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Friday, November 30, 2018

December 2018: Internships, Employment, and Volunteering

Food Systems Working Group Produce Pop-Up Internship
The Food Systems Working Group, anchored within the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) is looking for two driven individuals to assist with our academic year organic Produce Pop-Up, which takes place once a week at the Quarry Plaza. In efforts to improve issues of food access and healthy food purchasing on campus, the Produce Pop-Up provides a space for students to purchase affordable produce sourced from the CASFS Farm and local Santa Cruz farmers’ markets. For more information, contact Margaret Bishop at

Education for Sustainable Living Program
ESLP is a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort to reshape the way we learn, effectively mentor students, and engage in projects that support the sustainable development of the University of California at Santa Cruz community. Please check out for more information, and reach out to with any questions or to set up an interview.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center is looking for a weekly intern who will assist in the coordination and delivery of the Preschool Storytime program. Duties will include assisting in the coordination of a weekly preschool activity time at the Sanctuary Exploration Center, helping set up and leading weekly crafts and show-and-tell demonstrations, and assisting in program advertising. For more information, please contact Chelsea Prindle at

DUE 1/4/19: Seymour Center Visitor Programs Docent Training Intern
Interns work with the Visitor Programs staff and volunteers to develop teaching materials for the docent training course held at the Seymour Center. Interns assist with interpreting research exhibits, seawater touch tank, and aquarium displays to visitors. Interns also help with basic support and background research that is essential to program operation. For more information, visit the Seymour Center website.

UCSC Plant Science Symposium
The 9th Biennial UCSC Plant Symposium will be held Saturday, January 26th, 2019! The symposium consists of presentations followed by a poster session and happy hour. There is no fee to attend and lunch is provided. If you are interested in attending, please register by filling out this google form. Undergraduate doing research are invited to present a poster on their research, which gives you an excellent opportunity to talk with graduate students and faculty about your research.

Wolf Ridge Naturalist Training Program
Each week you might teach six classes, participate in workshops/field trips/seminars covering education and natural history, serve as a liaison for a visiting group, go on an adventure with other naturalists, and more. Though the schedule will be filled, if you enjoy a little chaos and love the outdoors, Wolf Ridge might be worth looking into. For more information or to apply, contact Joe Walewski at

Montana Farm Jobs and Internships
The 2019 farm season will be here before you know it! Get your hands dirty learning the ins-and-outs of farming or ranching and get exposure to a variety of local and sustainable food systems amid the rugged, breathtakingly beautiful landscape of Montana!  Farm Link Montana Is a free, searchable database of current listings for jobs, internships, and land opportunities in Montana. It features a searchable map of farms and ranches across the state hiring for the upcoming season. Learn about each operation and apply to multiple jobs at once with just one application.

Improving Student Food Security at UCSC - Research Study
Earn $50 for participating in a research study examining food access at UCSC. You will be asked to share your experiences in a confidential small group setting with other students at the Blum Center. If you are interested, contact Desiree Ryan at to sign up.

DUE 2/8/19: Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program
A two-year conservation mentorship that takes place over two summers for 20 students across the US, its territories, and Native Nations, who are in their early-undergraduate career (freshmen, sophomores, juniors). Scholars are exposed to the field of environmental conservation through field research, leadership, and professional training. Scholars receive travel, lodging, support, and a $4,000 stipend each summer. For more information, visit or email the Program Director, Dr. Justin Cummings at

December 2018: Green Tips

Tips for a more sustainable holiday:

Reuse or recycle gift packing materials.
Bubble wrap can be reused or recycled. Cardboard boxes can be reused or
opened flat and recycled.

Find alternatives to wrapping paper.
Gifts can be wrapped without using traditional wrapping paper - try using old
posters, maps, calendars, or scrap fabric. Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic
wrapping paper. This kind of “paper” is difficult to recycle and has no value for
use as mulch due to the heavy metals used in the foil paper. Use tape sparingly,
or not at all. By not using tape, more of the wrapping paper can be reclaimed
and recycled.
Whitegift Box Lot

Lower the impact of holiday lighting.
Use LED lights for decorating. LED holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than
larger, traditional holiday bulbs and can last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors.
Yellow String Lights

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Electric Vehicle, ZipCar Discounts & TAPS Sustainability

Transportation and Parking Services has some sustainability reminders to share with the campus community:

Electric Vehicles
Want to reduce your transportation carbon footprint? Driving an electric vehicle reduces California Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by as much as 80% per mile traveled. If you are considering the purchase or lease of a new or used electric vehicle, please visit the TAPS Electric Vehicles page to learn about all the current vehicle discounts, rebates, and other programs to make this purchase more affordable. UC affiliates (students, staff and faculty) can take advantage of discounted prices on 2018 Nissan LEAFs and the new Honda Clarity.

In addition, a new Clean Vehicle Assistance Program is available for low-income households, as well as rebates from the federal government, State of California, the local Air District, and PG&E. The TAPS resource page will be updated regularly to reflect current offers.

ZipCar Promotions 
Twenty-three Zipcars on the UCSC campus are available for hourly rentals to all students and employees. Zipcar users are finding out how useful these hourly and daily rentals are for driving off-campus to errands, lunch events, doctor’s appointments, and daily outings. The cheapest hourly rate is $5.50 and includes gas and insurance!

Zipcar is currently offering 2 promotions for reduced and free membership fees. Go to, use the code FALL2018 to find out more about the extended promotion and become another UCSC Slug leaving their car at home!

Sustainable Transportation Solutions 
Help reduce your carbon footprint and save on annual parking fees with UCSC vanpools, our campus transit system, bike shuttles, Zimride ridesharing, JUMP Bikes, and Zipcar rentals. Find your solutions at or contact Julie Munnerlyn, Transportation Coordinator at (831) 459-4289.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Sustainability in Financial Affairs: Travel Software, Green Team, & More

By Alysia Tran

Financial Affairs at UCSC has taken on many sustainability-related initiatives these past few years to promote greener improvements. As the folks in charge of managing all the finances throughout campus, they deal with a lot of paperwork. Many of the initiatives and changes that have been implemented involve replacing physical paperwork with digital documents on the computer, saving massive amounts of paper, ink, and storage space.

Along with these changes, Financial Affairs is taking other steps towards saving water, electricity, and reducing waste to landfill. We visited Scotts Valley Center recently to learn more.

Front Row, L to R: Annette Truong, Enterprise Financial Systems; Cynthia von Bargen, Extramural Funds Office; Kirk Lew, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Financial Affairs. Back Row, L to R: Andrea Miner, Procurement Services; Lee Ann D'Arcy-Levitre, Payroll Office; Teri Gardner, Financial Administrative Services and Transactions; Gloria Lopez, Financial Accounting and Reporting.

New Travel Software

One major change that will affect staff and faculty throughout campus is the implementation of travel software, which is anticipated to begin as a pilot program by June of 2019. Kirk Lew, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs, is in charge of implementing the travel software change, which will make it easier for travelers to submit documentation from their trip without needing to print receipts, conference programs, and travel forms. 

He has been trying to get the software in place for nearly twenty years, but, until recently, the cost of implementation and maintaining a system was prohibitive. A relatively new and affordable hosted cloud-based travel reporting system that integrates with the campus’ financial information system has made it possible. 

“The goal has always been, even since 1999, to simplify the process, reduce the amount of paper required, and make things more efficient and better for the travelers,” says Lew.

Digital Sub-Cashier Forms

Student Business Services is another department optimizing the forms submission process by putting sub-cashier forms online. Sub-cashiers are any units that accept cash and checks, and main cashiers currently receive around 240 paper forms a day. Because they have been using the same forms since 1979, they decided that digital forms will quicken and simplify the deposit process. “I do not think of sustainability as something global, but as micro individual actions and about what can my unit and I do,” says Emerson Murray, Director of Student Business Services.

In addition to reducing the number of filing cabinets and paper in the recycling bins, there is a certain “satisfaction that when you engage in sustainable practices in doing your work, or even at home, it is helping to support important university value and goals, such as zero waste and zero carbon emissions,” says Kirk Lew. “We remind people that these are important goals we are trying to reach, and it is not just personal satisfaction of doing something good but you are helping the university achieve a major objective.”

The changes that will come with the new travel software will also save time in the entire process of documenting and approving payments. Ed Moran, the Accounting Services Director, states that the new electronic travel processing platform will eliminate the many piles of documents and receipts that staff who have processed travel paperwork are familiar with. He has seen many changes implemented through his many years working at Financial Affairs. As someone who is actively working to reduce the amount of paper he prints when reviewing documents, he is an advocate towards “not wasting resources, using them as efficiently as possible and preserving our resources so they’re available for our future.”

Sustainable Procurement & Supporting Local Businesses

“Sustainability in Financial Affairs means trying to do as much as we can with as few resources as possible,” says Lew. “It also extends to the community to do business with suppliers that share the same values as we do in regards to sustainability--because you can have suppliers that waste a lot of energy, create a lot of waste, emit a lot of carbon, and we don’t want to do that. It’s important to us that people are treated well, not just here, but where the products are made. All the directors try to set the best example.”

In addition to travel software, Financial Affairs has taken steps toward supporting businesses whose values align with UCSC, as Lew and the rest of Financial Affairs alludes to.

Along with supporting businesses with similar values, UCSC prides itself for putting what we say into action, not just part of the mission statement or annual policy. Darin Matthews, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain Services has instigated many changes, including a ‘Purchaser Pledge to Prefer Safer Furniture Products,’ which ensures suppliers understand the campus’ preference for chemical-free and fire safe products.

Procurement Services also advocates for buying supplies locally and from business owned by women, veterans, LGBTQ, and people of color. Although UCSC cannot list these businesses as preferred vendors, Procurement Services has made it easy to identify these businesses with tags on the CruzBuy purchasing portal. UCSC is also the first UC campus to include sustainability as part of the Request for Proposals (RFP) selection criteria when putting projects and business contracts out to bid.

Graph provided by Darin Matthews.

We also spoke with Robert Kemp, Director of Copy, Mail, and Receiving Services, who has been at UCSC since 1990 and has seen the campus evolve. “It’s not just about the environment and saving paper. It’s trying to find equitable ways to use resources within our department to support environmental and ethical issues,” says Kemp. He is in charge of copying, mail, receiving and surplus on campus.

Now that his department is within Financial Affairs, he is working to be able to influence ways to procure goods that makes sense for the university. He is in the process of getting surplus information into the CruzBuy system so that people would have the option to trade between departments, buy used furniture and equipment at a reasonable price and even get free office supplies rather than continually buying new items. A problem that the campus has to overcome is managing customer expectations while dealing with departments with limited funding and finding ways around those issues.

For Kemp, sustainability is about trying to find an equitable way to use resources to support the environment and by getting others involved. The relationship building he has done over his many years at UCSC and the various roles he has served in throughout campus allow him to identify possible projects and collaborators to advance many different sustainability projects.

For instance, he has worked with Computer Science students and mentored sustainability interns through programs like the Provost Sustainability Internship Program. He is working with faculty in the Computer Science department and collaborating with students interested in creating a mail tracking system to monitor activity from multiple shippers, starting with the USPS. The goal of this system is to reduce the number of delivery vehicles coming onto campus and provide more timely information about letters and parcels.

Green Team in Financial Affairs

The Financial Affairs Green Team’s mission is to share educational opportunities as well as promote and implement practices that support UCSC sustainability goals. Cynthia von Bargen, Green Team Facilitator, states that the key is to “break down goals into functions that folks are willing to pick up.” Each department in Financial Affairs has a representative on the Green Team, and they all meet regularly to discuss sustainability initiatives and opportunities. They were recently awarded a $7500 UCSC Carbon Fund grant to fund an Scotts Valley Center-wide food waste diversion pilot. The grant will be used to add six waste bins in the office kitchen to make recycling convenient and easier for everyone. Some other sustainable practices include having swap areas in the office, a catalogue recycling box, and using biodegradable soap.

Recycling, compost, and landfill bins in the Scotts Valley Center.

Taking Action Every Day

“Let’s not just talk about how sustainable we are, let’s practice it in our everyday lives. Every single purchase we make, at home or at work, represents an opportunity to make a difference,” says Darin Matthews. We gathered sustainability tips from the Financial Affairs Green Team and department directors so that folks throughout campus can support sustainability in their everyday lives at work. To become more sustainable in your own unit, consider the following:
  • Do not send in receipts that are not necessary for reimbursements 
  • Recycle receipts after you no longer need them, or scan them for future reference before recycling them 
  • Print all paperwork double-sided
  • Utilize direct deposit and online W-2 forms 
  • Save digital copies of records whenever possible rather than printing 
The Financial Affairs Green Team is planning on implementing more sustainable practices within the financial and procurement processes to reduce the need for paper, as well as reduce landfill waste. They are currently also engaging with other SVC divisions to encourage the Green Office Certification Program's campaign to reduce single use water bottles and coffee cups.

“Engaging in sustainable practices at work is not just about personal satisfaction of doing something good, but is also about helping the university achieve a major objective,” says Kirk Lew. All it takes, is the thought towards becoming more green, and then putting these thoughts into actions. New software is being developed to diminish the need for paperwork, which makes everything from time-keeping to reimbursement much more time efficient and safe. With all these changes happening in the Financial Affairs office, our campus is transitioning to a more sustainable-conscious environment.

November 2018: OPERS Towel Service Changes

An afternoon day at OPERS.
The UCSC Office of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports (OPERS) has recently taken a new step towards becoming more sustainable. Susan Wittmann Harriman, new director of Athletics and OPERS, has made the decision to stop providing towel service to gym visitors.

The reason: Three big industrial washer and dryers are constantly being used to wash not only towels, but also lifeguard jackets, recreation equipment, and intramural jerseys. By doing this, “we stop washing and drying the towels, reduce natural gas, electricity, water and machine repairs, as well as the cost of buying towels that get stolen,” says Todd Hammonds, Associate Director of Facilities and Operations. Hammonds estimates that it will result to $25,000 in savings. 

"People were constantly taking towels or not bringing them back. Over the summer, we were opening up a package of around 20 towels, every couple of days. We had to keep on replacing them because people were constantly taking towels and not bringing them back," says Brianna Mendoza, Facilities Operations Lead Manager.

"At first, people were not happy with the change but now more people are starting to understand the reason why we are doing this. The washers were always breaking, and we had to deal with customers complaining about why towels were not available at certain times. Cutting away towels makes everything more efficient." Now towels are only available for NCAA athletes, and athletes in training.

UCSC is the first campus to implement this change. Although some gym visitors are not yet used to the change, faculty and staff patrons have shared positive feedback on this sustainable effort. This is just the beginning of many changes OPERS is planning on implementing in the future. Among these plans include replacing the majority of the paper towel dispensers with hand driers to conserve the massive amounts of paper used. They received a UCSC Carbon Fund grant that will help to cover the majority of the cost.

Thanks for demonstrating one example of what it means to be sustainable slugs, OPERS!

Friday, November 2, 2018

November 2018: UCSC's Green Labs

UCSC’s  Green Labs program seeks to improve energy efficiency, increase green purchasing, and encourage water and waste reduction practices through behavior change, physical improvements, and education. In 2018, UCOP Sustainable Policy required all UC campuses to have Green Laboratory Program. UCSC’s Green Labs Program has been formally apart of the Sustainability Office since 2013.

This year, the UCSC Green Labs team will be focusing on re-certifying their partnered laboratories and handing out update Green Labs packages, anticipated to include recycling bins, signage, smart strips and other items to help labs operate sustainably. As a part of the recertification process, they will be helping labs retrofit outdated and inefficient equipment using funds awarded through the UCSC Carbon Fund.

Sarina Sylavong, Carolyn Burch

November 2018: Classes, Training, and Community

Due November 16: Education for Sustainable Living Program
Education for Sustainable Living Program is now seeking people to facilitate for their spring lecture series. Lead an action research team on the topic of waste prevention, green building and facilities, food systems, social and environmental justice, transportation, or anything else you’d like to teach that would be relevant to the blueprint for a sustainable campus. Download the application and submit it to by November 16th if you are interested! Visit their website for the more information and to apply:

Join DROPS IDEASS project in Winter Quarter
Interested in joining a team of passionate and motivated students? Join, DROPS, an interdisciplinary team of students in the IDEASS program that are working to find municipal solutions for rainwater catchment and stormwater management. Students will have the opportunity to work with local experts, including MADI architects and a professional mechanical engineer. Students will work on redesigning the layout for the Bay View Elementary Life Lab space to accommodate two new rainwater tanks and irrigated garden beds as well as develop and test relevant Life Lab curriculum. Additionally, students will be working on installing rainwater catchment systems and LID landscape features (rain gardens, bioswales) to mitigate the impacts of stormwater run-off. This is a great opportunity to gain professional hands-on experience. Interested students will be starting in Winter Quarter 2019 and will have the choice to enroll in either the 5-unit ENVS or 2-unit CRSN 152. Contact for more information.

November 30: Movie Screening with Banana Slugs for Animals
Calling all planet loving, vegetarian curious, and vegans! Interested in joining a fun and safe environment for students on their veg journeys and meeting other like-minded students? Join Banana Slugs For Animals to participate in campus activism, potlucks, sanctuary trips, movie screenings, and more! Banana Slugs for Animals will be hosting a movie screening of Eating Animals on November 30th in the College Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room from 7-10pm. There will be free food as well as snacks and samples to take home. To sign up, email Follow ‘Banana Slugs for Animals’ on Facebook to stay connected.

Due November 11: Teen Winter Art Market
Sell your art at the Museum of Art and History’s Teen Winter Art Market! Email by November 11 with your name, grade, school, brief statement about your artwork, and 3-5 images of what you plan to sell. You don’t have to have all your work done by the time you apply, just a taste of what you’ve got! The Art Market is on December 7, from 5-9pm at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.