Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sustainability Course - CLEI 99/199F: Undergraduate Research Experience Tutorial

College Eight: Environment and Society
Developing Green Entrepreneurship

“Developing Green Entrepreneurship” is College Eight’s education and mentoring program designed to empower students to create a more sustainable world. If our planet and society are to flourish, the organization and conduct of education, business, politics and policy must radically change. This will happen only if a new generation can apply its capabilities and imagination to changing environmentally destructive practices. Our new year-long tutorial will extend existing efforts at College Eight and across the UC Santa Cruz campus to nurture green entrepreneurs and sustainability professionals. Its goal is to provide students with the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge, complementary to their majors, to conceptualize and establish green projects, organizations and businesses. The three-quarter sequence will introduce students to the concepts, methods and practices of conceptualizing and conducting research into sustainable energy, resources and food production, to developing green entrepreneurial capabilities and to writing business plans and grant proposal to support their projects. The sequence offers two units of academic credit in each of three quarters, followed by the opportunity to compete for a summer research award. Faculty and community mentors will teach in the classroom; research projects will be supervised by faculty, mentors and project teams from advanced courses.
  • Fall Quarter: Students will receive 90 minutes of classroom instruction each week, and participate in 2 to 3 hours of applied labs, field research, data analysis, problem solving and design.  Both classroom and field research will take place at the Sustainable Living Center, located in the Lower Quarry, which is the site for a planned sustainability district. In the classroom, students will learn the basics of resources and energy concepts, measurements surveying and assessment, building energy and resource auditing, energy system sizing, testing, installation and operation, water supply, demand and distribution, and intensive food urban production.  They will design and conduct  their own supervised research projects at the site, observe and measure resource use, install and operate energy monitors and data loggers, conduct behavioral surveys of Village residents and design program to alter residents behaviors and practices.
  • Winter Quarter: Students will continue field research in the Village and will learn how to design and develop green entrepreneurial projects, under the direction of faculty and community mentors. Students will study both successful and unsuccessful efforts to develop green products, businesses and services, listen and meet with guest speakers who have entrepreneurial experience and have launched successful businesses and organizations. They will study the nuts-and-bolts of business plans and legal requirements for profit-making and non-profit enterprises and how to develop collaborations and social networks.
  • Spring Quarter:  Students will learn how to write and present business plans to potential funders and investors, how to write grant proposals for submission to funding agencies (including those oncampus),  and how to manage their enterprises.  They will be expected to write one or more grants for submission to on-campus funding sources. They will also continue their field research.
  • Summer and beyond:  Students who successfully complete the three-quarter tutorial sequence can apply competitively for summer research awards that will allow them to pursue and, ideally, launch their projects. These “sustainability research and green entrepreneurship fellows” will be expected to mentor a new cadre of students enrolling in the tutorial during the next academic year.
CLEI 99/199F: Undergraduate Research Experience Tutorial
F-W-S 2012-13 (2 units per qtr.)
Time: TTh 4-5:30, at the PICA Classroom
Instructors: Ronnie Lipschutz ( & Kevin Bell (

The goal of this 2 unit tutorial is to introduce students to the concepts, methods and practices of conceptualizing and conducting research into energy and food production and consumption.  The tutorial consists of 90 minutes of classroom instruction each week, at least 90 minutes of work in the Village and an additional 2 hours of data analysis and presentation.  Research will take place in the “Village” in the Lower Quarry, where a “Sustainability District” is being planned. Students will learn the basics of resources surveying and assessment, building energy and resource auditing, energy system sizing, testing, installation and operation, water supply, demand and distribution, and intensive agroecology (at the Village and CASFS).  They will design and implement sets of research projects at the site, install and operate energy monitors and data loggers, conduct behavioral surveys of Village residents and experiments to alter their behaviors and practices. Admission to the tutorial is by application and interview, and enrollment is limited to
25. Some STEM (science-engineering-technology-math) background is helpful but not required, although students will be expected to acquire such STEM skills as are necessary to engage in analysis and research.  This tutorial is one of the gateways to a proposed College Eight minor in Sustainability Studies and a BA in Sustainable Technology in the School of Engineering. The Sustainability District (SD) Research & Development Plan. An SD is a bounded residential or business area in which available flows of renewable
resources are harnessed to supply a significant fraction of the SD’s energy, water and food demand.  An SD consists of three primary elements: an energy microgrid, a set of intensive gardens, and a water collection and distribution system.  A renewable energy microgrid can include rooftop photovoltaics and solar water heaters, wind microturbines, heat pumps providing district heating, cooling and hot water, energy storage in the form of batteries, water tanks, compressed air and electric vehicles, possibly a biogas digester, and various monitors and controllers.  All of this energy supply technology is complemented by demand management, including conservation improvements in buildings, replacement of inefficient appliances, real-time energy use information, incentives for load-shifting as feasible, timed devices on washers and dryers, and so on.   Water is pumped from ground sources, as available, and through rainwater catchment, combined with intensive conservation and greywater use. The Village is the first of several sites where research on renewable energy microgrids will be conducted (others include the Green Wharf and Hartnell College in Salinas). The Village includes 20 modular buildings, about 10-12 years old, of which the majority is student residences.  It is located in an old lime quarry that has been filled to provide a usable ground area of roughly 100 x 600 meters.  Each building has a roof area of roughly 540 sq. m.  The entire site is below ground level, and is supplied with water and power from external sources.  There are several food gardens on site.

Ultimately, the Village will become both a living laboratory for subsequent student cadres as well as an experimental site for testing new technological configurations and behavioral projects and a demonstration site for interested visitors.

PICA Classroom Tutorial Schedule

  • Week 1: Energy & site assessment basics
    In-Class: What is energy, what does it do, how is it measured?
    On-site: Develop site map of buildings and identify energy-related building features
  • Week 2: Energy sources, on-site and off
    In-class: Calculating & measuring energy fluxes; heat transfer, heat pumps; theoretical and actual energy inputs to site (utility data)
    On site: Document building structure & composition, internal energy uses, energy flows through buildings (conduction, convection, radiation); individual building orientations, roof areas; other energy collection sites
  • Week 3: Conversion efficiencies and conservation
    In-class: How much energy is converted into useful work; how can efficiency be increased; where does waste heat go?
    On-site: Measure daily solar exposure at various locations, begin assessment of wind resource; identify conservation strategies & develop conservation plan
  • Week 4: Energy sociology & regulation
    In-class: how do people use energy and why?  how do building codes and regulations affect energy use in buildings?  develop survey.
    On-site: Survey a set of building occupants regarding energy use, daily practices, transportation choices, water use, etc.  Provide logbook to residents.
  • Week 5: Water
    In-class: Hydrological cycle; What water is used for; where UCSC’s water comes from; rain harvesting; greywater; conservation strategies.  methods for measuring water use
    On-site: Measure water use, based on faucet flows and other uses (e.g., toilets, landscape).  Identify potential reductions.  On-site water sources. 
  • Week 6: Food questions
    In-class: Food work; what does it take to produce food (including climate, varieties; local vs. far food; organic v. conventional (comparative resources inputs)
    On-site: Visit PICA garden & CASFS; acquire input/output data
  • Week 7: Food energetics
    In-class: comparative energy & resource inputs & outputs; agroecology vs. industrial agriculture; subsidies to production
    On-site: Assess measure energy intensities & subsidies at PICA & CASFS
  • Week 8: Food policy & practices
    In-class: political economy of food systems; how can an apple fly 6,000 miles and not cost a fortune; what do people eat & why; tastes, marketing, processed foods
    On-site: Survey of residents’ eating purchases & practices; food prep
  • Week 9: Recycling & composting
    In-class: recoverable resources from food wastes; principles of composting; other end
    uses of food wastes;
    On-site: visit to PICA compost pile; assess biomass potential of Village
  • Week 10: Other microgrid options
    In-class: biogas, biodiesel, combined heat & power (CC heat pumps)
    On-site: Designing the Sustainability District charette—layout, potentials, requirements, models
Other topics:
1. Building composition, structure, insulation, heat flow & loss
2. Appliances, lighting, user behaviors
3. Solar & wind assessments
4. Monitoring, data collection & analysis (Utility data)
5. Water use & resources
6. Greywater for gardens
7. Water capture & cisterns
8. Intensive composting & gardening
9. Policy issues (microgrids)
10. Behavioral change
11. Transportation
12. Heat pumps & CHP
13. Sustainability district design

For more information, please contact Bee.

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