ucsc[dot]edu for more information about joining the CDFA team!
Bridging the Digital Divide volunteers! [No contact information was provided.]

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

LEED Green Associate (GA) Training

When: April 21st 2016 – 6:00PM to 10:00 PM
Where: University of California, Santa Cruz – Room TBA 

Interested in getting involved in the Green Building Industry? Opportunities are plentiful in the field of sustainable design and LEED is at its forefront.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is simply a green-rating point system, or a scorecard. The more energy efficient and sustainable a building is, the more points it will earn. To date, this course and its materials have proven to be instrumental in helping over 5000 students pass their respective exam at a 100% pass rate. This course is offered at a quarter of the price allows students to graduate with the letters after their name!

Just as Buildings can be LEED certified, people in the sustainable construction industry can become LEED Professionals. The LEED Green Associate (GA) credential is the only entry level sustainability designation and shows employers and clients that you have certified knowledge in the green building industry.  A new LEED rating system (v4) was introduced last month and this training course is one of the few that has been updated to teach the current rating system. This course meets the exam’s eligibility requirements and the USGBC charges a $100 fee for the actual exam which can be taken at any time at your nearest Prometric center.

Cost: $300 ($200 for full time students)

To register for the class please visit:

You can register via PayPal or RSVP your attendance by registering at the bottom of the page