Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Workshop on incorporating sustainability into UCSC Curriculum

Twenty-four faculty from sixteen departments and all five academic divisions participated in a workshop on how to incorporate themes about climate change and sustainability into curriculum last month.

The workshop, led by Ronnie Lipschutz (Politics, College 8) and Jennifer Parker (Art) was an opportunity for faculty to discuss ways to educate students across academic disciplines about climate change and sustainability by updating existing curriculum. Faculty will be invited back in Fall quarter 2016 to share their results or plans for updating existing courses.

UCOP's Global Climate Leadership Council funded workshops on all ten of the UC campuses and is developing a system-wide website, the Climate and Sustainability Education Resource Library (CSERL), where faculty can share their syllabi, course information, activities, and materials.

Here are some photos from the event.





Job Posting: Sustainability Programs Manager

The University of California, Santa Cruz Sustainability Office is excited to launch a recruitment process for a Sustainability Programs Manager! This position within the UCSC Sustainability Office will focus on policy implementation and programmatic support for (primarily) Water conservation and Zero Waste, as well as grant-writing and fundraising related to campus sustainability priorities. To find out about this position, search for job number 1606431 under Search Postings here.

A Farewell to the Seniors of the Sustainability Office

The Sustainability Office has about 30 student employees, 11 of whom are seniors this year. The office wants to celebrate their accomplishments and give them a farewell as they journey into the beginning of their post-graduate life. A few of the seniors wanted to share some things about themselves.

"And then the day came, when the risk of remaining tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" -Anaïs Nin

Here are their stories:

Jamison Czarnecki, Carbon Neutrality Fellow, Environmental Studies/Sustainability Studies minor. 2016 

  • My best memory of working in the sustainability office is coming in during the week and seeing people laugh and have fun while they work hard to help make positive changes to the campus. We've helped each other to do better and be better, both personally and professionally. The SO has such a conscious and respectful culture that I think is something I will miss a lot. Everyone assumes the best in each other when we have discussions and work with each other. It's something I hope to carry on afterward wherever I go.
  • How do you think you've changed since you've started working here? I've been able to highlight some strengths I had before and work toward improving on some of my weaknesses. Being a carbon neutrality fellow, I've been able to have some great discussions about what carbon neutrality actually means and to be critical about it. I think that's an important lesson I'm taking away is thinking deeper about what a goal is and how an entity is getting there (what does it include, how much will it cost, why does it matter, what does it not include, etc.) I'm still very optimistic for UC's goal for carbon neutrality by 2025, but I now understand more fully how difficult of a goal it is and the big changes that need to happen to get there. It's a sense of optimistic realism that has become more apparent to me.
  • What is the most difficult part about being a senior? The most difficult part of being senior is taking the time to enjoy your last year and celebrate your hard work with your friends while you frantically work to get everything done that you wanted to accomplish. It's realizing that you actually are coming to the end of it and making sure you continue to work to the best of your abilities so that you can look back one day and say you gave it your all.
  • Is there anything you want to do before you graduate? Before I graduate, I'd like to take some time to relax in the redwoods. Smell the uniqueness of the forest, hear the birds, and enjoy the solitude. It's something I never really got to do as much as I wanted to because of my extremely busy schedule and living off campus. 
  • What are your next plans? My plans are still evolving. I interviewed for a position for a sustainability coordinator back in my home state of Indiana and if I get that, I'll be heading to IN in a month or so. If I didn't, I'm going to take some time to work and travel for a bit while working on some of the weaknesses I've identified over the last year. I'm gonna work on my family's farm and visit everyone back home for a bit and then hopefully travel outside the states which I've not yet done! I'm excited for the next chapter of my life and am grateful to everyone at UCSC and the program I was in that has helped prepare me for whatever's next. 
  • Is there anything else you'd like to say? One thing I'd like to say is, thank you. Thank you to everyone who has helped shape me become a better person both personally and professionally. I am excited for my friends that have a couple years left as I know they are going to help make this campus the best it can be. I also want to give a sincere thank you to Silas, Chrissy, Shauna, Melissa, and Elida for being a great group of supervisors that have helped me along the way in my professional career. There are so many things they've taught me. I look forward to seeing how the office expands on our programs and how they are implemented more fully within the campus.

Rebecca Sale, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Environmental Studies, 2016
  • The best thing about being a part of the SO is the fact that everyone working there is so supportive of each other. If the students have an idea for a project, the staff will help them and guide them towards the resources for success. The students also seem eager to assist the staff with their higher level work.
  • How do you think you've changed since you've started working here? I've definitely grown a lot since working here on a very personal level. This position gave me exposure to solutions to environmental problems instead of just pointing out everything that's wrong with our system.
  • What are your next plans? My very short term goal is to intern with an architect and civil engineering company to design  and implement a rainwater harvesting system at Bay View Elementary this summer. I hope this will lead to a career with sustainable city planning. 
Here are the other seniors:

  • Christian Monzon
  • Alexis Roney
  • Lily Urmann
  • Jaric Sawatdee
  • Will Watson
  • Rissy Mathias
  • Mitch Mastroni
  •  Christine Ongjoco
  • Amanda Roletti
  • Lauren Lehrer
  • Edwin Colon




Sunday, May 29, 2016

Contests and Funding: June 2016

AASHE Sustainability Awards: Deadline June 3
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Awards is inviting faculty, students, staff, and administrators to submit applications by Friday, June 3 at 5 p.m. ET for a chance to be recognized for outstanding projects or research that advance sustainability in higher education.

Call for Submissions - Student Video Competition: Deadline June 15 
The US Department of Transportation's National Institute for Transportation and Communities is seeking videos to highlight the role transportation plays in creating livable communities. Videos must incorporate the National Institute for Transportation & Communities' theme of safe, healthy, and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities. Follow this link to see instructions.

Move-out program, garage-sale weekend – Earn FREE pizza from Woodstock’s

As you know, it has been a tradition at UC Santa Cruz to reduce our impact on the environment.

For students living off campus, there is barely enough time at the end of the academic year to let out a sigh of relief from finals before tackling your summer living situation. Many of us will be moving out of our current residence, and the less there is to pack-up and move, the better. So it seems like a win-win situation to lighten your load by discarding that old couch or creaky mattress on the curbside for someone else to deal with, right?

Besides the illegality of curbside dumping - for which tenants can be heavily fined by the city - the unfortunate reality is that many abandoned items end up in the surrounding forest and waterways, degrading the natural habitat of Santa Cruz. Fortunately, University Relations in partnership with the Sustainability Office is preventing forest litter by offering a stress-free summer move out services and FREE pizza!

 To minimize our impact we ask that you do the following 2-3 weeks before you move:

  • Take it home early: If you’re going home over the weekend, start taking some of your items home with you.
  • Join the citywide garage sale: Participate in the citywide garage-sale weekend, June 4-5. The event will be publicized to city residents by both the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC’s Community Relations office. Register your garage sale at http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/garagesales. If you register your garage sale online, you will receive a coupon for a free large pizza from Woodstock’s pizza.
  • Donate your items to a local charity: Only do this if your items are in good condition. Many charities are unable to take items that are ripped, stained, broken, bent, frayed or worn looking. This is especially true for bulky items such as couches, mattresses, desks, dining room tables and other large items. For more information check Goodwill’s site at http://www.ccgoodwill.org/ or Hope Services at http://www.hopeservices.org
  • As an absolute last resort, for bulky items that can no longer be reused, you can schedule a pick-up with the city of Santa Cruz in June.  These pick-ups are only for large bulky items that will be taken to the landfill. This includes mattresses, box springs, couches, and living room chairs. To arrange a bulky item pick-up, please register at http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/ucscmoveout. If you register for a bulky item pick-up, you will receive a coupon for a free large pizza from Woodstock’s pizza.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in keeping our environment and landfill free of items that can be reused.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

June 2016 Green Tip: Graduation Weekend

Sometimes, the most sustainable option is also the most enjoyable, and this is certainly the case for graduation weekend! With commencement ceremonies and celebrations with family and friends, keep these tips in mind to make the most of your weekend.

Consolidate Travel

Getting from point A to point B during graduation weekend is anything but simple since it's one of the busiest weekends of the whole year in Santa Cruz! Family coming from out of town will most likely get caught in the inbound traffic on Highway 17 or Highway 1, and parking for commencement ceremonies on campus can be challenging. Reduce stress and be part of the solution by carpooling as much as possible, show your friends and family around by bicycle (you can rent them from some places), or take the bus.

Hydration

As your loved ones are watching you walk at graduation, the last thing you want is for them to feel parched and dehydrated as they sit under that hot Santa Cruz sun. Fortunately, UCSC has bottled water-free commencements, with compostable cups and water jugs available instead! You can reduce your group's waste footprint even further by encouraging them to bring their own refillable bottles to the ceremony. 

Off the Beaten Path

Going to the Boardwalk and other such "tourist" activities can be fun to do with visiting friends and family, but consider taking the time to enjoy the natural wonders of Santa Cruz. You can even host your post-graduation festivities at the beach or one of our beautiful state parks. For a more extensive look at these activities, check out this classic Green Tip!

And to everyone who is graduating this quarter, congratulations!

How are you planning on making your graduation weekend a reflection of your banana slug value of sustainability? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, May 27, 2016

June 2016: Adriana Renteria

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month we are featuring Adriana Renteria, the programs coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective. 

Position Title(s): Program Coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective

What is PoCSC?
The People of Color Sustainability Collective is an initiative that aims to make UCSC a leader in environmental justice by raising awareness about the contributions that people of color have made towards the environmental movement. We create opportunities for critical dialogue about environmental justice through student discussion spaces, student of color caucuses, social media awareness campaigns, workshops, and speaker presentations. PoCSC is an Ethnic Resource Centers’ initiative that works in collaboration with College Nine, College Ten, and the Campus Sustainability Office.

What does “sustainability” mean to you?
To me, it means living in a way that always stays true to my roots and honors my ancestors who paved the way for me. It also means living in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the ability of my future generations to live a healthy, safe, and happy life.

Why did you get involved with sustainability?
My dad was a farmworker and growing up I remember not being able to hug my dad when he got home from work until he changed out of his work clothes and into clothes that were not covered in chemicals. Growing up I always wondered why my dad would work in a place that could cause harm to himself or his family’s health. Once I got to college, I started taking courses and doing research that helped me better understand the causes of environmental injustices. I got involved with student organizing so I could learn more and help support communities like my own.

How has sustainability related to your role(s) at UCSC?
As an undergrad at UCSC, I was involved in several sustainability spaces: Take Back the Tap, Student Environmental Center, Education for a Sustainable Living Program, and IDEASS. I am currently the coordinator for the People of Color Sustainability Collective and as a part of this initiative, we host events, workshops, and speaker series where students can have dialogues about the intersections between race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, culture and the environment. Through these events we also work to challenge the mainstream definition of sustainability to be inclusive of underrepresented communities.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life?
I try to practice sustainability in everything that I do. When I wash dishes, I’m conscious of the water I use. I try to keep track of my leftovers so I don’t waste food and I try to share rides when I can. In the winter time, I take out my Mexican blankets before I even think about turning on the heater.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
For me, I loved the 2016 Inter-Org retreat. It was great to meet new people and participate in such awesome workshops.

She asked the PoCSC interns about their favorite moments and this is what they shared:
Geena Talley: “My favorite sustainability moment was the PoCSC “Art Tools for Environmental Justice” chalk event-- I felt a huge sense of community as well as pride in our artwork and our goals."

Catherine Alfaro: “My favorite sustainability moment was going to camp Campbell and sharing a space of learning & growth with many different people all working towards different aspects of sustainability.”

Cristal Gonzalez: “My favorite sustainability moment was going on the InterOrg retreat that encompassed different perspectives and aspects of sustainability. It was great being surrounded with other folks with similar life experiences in a space that is not always reflective of that in my opinion. I also enjoyed our “Art Tools for EJ” event, in particular the aspect where we were able to create our own art. It was a very empowering experience.”

Raymond Lebeau: “I enjoyed co-facilitating Art Tools for Environmental Justice and learning about the history of the environmental justice movement.”

Are there sustainability practices you’ve picked up specific to your background or culture?
Yes, so many! When I think of sustainability, I think of “rasquachismo,” a term used in Chicanx art to describe a style that’s rooted in creativity, survival, and resourcefulness. Dr. Tomás Ybarra–Frausto who coined the term says it’s rooted in the saying “Hacer de tripas corazón” ––make do with what you have.

My mom practices rasquachismo all the time. She loves going to quinces/baptisms/weddings because it means she usually gets to take home the centerpieces that she then repurposes into a wide variety of things. She even re-gifts them sometimes! Whether it’s reusing plastic cups and utensils for parties or using old rags to stuff pillow cases, my family’s always instilled the importance of finding as many different purposes for something as possible.

If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email at susted[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Green Office Certification Program: My Experience

This post was written by the Sustainability Office Green Office Certification Program Coordinator, Rissy Mathias. 

Working within the Sustainability Office has been an amazing experience that has shed light for me onto the inner-workings of the campus-wide plan of sustainability. UCSC is a campus that truly strives to integrate sustainability through student-led initiatives backed by staff involvement. Working in the Green Office Certification Program, I have enjoyed interacting with the staff and faculty of UCSC. This experience has helped me acquire skills such as interacting professionally and effectively outside of just my classroom experience.

My time at the Green Office Certification Program has allowed me to creatively tackle sustainability issues within this sector. My co-worker, Alana Mandrick, and I were able to integrate the evaluation of water practices into the certification program. Currently, we are finding a more efficient way to evaluate the energy practices of the offices on campus. We have done this by creating self-evaluation questions to receive perspectives from participating offices and by creating a system to check water systems within the office. This picture included shows some of the questions we ask office members on the self-evaluation calculator that they fill out during the certification process.
Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.33.26 PM.png
Photo courtesy of UCSC Green Office Certification Program


This was an important addition to the Green Office Certification Program, especially when the recent drought is taken into account. None of this would have been achievable without the promotion of creativity and the culture of innovation within the Sustainability Office.

Monday, May 23, 2016

June 2016: Internships, Employment & Volunteering

Internships

Intern with Pie Ranch: Applications due June 5
Pie Ranch seeks a summer intern interested in becoming involved in ground-level food system change on an organic farm. This position includes working with Pie Ranch's Chef Educator and student interns preparing farm grown healthy meals. More information can be found here.

California Conservation Course Field Logistics Intern
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is seeking an undergraduate intern to work with the field logistics coordinator during the summer portion of its field course from June 16th through August 14th. More information can be found here.

Summer Internships with Sustain Magazine
Sustain: Northern California’s Green Living Magazine, based in Santa Cruz, is poised to launch its its first issue this summer. Sustain is seeking 1 to 2 interns for the summer interested in the intersect of art and environmental issues. More information can be found here.

Communications Intern with Open Government Partnership: Applications due June 15
Open Government Partnership aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make governments more open, effective, and accountable to citizens. OGP is currently seeking a Communications Intern to generate and promote materials for a variety of social media and briefings. More information is available here.

Climate Corps Bay Area Fellowship Program
Climate Corps Bay Area’s Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for 40 opportunities in California with local governments and organizations including Capital Corridor, Kaiser Permanente, UCSF, and SunPower. As the host site with the largest cohort of fellows, Alameda County is recruiting 6 Climate Corps Bay Area Fellows to work in Oakland on exciting topics such as electric vehicle charging, engaging new audiences in composting, and greening preschools! Find more information about various openings in Alameda County here and apply online here.



CivicSpark Fellowship and WaterCorps
CivicSpark and WaterCorps are looking for recent college graduates who want to gain real-world experience, start their career in the sustainability and climate change field, and make a lasting impact! More information about the CivicSpark Fellowship can be found here. Learn more about CivicSpark and WaterCorps by attending a Fellow Recruitment Webinar and by visiting the CivicSpark website.

Naturalist Internship with Sierra Outdoor School
Interns will teach 4th through 6th-grade students science concepts and lead team building activities in an outdoor setting in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This position involves leading small and large groups in day classes, field trips, and night program activities. For more information, click here.

PolicyLink Summer Internships
PolicyLink interns are highly qualified emerging professionals and leaders who are committed to racial equity and social justice and interested in PolicyLink's "lifting up what works" approach to policy change. Each intern plays an integral role in helping the organization further policy impact through a commitment to research, communications, capacity building, and advocacy. More information is available here.

Employment

The Sustainability Office is Hiring!  
The Sustainability Office is now hiring for the positions of Campus Sustainability Outreach Associate (ER 4289), Website Assistant, and Carbon Neutrality Initiative - Engaged Scholarship Fellowship. More information can be found here. The deadline for the Provost's Sustainability Internship Program has also been extended until all positions are filled. Interested applicants should apply as soon as possible here.

Sustainability Programs Manager for the Sustainability Office
The University of California, Santa Cruz Sustainability Office is excited to launch a recruitment process for a Sustainability Programs Manager! This position within the UCSC Sustainability Office will focus on policy implementation and programmatic support for (primarily) Water conservation and Zero Waste, as well as grant-writing and fundraising related to campus sustainability priorities. To find out about this position, search for job number 1606431 under Search Postings here.

Take Back the Tap Seeking Coordinator
Take Back the Tap is looking for a student campaign coordinator for the academic year of 2016-2017! This is a paid position to work with social justice and environmental issues in a hands-on way! If you are interested in getting involved, come to our meetings on Fridays from 2:00-3:30 in the Kresge Common Ground Center or email us at tbttucsc-group[at]ucsc[dot]edu.


Jobs in Community Relations & Development with the Museum of Art & History
A variety of opportunities are now available at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History! The Community Relations and Development team is seeking applicants interested in building community with donors, creative collaborators, and volunteers. More information and opportunities can be found here.

Positions with Bioneers
Bioneers currently seeks applicants for the positions of Indigenous Knowledge Program ManagerCustomer Service and Administrative Assistant, and Communications Manager. More information can be found at the positions' respective links.

Biology Laboratory Coordinator with the Keck Science Department
The Keck Science Department is currently seeking a Biology Laboratory Coordinator, to begin work immediately. Coordinator duties include training undergraduate teaching assistants and teaching two laboratory sections per semester. For more information, see the full post here.

Program Coordinator for the Oil and Gas Program with the 11th Hour Project
The 11th Hour Project, a Palo Alto-based program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, is seeking applicants for the position of Program Coordinator for the Oil and Gas Program. This program is focused on reducing fossil fuels and their associated environmental and health impacts. The Program Coordinator will maintain, review, analyze, and assist in the creation and processing of grants. More information about the position can be found here.

Director of Education with No Bully
No Bully is seeking an innovative and entrepreneurial Education Director to scale adoption of the No Bully System® by schools across the United States. Click here for more information.

Center for Biological Diversity: Numerous Positions Available
The Center for Biological Diversity is a 501(c)3 nonprofit conservation organization with 991,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. They have more than 100 staff in offices in Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida;, New Mexico; Oregon; and Washington, D.C. The Center is hiring for 10 different positions throughout their offices. For more information, visit their website.

Volunteering 

Bike Valet Volunteers Needed
Bike Santa Cruz needs volunteers to assist with the bike valets at the Japanese Cultural Fair at Mission Plaza Park on June 4 from 10am-7p, and at the Pleasure Point Street Fair in Pleasure Point on June 25 from 10am-5:30pm. Shifts last from 2 to 3 hours; snacks and training are provided.. Contact Amelia at director[at]bikesantacruzcounty[dot]org or (831) 425-0665 to sign up.

Join the HEY! (Healthy Eating Youths) Team
The HEY! team juices fresh local fruits and vegetables at elementary, middle, and high schools in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County to educate young locals about healthy eating. The team provides fresh, organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables to thousands of kids across seven partner districts in the Central Coast through juicing demos. For more information about the position, please email CDFA Cohort Juicing/Tasting Coordinator Yanelly Alonso at yalonso[at]ucsc[dot]edu.


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

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

Opportunities with the Homeless Garden Project
The Homeless Garden Project is seeking volunteers for the roles of Social Work Volunteer and Chef and Food Coordinator. To find out more about becoming a Social Work Volunteer, click here; click here to learn more about the position of Chef and Food Coordinator.

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.

Volunteer with Coastal Watershed Council
The Coastal Watershed Council invites you to join its efforts to protect and preserve local watersheds! If you are interested in volunteering on the San Lorenzo River, doing water quality monitoring through programs like Snapshot Day, First Flush, Urban Watch or any of CWC’s other events and programs, please visit their website.



Call for Applications: Sierra Youth Coalition’s Executive Committee 2016-2017
Sierra Youth Coalition is currently recruiting dedicated, empowered and proactive youth leaders for a seat on its Executive Committee. The official decision-making body, the committee is comprised of nine youth from across the U.S and is responsible for shaping the Sierra Youth Coalition's direction, organizational governance and supporting the staff team.

June 2016: Classes, Training, Community

California's Presidential Primary Election: June 7, 2016
Remember to vote in the presidential primary this June! You have to be registered as a Democrat or No Party Preference (NPP) in order to vote for the presidential candidates, and if you are registered as NPP, you have to request a democratic ballot, otherwise you will not be able to vote for a presidential candidate. The deadline to register to vote was May 23rd. You can vote early, M-F 9-5pm at the Santa Cruz County Government Center, 701 Ocean Street, Rm. 210. Additionally, there will be polling places on campus from 7-7pm on June 7th. For more information, click here.

Climate Ride Summer Session: June 17 - July 10, 2016
The Climate Ride has a new program designed to engage young adults (ages 18-24) in the bike advocacy, conservation and sustainability movement. The 2016 inaugural ride is a 24-day, 1200-mile van-supported bike trip from Portland, OR to Santa Barbara, CA through some of the Pacific Coast’s most beautiful locales. In order to participate, riders must fundraise a minimum of $3,500 for the Climate Ride beneficiary organizations of their choice. There are more than 100 beneficiaries to choose fromSpace is limited to 20 participants. For more information and to register click here.

The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy Program: Deadline July 1
The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) is a two-week intensive workshop and lecture series for students and professionals at the University of Illinois at Chicago. From August 4-16, a diverse body of participants will engage a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability-related topics through daily presentations, collaborative projects, mentoring activities, site visits, and networking opportunities with leading research institutions and companies in the digital technology and energy sectors. They will accept applications through July 1st. Application information, program information, and more can be found at their website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Thomas Aláan uic.sise.admissions[at]gmail[dot]com, SISE Program Coordinator.

ENVS 15: Natural History of the UCSC Campus: Enroll now for Summer Session 2!
Looking to get to know the plants and animals of the campus and to see the natural world through new eyes? This will be taught during Summer Session 2 by Alex Jones, UCSC Campus Natural Reserve Manager. This class provides an excellent opportunity to increase your skills of observation and interpretation out in the field while also having a great time with your fellow students. Each week focuses on a different topic, from plants to birds to reptiles and amphibians to mammals and more. In addition to in-class exploration, you will deepen your relationship with the natural world through weekly individual journal exercises at a particular spot on campus that you'll use to anchor your learning. For more info, email Alex at asjones@ucsc.edu.

Wildlands Studies 2016 Summer Programs: Spaces Still Available! 
Wildlands Studies still has a few spaces available in their upcoming summer programs and they encourage students to apply soon.  You could join them in Belize, Australia, Yellowstone, Big Sur and the Channel Islands in California, and Vancouver Island in Canada.  All their programs provide hands-on, applied learning and direct research experience to students while living in a backcountry wilderness setting.  Their courses offer between 5-15 quarter credits provided through Western Washington University. Check out their website or this post to learn more!

Produce Pop-Up Stand in the Quarry Plaza
Come and enjoy the UCSC Farm Produce Pop-up on Thursdays from 10am to 3pm at the Quarry Plaza! FSWG will have a variety of vegetables and flowers from the UCSC CASFS Farm and select fruit from the Downtown Farmer's Market. They are now accepting EBT/CalFresh so please come by and use your benefits! They are also looking for an intern to help support and run the Pop-Up in Fall Quarter 2016. The purpose of  the pop-up is to bring the Farmer's market to UCSC for students and to increase access to healthy and affordable food for all. If you have any questions, please contact Alyssa Billys at abillys[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

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 Tuesdays 2-3pm or by appointment.

Sustainability Studies Minor
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.

Collaborators for UCSC Biodigester Grant Proposal Needed
UCSC Sustainability Studies Student, Nick Kush, is developing a proposal for a grant to purchase a biodigester for UCSC. A biodigester is a container about the size of a medium trash can where you put in food scraps, and then after digestion by bacteria, get out methane gas which can be used to cook on a barbecue. His goal is to have it installed by the end of the year at PICA. He is looking for fellow collaborators or people who are interested in making this happen. Click here to look at the desired unit. For more information, contact Nick at nkush@ucsc.edu.

Divestment Student Network People Of Color Caucus
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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

#CleanupUCSC

This post was written by Sustainability Office Zero Waste Team Associate Bella Montez. 




My project this year with the UCSC Sustainability Office’s Zero Waste Team was to plan the Second Annual UCSC Campus Cleanup. My first thought was “I need some help.” I gathered help from the Sustainability Office, my fellow Zero Waste Team members, some Student Sustainability advisors and some gracious volunteers I found on facebook. We formed a committee and met every week starting in the winter quarter to plan two winter cleanups and the big spring cleanup. 

For the two winter cleanups, we used the Student Sustainability Advisors home turf. We did our first  “Cleanup Hour” at College 9/10 and another at College 8/Oakes which drew in about 10-20 students for each cleanup. The two smaller cleanups were really helpful because they allowed us to understand how we could improve, expand, and plan a successful spring cleanup. 

To plan for the big cleanup, we contacted Grounds Services who helped us with waste management, Environmental Health and Safety who gave us helpful tips on how to keep everyone safe, and Save our Shores who donated buckets and grabbers that made the cleanup possible. In total, we were able to recruit 155 volunteers from all the colleges on campus through facebook and flyering in dorms & at bus stops. 

On May 1, 2016, the Campus Cleanup Committee gathered supplies and brought them to Quarry Plaza at around 9:30AM. At 10AM, volunteers began to gather at the Quarry plaza for bagels, fruit, and other snacks, and everyone was given a t-shirt with the Campus Cleanup logo. At around 10:30AM, I thanked our sponsors and introduced our volunteers to the crowd. We then split everyone into cleanup crews and dispersed to various locations around campus! By the end of the day, we collected 255 pounds of trash including 5.6 pounds of cigarettes. The trash, recyclables and compost were all sorted to the correct bins and the cigarettes were sent to TerraCycle to be made into recycled products. It was a huge success and everyone left with a cookie from the Pacific Cookie Company in their hands, feeling very tired but accomplished! Overall, it was so amazing to see how much spirit people had to keep our campus beautiful. 

Follow Campus Clean up on Facebook!




Friday, May 20, 2016

Sustainability for All of Us: Accessible Organizing

By Jay Luce Nelson, CUIP Intern for the Sustainability Office Education and Outreach Team 

Everyone in this world has different experiences, capabilities, limitations, and tolerances. Why should anyone be excluded from sustainable organizing? Next time you or an organization you are involved with plans an event, consider what can be done to make it more accessible.

If your usual programming includes lots of social activities with a high volume level, consider occasionally hosting a low-volume event. 

Accessibility, like sustainability, is not a finite list of boxes to check. They are not linear processes with set ending points. Both are continuous journeys based on a constant sense of wanting to do more to create a better world for ourselves and those who come after us, and both must begin somewhere. Checklists exist to provide a starting point and guide us to learn more.

Below are only a few ways we can begin to create events for all of us to enjoy based on the idea that accessible programming's main goals include providing access to safety and content for all guests. These ideas focus on (dis)ability with a few tips on creating safe spaces for transgender students based on personal accounts.


1. Will every attendee have physical access, safety, and comfort?
  • For off-campus events, use a venue within three blocks of public transportation or provide transport
  • Choose a location with wheelchair-accessible gender neutral bathrooms
  • Only use areas accessible by ramp, elevator, or stair lift
  • Provide seating
  • Avoid intense hot or cold temperatures
  • Encourage guests to go scent-free and avoid strong odors
  • Avoid flashing lights or loud noises
  • Clearly label allergens on any food provided
  • Do not make statements assuming ability (such as the ability to walk, ride a bike, etc.)
  • Avoid assuming pronouns; include space for pronouns on (reusable) name tags 
  • Encourage everyone to tell the pronouns they use during introductions but do not force anyone to disclose theirs; transgender students may be forced to choose between outing themselves as trans or misgendering themselves if they are forced
  • Avoid referring to bodies or their parts as male or female

Image by Adventures of an Allergic Foodie
Listing all of the ingredients in a dish is an easy way to make dinner confusion-free for those with dietary restrictions.

2. Will every attendee have access to the content presented?
  • Provide interpreters, captions or audio transcripts for videos
  • Provide descriptive audio for visuals
  • Provide large print versions of text 
  • Allow participants to request an interpreter, transcripts or captions of speeches and videos, or a hearing loop
  • Allow participants to request screen readers or braille versions of text
Image by HearingLoop.com
Numerous classrooms on campus have hearing loops installed!

Remember that everyone needs accommodations at some point; artificial lighting is an accommodation for the human inability to see in the dark! Next time you plan, take the extra steps to provide the accommodations someone may need.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Employment Opportunity: Biology Laboratory Coordinator

The following employment opportunity information was submitted to the Sustainability Office:

Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges
Biology Laboratory Coordinator

The Keck Science Department, which houses the biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics faculty for Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges (three of the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges), seeks to fill the position of Biology Laboratory Coordinator, to begin immediately. The Coordinator will oversee the set-up and preparation of the laboratory curriculum for the department’s Introductory Biology laboratories, will manage and train undergraduate teaching assistants, will work collaboratively with faculty teaching in the laboratories, and will teach two laboratory sections per semester. This is a one-year, full time position with the possibility of renewal based on performance and departmental needs. A Master’s degree in Biology or related interdisciplinary field is required.

Please apply online at https://webapps.cmc.edu/jobs/staff/staff_openings.php. Upload a cover letter, a resume, and the names and contact information for three references. Review of applications will begin on May 12, 2016, and the position will remain open until filled. For questions please contact Jennifer Armstrong at jarmstrong@kecksci.claremont.edu.

The Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges is an equal opportunity employer.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Wildlands Studies 2016 Summer Programs - spaces still available!

If you don't yet have summer plans - consider this outdoor opportunity! Wildlands Studies still has a few spaces available in their upcoming summer programs and they encourage students to apply soon! Wildland Studies welcomes students to join them in Belize, Australia, Yellowstone, Big Sur and the Channel Islands in California, and Vancouver Island in Canada.  All of the programs provide hands-on, applied learning and direct research experience to students while living in a backcountry wilderness setting.  The courses offer between 5-15 quarter credits provided through Western Washington University.

Please share this program information with anyone who would be interested, and invite them to check out their website!  Each program has a full project description and photos on the field project webpage.

They still have a couple spaces in their 2016 Fall Peru Project as well.  If you or anyone who know may be interested, contact Leslie Arutunian (the Director of Wildlands Studies) at 831-684-9999 or leslie@wildlandsstudies.com.

Keep in mind that courses taken outside of the ENVS department must be petitioned to count as an ENVS substitution and there is no guarantee that they will be approved.
Come to the ENVs advising office for more info.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fellowship Opportunity: CivicSpark Program

The following fellowship information was submitted to the Sustainability Office:

Take Action on Climate Change with CivicSpark!

Are you interested in gaining experience in the sustainability and climate change field and effecting positive change at the local government level? If so, CivicSpark, a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program, is right for you! CivicSpark is dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change. Each year, 48 CivicSpark fellows support almost 100 cities, schools, and other public agencies to implement local sustainability projects on topics including sustainable transportation, energy efficiency, climate action planning, adaptation, and water conservation and drought response. CivicSpark fellows gain exceptional career experience, training to become future leaders in California’s response to climate change.

This fall, the Local Government Commission will be launching ​a new Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program​ – WaterCorps – in conjunction with CivicSpark. ​WaterCorps is a special team of ​CivicSpark fellows focused specifically on local government challenges related to water. WaterCorps will place 20 ​additional fellows – in 10 pairs of 2 –​ ​in regions across the state. Fellows will serve with local leaders responding to statewide priorities in water resources, such as implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the California Water Action Plan.

CivicSpark and WaterCorps are looking for recent college graduates who want to gain real-world experience, start their career in the sustainability and climate change field, and make a lasting impact! Learn more about CivicSpark and WaterCorps by attending a Fellow Recruitment Webinar and by visiting our website at http://civicspark.lgc.org/. Applications for the 2016-17 service year open May 25th.

An informational flyer regarding the position can be found here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Internship Opportunity: California Conservation Course Field Logistics Intern

The following internship opportunity information was submitted to the Sustainability Office: 

Senior or Upper-Division Internship Opportunity (5-10 units): 
California Conservation Course Field Logistics Intern 
Dates: June 16 – August 14, 2016

The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (conservationscholars.ucsc.edu) at the University of California Santa Cruz is a newly founded, two-year conservation mentorship program serving undergraduates from diverse backgrounds and from throughout the U.S. and its territories. This summer, 20 Scholars in the program will participate in an intensive summer course with a 5-week travel component to reserves throughout the state.

We seek an undergraduate intern to work with our field logistics coordinator during the summer portion of our field course. This is an excellent opportunity to work with the Program and to hone skills in the deployment of field-based courses, programs, and experiential education opportunities. The position is unpaid, but all travel, meal and accommodation expenses will be covered for the intern during the 4-5 weeks at reserves in Big Sur, the northern Sierras, Yosemite National Park and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The field logistics intern will be responsible for working with the senior field logistics coordinator to manage research and field equipment, transportation, and meals during the field portion of the course (June 25 – August 2, 2016) and in the days immediately before and after. The possibility also exists to work with the senior logistics coordinator on a field handbook project. Our expectation is that we will invite back the successful intern from this year to take on the role of Field Logistics Coordinator should the current senior coordinator decline to return.

The intern will have the opportunity to participate in all professional development workshops that will be offered during the course and gain experiencing mentoring students. A modest stipend is also available, or can be applied to underwriting the cost of having the intern remain with the group during the week they are at the White Mountains at Crooked Creek Research Station. In addition, the intern will have the option to apply for internship credit during the following fall semester and have the internship fulfill their senior exit requirement.

Interested students should email an application packet consisting of a resume, unofficial transcripts, three references, and a cover letter stating their interest in the program to Director Dr. Justin A. Cummings (jacummin[at]ucsc[dot]edu) and Program Founder Dr. Erika Zavaleta (zavaleta[at]ucsc[dot]edu) with the subject line UCSC Doris Duke Logistics Intern. We will be considering applications as they come in and encourage applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible.

Required Qualifications: 

  • At least a junior, in good standing with the University
  • A general interest in environmental conservation
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record
  • A desire to work and live closely with a team of peers
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Attention to detail 
Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience living, traveling, or working in remote field settings that include camping
  • Experience in catering, food service or cooking
  • Experience with safety, first-aid and/or emergency protocols
  • Experience/ knowledge of basic vehicle maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Strong record-keeping skills and/or experience budgeting

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rumi's Field Nonviolent Communication Night

By Preethi Ruvva, Education & Outreach Team Associate for the Sustainability Office

On May 10th, College Ten themed floor, Rumi's Field, planned an event on nonviolent communication, conflict resolution and conflict transformation in light of Rumi's teachings. A speaker panel from the Resource Center for Nonviolence and a couple of residents that live on Rumi's Field engaged in a conversation that brought about the ideas of nonviolence and conflict resolution in today's world.

The residents of Rumi's Field took a 1 unit class in the Fall Quarter taught by Amanda Cook on Nonviolent Communication based on the concepts of Marshall Rosenberg. NVC is all about self-empathy, empathy for others and honest self- expression using "I" statements. These "I" statements are used to express one's needs, feelings, and requests in any sort of situation. Being able to communicate strategically and effectively is a great skill in college, home and in a professional setting. 

Being the Resident Assistant of this floor has been a great experience because I get to interact with and work with energetic residents on a daily basis who are passionate about nonviolent communication, self transformation, and social justice issues. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Summer Internship Opportunity with Sustain Magazine

The following internship opportunity was submitted to the Sustainability Office: 

Sustain - Northern California’s Green Living Magazine, based in Santa Cruz, is poised to launch its its first issue this summer. With an initial circulation of 10,000 copies, Sustain will be the Northern California’s source for practical tips and authoritative information for the environmentally conscious consumer. This magazine is 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.

We are data driven and rely on creative infographics to simply convey quick facts and figures. In an era of green washing and confusing branding messages, our magazine will be the No. 1 source for environmental news and sustainability tips readers can trust. Our magazine is also distinguished by the fact that we systematically track our carbon footprint and locally offset whatever is left of it after we implement sustainable supply chain and operational practices - and we share those metrics with our readers.

We are seeking 1 to 2 interns for the summer to assist with and gain experience in both the artistic and operational elements of the magazine launch. Specifically, we are interested in working with interns who are interested in the intersect between art and environmental issues, have a positive attitude, are hardworking and possess one of more of the following skills:

  • Designing visually clean and compelling infographics 
  • InDesign for print layout 
  • Unique and engaging web design/layout 
  • Contact relationship management systems 
  • Social Media management for organizations 

This is a summer internship and unpaid. However, depending on potential intern interests, we can offer internships for-credit. Most work will be completed independently with biweekly work session meetings to be scheduled with the magazine founders at a mutually convenient time and location. There is the potential for these internships to continue past the summer with compensation. If you are interested, please forward a resume (including relevant coursework) and sample work products related to the preferred skills to tiffany@sustain-mag.com. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

UCSC Climate Visioning Charrette

On Thursday, April 14th, UC Office of the President hosted a Climate Visioning Charrette at UC Santa Cruz, which was facilitated by a consultant team and included presentations by UCSC and UCOP staff.


All 10 UC campuses have been hosting these charrettes to support the achievement of President Napolitano’s ground-breaking goal of reaching Carbon Neutrality by 2025. The purpose of this workshop was to engage key academic, administrative, and operational leadership in order to start developing a cohesive vision towards achieving this ambitious goal. Nearly 40 UCSC staff, administrators, faculty, and students attended the charrette on April 14th.

Goals for the UCSC charrette included the following:

  • Facilitate individual campus efforts towards carbon neutrality
  • Leverage, support, and expand existing campus-level carbon neutrality efforts
  • Align carbon neutrality efforts and collaboration between campuses, the U.C. Office of the President, and the U.C. Carbon Neutrality
  • Create a carbon neutrality vision statement
  • Identify key strategies and next steps for carbon neutrality at the campus level and across the UC system 
Desired Outcomes included:

  • Draft a vision statement 
  • Draft a list of strategies
  • Develop an initial implementation approach
The UCSC Campus Snapshot that was presented at this event is available online here. A report from this event is currently being developed and will be available soon. For more information, please contact Climate Action Manager Chrissy Thomure.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Volunteer as "Trash-Talker" at Commencement 2016

Want to support efforts to make Commencement 2016 a zero-waste event? Join us as a volunteer the weekend of June 10-12!


The Sustainability Office Zero Waste Team is coordinating a team of "trash talkers" for Commencement weekend. These "trash talkers" will interact with families and friends of graduates to educate them about how to properly dispose of waste in correct bins--compost, recycling, and landfill.

Volunteers will sign up for 4-hour shifts and training will be provided in advance. All volunteers will receive a free sustainability t-shirt.

To sign up, please email Alexis at anroney[at]ucsc[dot]edu.

Bike to Work Week Activities 2016

UCSC's Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) has joined with Ecology Action to host the 29th annual Santa Cruz County Spring Bike Week, May 6 -13, 2016. The Bike Week program aims to provide a safe, supportive and festive environment for local commuters to take their first pedal in traveling by bike. Commuters often find that cycling provides many benefits—from being environmentally-friendly and economical to reducing stress and improving personal health.

To prepare for Bike to Work week, on Tuesday, May 3rd, TAPS will be conducting a Bike Skills and Safety Campaign, and will be giving away helmets from 12:30pm-5:00pm (while supplies last) at the Barn Theater. Helmets are only available to UCSC affiliates; a UCSC student or employee ID card is required. Participants will complete a 5-10 minute bike safety survey to receive a helmet. Free bike maintenance and bike licensing will also be available.

On the following Thursday, May 12th, cyclists get a free breakfast at sites throughout Santa Cruz County, including two UCSC sites available from 6:30am - 9:30am:

  • UCSC Main Entrance, Bay & High St
  • UCSC Family Student Housing at Koshland Way


On Friday, May 13th, TAPS and the Student Environmental Center (SEC)  are hosting the Transportation Festival from 1:00pm-3:00pm at Quarry Plaza. Join the event for bicycle-powered music, activities, and workshops. Free helmets and bike lights will be available while supplies last.

Other resources to help you ride your bike safely are also available at http://taps.ucsc.edu/commute-options/bikes/index.html. To learn more about the many events taking place during Bike Week, visit http://www.bike2work.com/s_cruz.

Main Bike Path Closed for Construction

Bicycle Safety Improvement Project, Summer 2016 
Main Bike Path Closed for Construction 

Please note that the entire Main Bike Path (starting at the intersection with Ranch View Road and ending at the top of the path near the Music Center) will be CLOSED this summer after Commencement on June 13 through September 16, 2016. 

This area will be closed to bicyclists, pedestrians, and personal vehicles. Please be aware and use alternate routes. This construction project proposes to realign and re-grade the downhill bike path near the Village Road/Farm Service Road crossing including realignment of the intersection. The combination of the proposed intersection improvements and the bicycle path grade changes and realignment will greatly increase the sight distance for both cyclists traveling downhill and vehicles entering the intersection. Cyclists will also be able to maintain better control of their speed and bicycle as they approach this intersection due to a longer, smoother, curve.

Reconstruction of this section of the bike path is a campus priority in order to reduce the number of bicycle-related accidents and injuries. It will be constructed in conjunction with the development of the first phase of the Recycle Recovery Yard facility above the Farm.

The UCSC campus has been awarded $383,000 in state Active Transportation Program (ATP) funds for safety improvements and realignment of the Great Meadow Bike Path Safety Improvement Project. The grant funds will be supplemented with approximately $50,000 in campus funds.

View the closure map here.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 2016 Sustainability Profile: Rebecca Sale

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features Rebecca Sale, the Education and Outreach Team Coordinator for the Sustainability Office.

Position Titles: Education and Outreach Coordinator (2015-2016), Student Sustainability Advisor for Cowell and Stevenson Colleges (2014-2015), Education and Outreach Team Associate (2013-2015)

What does “sustainability” mean to you?  It means so much and it's so big that it's kind of difficult to grasp. To me, it means considering the impact of everything you do. Being conscious of, and taking responsibility for your actions. Everything you do affects something and someone else, even if you don't see it. It's a balance between the people and the planet.

Why did you get involved with sustainability? It's a lifestyle I chose so that I can give back. It's important to take care of our limited resources. I'm an outdoor enthusiast and I want to show my respect to the land and the people who were here before me. I hope to leave this place better than it was when I got here.

How has sustainability related to your role(s) at UCSC? As the Education and Outreach Coordinator, my role is to promote campus sustainability efforts like carbon neutrality and zero waste and to encourage behavior change.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life? I challenge myself every day to be more conscious and to use fewer resources and to make good habits of those actions. I try to not purchase what I don't need. I ride my bike to school and work. I do things that I think everyone one has a societal responsibility to do, like picking up litter, not buying single use items.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC? I love tabling at orientations and spring spotlight, talking to prospective students about their own interests in environmental work and getting them excited about what this amazing school has to offer.

Are there sustainability practices you’ve picked up specific to your background or culture? My family doesn't really buy unnecessary items, we reuse grocery bags and repurpose food containers. I'm following those footsteps and hopefully living a lifestyle that my future family will respect and continue improving.

If you know of a person or group on campus that you think we should profile, or if you would like to be profiled, please send us an email at susted[at]ucsc[dot]edu

2nd Annual UCSC Bioneers Conference Report

By Mani Sandhu, Education & Outreach Team Associate for the Sustainability Office 

Bioneers is a national organization that is dedicated to social and environmental justice for all of humanity through practical and innovation solutions. They promote a philosophy that emphasizes the intrinsic value and wisdom that the natural world has to offer. In fact, the National Bioneers Conference has developed an efficacious core of innovation and collaboration for achieving social, cultural, and environmental justice through their annual conference in Marin County that attracts more than 2000 scholars, visionary activists, and innovators.

Here at UCSC, I had the privilege of not only attending the 2nd Annual UCSC Bioneers Conference, but also helping plan the event. Some of the purposes of the UCSC off-shoot of the national Bioneers conference were to expand the dialogue and to bring awareness to issues and connect at the local level. The event featured around 54 speakers and 30 workshops by community members, activists, scholars, and students--all related to different "tracks" of sustainability such as eco-nomics, women and youth leadership, indigenous knowledge, media, nature/culture/spirit, restorative practices for food systems and the bio-sphere, and ecological design, literacy, and medicine.

I was able to attend the plenaries and workshops of moving speakers such as Chairman Valentin Lopez of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Executive Director of Bioneers Joshua Fouts, Marco Vangelisti of Slow Money, permaculture and aquaponics expert May Meyers, author and Director of Stanford Forgiveness Project Dr. Frederic Luskin, Lindsay Andrews and Chris Omer of the Santa Cruz Homeless Garden Project, and many others.

I learned about how disenfranchised groups are bringing awareness to race and socioeconomic disparities, as well as food and labor inequalities. Some examples I heard about include the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band's efforts to restore lost traditional ecological knowledge and reintroduce it to land stewardship; Lightwood Pictures' film illuminating the benefits of discovering sustainable solutions to preserve local land and food; and Kelsey Ott's plenary on the significance of seeing someone for their mind, perspective, personality, and values instead of focusing on the preconceived notions, prejudices, and stereotypes based on physical appearance that are enforced by our society and culture everyday.

Additionally, I learned that we must begin to consider our natural resources as capital assets that provide a significant, sustained flow of economic benefits and require investment in order to properly conserve them, how peaceful environmental and social protests can be strengthened by university support and facilitation, and how to campaign and outreach to fight against current systems of injustice. It was both thought-provoking and gut-wrenching to hear about the injustices committed against the environment and people everyday. However, as such, the conference was also an enlightening outlet that allowed us to collaborate and come together to find creative solutions to combat these issues.

The two-day conference was an eye-opening, prolific experience of transformation, connection, and community that filled me with inspiration and empowerment to help create a just, sustainable world.

Ken Foster of Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping made this beautiful mandala out of "waste" materials like beer mash, tea, and other natural materials in his workshop titled "Mining the Urban Waste Stream."
Dr. Fred Luskin speaking about the power of forgiveness on Sunday.
Mira Michelle hosting a workshop on Sunday titled "Building Resilience: at the Personal, Community, and Ecological Levels."

To check out the rest of pictures from the weekend, click here!