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Friday, April 27, 2018

May 2018: Internships, Employment and Volunteering

The apprenticeship is a 3-month full immersion experience in a land-based intentional community working side-by-side with Stewards of the Windward community gaining practical, hands-on skills with the tools needed to build a life in concert with the natural world. Apprenticeships are tailored to fit the desires and needs of Apprentices, Windward Stewards, and, if appropriate, academic advisors.
Sustainable systems are multi-faceted & diverse so Apprentices should be prepared to learn and participate in wide-ranging projects and tasks while also choosing an area of focus for an in-depth learning experience. Areas of focus are co-created during the application process. To find more information, please click here. Contact:

Multimedia and Writing Project Intern
We are looking for help with the following efforts:
● Increase photo collection of activities taking place at the Farm & Garden, including weekend workshops, on-site research, students at work on the Farm, and Farm tours. This could involve both taking new photos and reviewing and organizing existing photos. Some of this may include weekend work and work away from campus for research activities.
● Research and recommend “slideshow”-type software for use on websites. Create slideshows.
● Create audio and video clips of CASFS staff and activities to post to CASFS and alumni websites and CASFS Facebook page. Some of this may include weekend work and work away from campus (for research activities).
● Write short profiles of Apprenticeship alumni and find accompanying images to post to CASFS and Alumni websites and CASFS Facebook page
For more information, please click here.

Media Internship 

Ecology Action’s Community Programs team is looking for a Marketing & Outreach Intern to help propel our message forward. Key responsibilities include maintaining various social media platforms, capturing unique content from our field staff (e.g. testimonials from community members, photos and video clips from our school program team, etc), and developing engaging content to be shared through a variety of channels. For more information, please click here.

The Food and Beverage Coordinator intern will report directly to the Operations Manager. This person, along with other Veggielution staff, members of the Board of Directors, and event advisors serves as a key member of the fEAST San Jose Planning Committee. Veggielution’s fEAST San Jose is an annual fundraising dinner, which will be held this year on Sunday, June 10th. The purpose of the dinner is to celebrate another year of success, raise funds for Community Engagement, Environmental Education, and Volunteer Training programs and, thank our many donors who have supported us over the past year. To find more information, please click here. Contact:

Educational Marketing Internship for Sunbank Solar Water Heaters
Sunbank Solar is a manufacturer of solar water heaters and, while small, is at the forefront of developing new products in the solar thermal space – including a solar hot tub and a new solar thermal controller. Sunbank is focused on changing the paradigm of an oft-overlooked consumer of energy: water heating. People replace their water heaters when there is an emergency leak. Our job is to change this to educate the consumer about this technology and therefore get more solar water heaters installed around the country. Our UCSC intern will work directly with the CEO and help with our educational marketing campaigns. These campaigns will use a multimedia strategy to overcome the challenges that face the adoption of solar thermal technology. We are looking for someone who can assist with campaigns in progress and who can think creatively to help us start new initiatives. To find more information, please click here. Contact:

May 2018: Green Tips

Declutter your life.

We mean get rid of all of that stuff…that is everything you don’t want or use on a regular basis. While “spring clean” may not be a new turn of phrase, the task is no doubt daunting. What do you toss? What should you donate? What can be reused? And, finally, what can you recycle?
Keep It: A good rule of thumb to remember is if you have used it in the past year, chances are you’ll use it again. We’re always advocates for hanging on to the “essentials,” i.e. your flavorful wrought-iron skillet, the wicker basket in the corner that’s great for storage or your fav book that’s perfect on a rainy afternoon.
But while spring may mean a fresh start, it doesn’t have to mean new stuff. If it’s not broken, why replace it?
Donate It: Taking an inventory of your belongings shows you that tastes change and upgrades happen. But we all have those what-was-I-thinking? items as well. Even though these things are disposable to you, they may have many useful miles left. Keep items out of overcrowded landfills by asking family and friends if they have use for any of your unwanted items.
Recycle It: Commercial mail, old magazines, unread books – all of these common clutter items can be recycled. Consider this: A family of four uses 1.25 tons of paper per year on average, and the U.S. EPA reports that recycling 1 ton of paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, as well as enough energy to power the average American home for six months.
Trash It: Landfills should be used for items that truly have no other useful purpose. Be cautious when disposing of hazardous materials, as inappropriate distribution can cause toxic components to leach into the soil and groundwater. But even if something isn’t recyclable, chances are it may be reused in some creative capacity.

Spring clean the natural way.

Now that you’ve cleared the clutter and can actually see those countertops and hardwood floors, you still have to scrub off the grit and grime from the winter (ick!).
But harsh fumes from some traditional cleaners may do more harm than good: They can be responsible for around 10 percent of toxic exposures reported to poison control centers and are difficult to dispose of properly.
You can most likely find “green” or “natural” cleaning products at your grocery store. But you can save some money and make your own cleaning product from supplies you already have.
For spray cleaner: Combine and store in a spray bottle 2 cups water 1/4 cup white vinegar; 1/4 tsp. tea tree oil; 1/4 tsp. lavender oil
For deodorizing cleaning: Mix one part vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle to clean countertops, floors, stovetops and other appliances. Scrub dishes, surfaces and stains with a lemon that has been cut in half and sprinkled with baking soda on the flat side
Keep in mind that homemade cleaners may not completely eliminate all bacteria, such as the H1N1 virus. Be sure you read your product’s label and follow the instructions as directed.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

May 2018: Contests and Funding

ACWA began its scholarship program in 1961 to encourage talented and innovative students to join the effort to ensure California's water quality and to implement sound water management policies. This year, ACWA continues its academic scholarship by offering a number of scholarships, including the Clair A. Hill Scholarship. Eligible students must be California residents attending California colleges or universities full-time as a junior or senior during the year the scholarship is awarded. For more information, click here.

Enter to participate in the design of a relevant engineering project in this competition for environmentally and biologically related design projects. This competition is complementary to the AGCO National Design Competition, which focuses on agricultural and food-related projects, while Gunlogson focuses on environmentally and biologically related projects. The competition consists of two parts, submission of a design report to be judged by an expert panel, and participation by the three teams earning the highest report scores in a presentation competition at the ASABE Annual International Meeting. For more information, click here.

The Michael R. Mettler Memorial Scholarship is offered to local graduating high school seniors and current college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors who are majoring in an ag-related field of study at a college or university. This year, they will award one scholarship paid in one check to the recipient(s). For more information, click here.

Beginning on October 1, 2018, Project Green Challenge (PGC) seeks to inform, inspire and mobilize high school, college, and grad school students globally. This powerful and diverse call to action features 30 days of environmentally–themed challenges. PGC aims to touch lives, shift mindsets, and equip students with knowledge, resources, and mentorship to lead change on campuses and communities worldwide. Each day throughout the month of October, a uniquely themed challenge will be delivered to registered PGC participants by email at 6 am Pacific Time. Each challenge will be live for 24 hours inviting participants to complete actions and upload deliverables to acquire points and prizes. Deliverables include photos, videos, and text uploaded on the PGC site, as well as across TG social platforms; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Twenty incredible prize packages will be awarded daily based on outstanding content. For more information, click here.

Each year, Seaworld recognizes the work of the next generation of conservation leaders with the Environmental Excellence Awards for individuals up to age 22 leading exemplary environmental education and conservation projects. They offer two award opportunities – their traditional SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Environmental Excellence Award which recognizes young leaders for their ongoing environmental conservation work and the new SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Entrepreneurial Award, which provides start-up funding to young leaders who propose environmentally proactive solutions that will solve a problem relevant to the applicant’s community. All awardees chosen for the Environmental Excellence Award and the Sea World & Busch Gardens Youth Entrepreneurial Award will receive a trip for two to SeaWorld to their Environmental Excellence Awards reception as well as up to $1,000 to assist in helping with awardee's efforts to change the world. Awardees will also gain recognition for their work in Seaworld parks and through their online and social media presence. Click here to complete the award application by May 25, 2018. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

May 2018: Classes, Trainings, and Community

Santa Cruz Farmer's Markets
Downtown Santa Cruz Farmer's Market on Wednesdays, 1:30 to 6:30 pm in Spring & Summer (1:30 to 5:30 pm in Fall & Winter) at Cedar St. and Lincoln St.
Westside Farmer's Market on Saturdays, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm year-round at Mission St. Ext. and Western Dr.
Or drive to one of the other Farmer's Markets in the area including FeltonLive OakScotts Valley.

Join the 4th Annual ARC Spring Symposium on Friday, May 4th from 9AM-5PM at the University Center. This year's theme is Emerging Ecologies: Archaeologies of Slavery, Landscape, and Environmental Change. There will be several keynote speakers attending. This event is free to the public! Click here for more information.

Follow the Flush 5K walk brings awareness of Santa Cruz wastewater with art, games, and humor on Saturday, May 5. The family-friendly event begins at UC Santa Cruz with walking groups departing from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The walk follows the path of Santa Cruz wastewater through natural and urban landscape concluding at the City of Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Plant where free tours are offered at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. Advance registration is strongly recommended. All activities are free of charge. First 100 people to register receive a free commemorative T-shirt (subject to size availability). For more information click here.

Cyanotypes, or sunprints, are an easy way to use the sun’s exposing powers to make lusciously blue images from the natural treasures we find around us. Josie Iselin, the author of An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed and other books on forms in nature, will lead a relaxed but rewarding workshop featuring a beach walk treasure hunt and an afternoon image-making session. Participants can bring their own favorite objects or choose from Josie’s extensive collection of dried seaweeds. Leave with some beautiful prints, confidence to continue in your own backyard and knowing a little bit more about the important and lovely marine algae of our coast. The workshop takes place on May 5th at 11am. All participants must register online at more information click here.

The fields and gardens of UCSC Farm abound with medicinal plants. Come learn how to use these common plants for every day maladies and health promotion. On May 12th at 9:30am, come learn how these herbs can be used to promote restful sleep, combat stress, soothe or strengthen digestion, heal wounds, support menstrual cycles and much more. Cost of the workshop is $30 general admission (pre-registered) or $40 (at the door). For more information click here.

This May, a group of Right Livelihood change-makers based in Canada and the US will convene at the University of California, Santa Cruz to discuss challenges and opportunities for advancing social and economic justice. In these tumultuous times, this meeting will deepen and ground our local efforts toward a more sustainable, equitable, and peaceful world. This is a multi-day event. For more information click here. 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 7:30pm:
Climate Justice!
A Conversation with Bill McKibben ( and Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Inuit)
At Peace United Church
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 7:00pm:
Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever
With Maude Barlow (Food & Water Watch) and Robert Bilott (Taft Stettinius & Hollister)
At Kresge Town Hall
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 9:45am-6:30pm:
Teach-In! A Day of Teaching and Activism for Human Rights, Sustainability, Social Justice & Media Reform
At Colleges 9/10 Multipurpose Room
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 7:30pm
Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
At Colleges 9/10 Multipurpose Room

Strawberry & Justice Festival
The Strawberry and Justice Festival is a campus and community event with a focus on good food, fun, and education! The free event includes a panel discussion of social justice and environmental topics related to strawberry production, along with live music and more! Come enjoy free organic strawberry treats and drinks while you learn more about the issues regarding labor and environmental impacts surrounding one of the most economically important crops grown in our region. This event takes place on May, 24th at 4pm in the Hay Barn. For more information click here.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Interdisciplinary Partnerships to Solve Real World Issues

Clean Oceans International is partnering with UCSC and Cabrillo students on data analysis for plastic to fuel conversion. Students of all disciplines are working in labs right now, analyzing plastics from beaches around the world and how they can be converted into diesel!
They are analyzing how these different plastic pieces burn within a spectroscopy machine and assessing what coastal areas are optimal to implement the machine! Through the IDEASS (Impact Design; Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service) program, undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct research with real-world applications.
Beginning in 2008, Clean Oceans international began to collect debris in Hawaii, Alaska, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Oregon and California. This was the basis of the research and data collection that soon was carried out and developed by the student research team.
Looking forward to the future, COI is seeking more visibility and funding for their campaign. Additionally, they are looking forward to collaborating with local artist to paint a mural on Mission Street in Santa Cruz. The mural is planned to be phased in over the next couple of months outside of Bayview Elementary school in order to reflect the vision and goals of the non-profit.
To the students of UCSC and Cabrillo, this project is much more than an interdisciplinary research opportunity. It is a way to implement their education into the real world and achieve tangible results! One fourth year Chemistry student, Zachary Schwartz characterizes the hands-on learning that is central to every IDEASS project here at UCSC, “I joined the project for the opportunity to both further my knowledge in material science by studying plastic in a laboratory setting as well as have the opportunity to apply my chemistry knowledge to a real-world issue in hopes of solving it.  For me, the most valuable part of the project is the process of completing it.  There are unexpected obstacles that appear when executing the project and the ability to be resilient when circumstances change is key to being successful.  I am excited to analyze plastics in the laboratory and communicating the results if they are positive.” Students involved range from environmental studies majors, Physics majors, chemistry majors, you name it. They are all joined together by their passion to solve this problem. Another student on the team, Adelicia Johnson, characterizes their union perfectly by stating, “Coi to me is a collaboration of different professionals, students, and world citizens that want to solve the plastic problem. It is a project that shows genuine concern and drives towards making a positive impact on our oceans pollutants.”
The partnership of COI international with UCSC and Cabrillo students and faculty is a reminder that change in possible through interdisciplinary work, communication between boundaries, and confrontation of world problems through innovation.
To learn more about COI visit

Written by: Antonette Brito-Berti

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 2018 Flor Maciel

Each month, our newsletter features a person or a group on campus that is working towards a more sustainable world. This month, we had the privilege to interview Flor Maciel, a Student Sustainability Advisor. The Sustainability Office would like to congratulate Maciel for her new internship with Carnegie Science Department of Ecology.
What does sustainability mean to you?
“To me, sustainability is the practice of conserving the Earth’s resources so that future generations can have a comfortable life. Of course, comfort is relative, but it is living in a minimalist way and only purchasing the items you truly need as well as recycling and reusing. It is also being mindful of the environment we live in and sharing with animals, while realizing that humans have had such a huge impact on the Earth, such as climate change, and now taking the step to mitigate it.”

What sustainable practice do you live by in your daily life?
“In my daily life, I practice little steps to be sustainable. These, for me, are taking shorter showers and being careful of the amount of water and energy I use. I also don’t purchase water bottles or plastic bags; I opt for the reusable versions. A favorite practice of mine is to use hand-me-downs from my family members or purchase second-hand clothes.As a few of my fellow SSAs have done, I actually hope to have a clothing swap event this quarter at Crown and Merrill."
What is your long-term vision for UCSC?
"I hope that UCSC, through the work that many sustainability organizations are doing, can further foster an attitude of sustainability for current and new students. This will mean that every student will have a chance to learn about sustainability and practice it, even if they were not able to do so at home. I’d also like for UCSC to achieve its Zero-Waste goal and become Fossil Fuel free. To achieve these goals, I think it’d be incredibly helpful if the Sustainability Office was given the resources to expand its student participation. On the energy usage front, I hope there is solution to incentivize on-campus students to use less energy because they don’t need to pay an energy bill separate from the housing one. This makes it so there is no way to save money from energy as they could be living off campus."
Do you think UC’s should join forces to become more sustainable, are there things we should learn from each other and apply it?  
"I think that it would be ideal if every UC could come together for sustainability. Being a significant high-education institution, the UC system has the influence to advocate and push for sustainability. There are many things to be learned from each university. For example, through the research I have done for my Campus Sustainability Plan project, I learned that some UCs only allow Energy Star mini-fridges in their dorms. Additionally, if feasible, it’d be useful if more UC grants were created, such as the #MyLastTrash grant, to fund a diverse array of sustainability endeavors."
What are your thoughts on Environmental injustice?  
"Environmental injustice is a topic that I hope to learn more about. So far, most of my knowledge comes from ENVS 100 and the paper I wrote concerning the discrepancies in air pollution exposure between socioeconomic levels in China. Overall, it is disheartening to know that the poorest are also the most vulnerable to environmental issues, such as climate change. In my future career, I hope to amplify the voices of such people, so that they can explain the hardships they face. I also want to expand my knowledge on environmental injustice and I will be taking a class next year to do so."

Does sustainability only mean taking care of the planet? If it doesn’t, explain why?
"In my opinion, sustainability encompasses taking care of the Earth, as well as people. People are a part of nature no matter how much we try to separate ourselves from it. So in order to be sustainable, we must take care of people alongside with nature; however, this brings up the issue of equal accessibility for sustainability. People from lower socioeconomic levels may be thinking of other issues, such as employment, housing, or food security before they can think of the Earth. In order for sustainability to succeed, we should offer support for the issues these people are facing and include the ideas they have in the discussion."
Is there a message you would like UCSC students to know?
"Concerning sustainability, the message would be to keep doing simple things: composting, recycling, saving energy and water, or volunteer and donate money to the many sustainability organizations there are. Academically, keep trying your best in your given major and follow through on any opportunity that interests you."
What does it mean to be an Student Sustainability Advisor (SSA) intern?
"I think being a Student Sustainability Advisor is primarily about knowing the attitude of the community you live in. For me, that is Crown and Merrill, where I have lived  for 3 years. It is also using that knowledge to try to create programs about various sustainability topics that you believe will attract residents in your community. Overall, I believe this program has a lot of potential because there is an SSA for every paired college!"

How do you feel about being accepted as an intern at Carnegie Science Department of Ecology?
"I feel so fortunate to be researching a topic that I am passionate about at the Carnegie Science Department of Ecology. I am also excited to work with Dr. Geeta Persad and, under her guidance, research the question I will eventually develop about the climate and air pollution. Although, I sometimes question myself if I actually truly received this internship (which I now know to be “imposter syndrome”). So if anyone else feels this way, you are not alone. I also would like to thank Kristen Lee who advocated me for this position; I’m positive she had influence in me being accepted, so thank you!"