Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month features Caitlin Jetter, UCSC alumna and former Zero Waste Team member in the Sustainability Office, who now works at the Watershed Stewards Program.
I attended UCSC all four years, I was associated with Stevenson College, I majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Politics, and I graduated in June 2014.
How were you involved with sustainability at UCSC?
I was directly involved with sustainability at UCSC in my work with the Zero Waste and Green Labs teams. Two of the larger projects I helped coordinate were the Campus Waste Assessment/Report and the Kimberly-Clark Glove Recycling Program. I was also involved with the Stevenson Student Council, which could lend a hand in supporting student-lead sustainability projects or events.
Did you have a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC?
A favorite moment was the first time I checked one of my Kimberly-Clark Recycling boxes and found a bunch of correctly disposed gloves! That may sound lame but it really meant a lot after all the time putting the program in place. Also, all the moments I got to spend with my zero waste teammates could be labeled my favorite. You can't sort trash without these fantastic individuals!
What are you doing now?
Right now I'm working for the Watershed Stewards Program. The program's goal is to conserve, restore, and enhance anadromous watersheds by linking education with scientific field practices. I'm stationed in Fresno where I have been working with the local Conservation Trust and Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to improve the habitat and study the Chinook salmon which used to run the full extent of the San Joaquin River. The position has been a great experience and I've already learned so much!
Did your sustainability experiences at UCSC prepare you for life after college?
Definitely! Being part of the Sustainability Office was one of the best experiences that prepared me for work after college. I learned so much about outreach, education, project management, and coordination. And I must say the zero waste team offered a special set of skills, in that I've never been so prepared to get dirty and handle the smelly (which happens more often than not in my current position!) Overall, I will always remember the amazing people and time spent with sustainability at UCSC.