Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Kresge Common Ground Center

One of the amazing living labs at UC Santa Cruz is the Kresge Common Ground Center! Jeannie Santos, the #MyLastTrash campaign intern for the Zero Waste Team, interviewed David Shaw, a continuing lecturer at Kresge College Common Ground Center, and Program Coordinator at PICA, and asked him about the multiple things that make Kresge college a living lab.

Santos: "So what makes Kresge a living lab?"

Shaw: "Kresge college, for the last five years at least, has been placing the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability at the heart of the identity of Kresge college. Former provost Juan Poblete and I, along with Christine King and others really made that a goal, to put sustainability right at the heart of what Kresge college is all about. And the ways that we envisioned doing that was through the creation of Common Ground Center as an umbrella that can create a narrative and an organizing framework for the current initiatives that we had going but also new initiatives.

So, since the mid-70's we've had the Kresge Food Co-op. A natural foods co-op owned and operated by students, allowing people to buy food in bulk at a discount and to choose natural, healthy, organic foods. It's the only foods co-op in the county of Santa Cruz. So that's pretty big. And then also, starting around 1975 we have the Kresge garden which started, which to this day is one of the larger student-run gardens on campus. And another really key thing about both of those projects is the cooperative. They are organized at least in name as collaborative efforts where there is student empowerment and student decision making.

Now each co-op operates a little differently. And like, the music co-op, I'm not sure about the details about how it operates but it may or may not be consensus decision making with total egalitarian horizontal power structure. I actually can't comment on if it does or if it doesn't, it might just be more of like a rental space. And the photo co-op too, I'm not at all sure about how they operate.  But, the attempt and the pursuit of collaborative decision making and collaborative ownership is a dynamic of a living lab, of the social part of sustainability. Obviously in the case of the food co-op there is a very economic side to that as well, where they are running a small business, learning skills of social entrepreneurship and enterprise, accounting, filing taxes, things like that - very important skills to learn.

Another way that Kresge is a living, learning lab is the Kresge Eco-Village, our themed residence hall around sustainability created three years ago. It's a place where anywhere from thirty to sixty students depending on what year it is, live and work with Common Ground Center, the Kresge garden co-op, natural foods co-op, the World Cafe, other initiatives at Kresge. So it's kind of like the freshman experience to Kresge college as a model of sustainable living at UCSC. It's sort of nested, UCSC, Kresge college, Common Ground Center."

Santos: "There's a lot of opportunities in Kresge to get involved."

Shaw: "Tons, and I didn't even name them all."

Santos: "How do students get involved? Is it pretty easy?"

Shaw: "Well, it is and it isn't. Getting involved really requires being active and getting involved. I've noticed over the years that we from these organizations, common ground, the garden co-op, the natural foods co-op, the World Cafe, even other things that I'm not as involved in like the programs and activities office or the provost office will offer stuff - 'Come by! Free food! Awesome speaker!' But people have to meet us half-way. You have to come and get out of the dorm, actually come. So some ways that we actually get people involved is the resource fair, the OPERS fall festival at the beginning of the year, we have a speaker series where we host a number of speakers every quarter for free, sometimes with food. Often at a time that is based around the students' schedule. It's students that are planning these events. Which brings me to the next thought, which is we have six paid student staff positions. Kaylen being one of them, Sarah and Kaley at PICA being two other student staff. So we've got six student staff through Common Ground Center that get paid 10-15$ an hour, six hours a week to do the activities of Common Ground. This is the office, so to speak, so you know, to keep the office going, to keep the lights on. And, you know, plan events and host events, and find out what are the topics that people want to have conversations about.

[Shaw then pointed at a poster behind me, that had a big tree on it, depicting the intergenerational collaboration of the Common Ground Center.] 

Really, I'd say this picture here, which I have a digital copy of if you ever need it, really articulates a core principle of Common Ground which is we are an intergenerational collaboration. There is a lot of faculty and staff driven centers. There's a lot of student driven clubs, and there are spaces where there is a strong intention for the students, and basically the 'youngers' and the 'olders' to leverage and synergize our unique resources for it's common goals. So you know, I might be able to pick up a phone and get something done really quickly. Let's say someone's like, 'I want to host a talk about aquaponics.' And I'm like, 'Oh my god, I know one of the aquaponics gurus and I just call him up and get through to this guy who is really hard to access.' But then once he's booked no one's going to come unless the students socialize it and spread the word and say, 'Come one, come all, it's going to be great. I'm putting on this event, come support me.' That's just a very small example. But a really common one, older adults tend to have established networks, maybe access to budgets and resources and things like that, but also can get stuck in our ways and in our mindsets, and 'youngers' tend to have some fresh thinking. They don't care if it's taboo, they're just going to say it anyways. And connections, new forms of connections, I'm not just talking about digital stuff. I think that's pasee
 and overplayed, you know. It's kind of an oppressive thing that olders say to youngers, 'You're on your phone all the time.' Like, so are you!"

Santos: "Could you explain the dynamics of the food co-op, like how it works?"

Shaw: "So the food co-op has core members and working members, I think you should ask them honestly to explain it, it has changed since I was a core member thirteen years ago. But basically, Kresge college leases that space to a non-profit called the Kresge Community Natural Foods Cooperative. They lease it for a dollar a year, and that allows the students to have cheap rent and not necessarily need pay the employees, or not make that much money on the food. So they buy food at whole sale and then sell it at retail. So if they were to want to, and if they were to have a successful business they would be making an income so they could then pay employees or donate to different causes and what not. But I think maybe that's not their goal. I think it's more of a club, like a social thing, like a business, social change thing."

Santos: "So it's more of a community."

Shaw: "Yeah, I think so. That's my own read and take on it. I wish it was more outward focused and a little bit more connected with the campus food systems, you know the food security work that we're doing around looking at students in need and what not. But I will say that that food co-op experience is a great place for people to learn and to feel a sense of community. It's kind of a 'learn from your mistakes' sort of a place, and figure it out as we go, which I don't think is the best model for student groups, because people are paying a lot of money to be here. And there are some best practices for showing people how to make things work. Sometimes students are able to transmit that to the next students before they graduate, but sometimes they don't. And when that cycle gets broken it takes a long time to get that back. So I see people at the food co-op and many, many other student clubs who don't have advisers where some memory gets lost, some process gets lost and someone comes back in and they're like, 'Oh my god, there's no process someone created.' We spent all this time creating something that's beautiful and works, but that used to exist pretty much in the same form or maybe different, but it just got forgotten. And when a new person comes in, they might not even refer to the process that person created. So how do student groups solve this issue of summer? Where you need to sort of have the club fall, winter, spring, bridge the gap into the next year, across graduation, across summer break. That's a key challenge."

Santos: "Yeah that's hard for any organization."

Shaw: "It is, it is. I will say that there are a couple things I've found really really help, one of which is intergenerational collaboration and having staff really working closely. In a reciprocal co-mentoring relationship with the students. It's not the staff and faculty teaching the students and the students learning and then doing the work,  it's really about, okay, here's this collective goal that we have, how are we going to make this happen together? What accountabilities can we have to one another? I think that the Sustainability Office does a really good job at this too."

Santos: "Is there anything else about Kresge that you'd like to talk about?"

Shaw: "Last thing I'll say is the World Cafe is an initiative here that started eight years ago. We have the longest ongoing World Cafe program in the world. There are classes that are offered in it as well as a weekly potluck, which is both a potluck of ideas and a potluck of food. And it's a place for students to get together and have conversations that matter. So again students are defining what matters to them and saying let's gather and talk. And sustainability and activism are the two biggest topics that students want to talk about.

Students have been very integral to social movements in the last sixty years. Students have been, and youth and general, have been really critical to the Women's Movement, the American Indian Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Consciousness and New Age Spirituality Movement, the Psychedelic Movement - really critical to all of those. If you think about it, everything in our world is created twice. It's first created through conversation and then it's created in reality. It's always created - you can even say three times - you can say it's created as a thought in one person's mind or in the new sphere, in the collective consciousness, but then through conversation. I have an idea, it's a great idea, I think, I share it with you, you say, 'Oh it's a great idea, we gotta tweak that one thing to make it really better!' And I'm like, 'Oh my god, thank you! Perfect! Let's go!' And then we go enlist other people. Everything in our world has been created through conversation. If that wasn't true, we would be like fish swimming in water, but we are swimming in conversation but we don't even see it. Therefore, if conversation is how we created everything, what might you do to have more powerful conversations in your life? What are the critical conversations that you want to have in your life right now? Not this big, long term thing but right now. So those are the things that people connect with and then we build community around the conversations that matter and I hear students every time, every quarter, 'I'm learning more in this World Cafe than I am in my classes and this is why I came to college. You're a chemistry major, you're a philosophy major, you're an artist, and here's this place where we can connect on a level playing field and share and synergize the unique resources that we each have based on our unique disciplines, and I don't want to leave but I gotta go write this paper.' And I'm like, 'Oh wait but you're learning more here than you are elsewhere, but you're leaving to go do this work that should be where your learning is happening but what you're saying is actually stifling. Okay, interesting, we can work on this.'

I think there's some magic to the World Cafe. And in the frame of sustainability, it's a really critical social skill. Whether you're in engineering, or in arts and activism, or in energy, or in agriculture, there's going to be conversations, you're going to have to collaborate with people. And the world is changing so fast that educating students about yesterday will not help them for today and even educating students about how to act today is not as helpful as learning how to think and how to problem solve and how to be nimble and agile. So tools for collaboration are really critical like that. So I'd say that another thing about Kresge's Common Ground Center, is that we are trying to develop strong leadership skills so that people will be successful in creating the world that they want after they graduate, furthermore after they graduate, they still want to be involved. So that's the intergenerational piece, they're not just kicked out. We want them to stay involved."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Green Lab's Greenovation Award from RightCycle - Kimberly Clark Professional

The UCSC Green Labs team was awarded the Greenovation Award from RightCycle - Kimberly Clark Professional for their 2016 Kimberly-Clark Glove Recycling metrics. Here's a little background info: In an UCSC laboratory assessment, it was found that nitrile gloves made up a majority of the waste coming from labs, which in turn would have just been sent to landfills. In efforts to reduce our waste within the UCSC labs, the UCSC Green Labs Program and Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) have collaborated with the Right-Cycle Kimberly-Clark Nitrile Glove Recycling Program to promote sustainability within labs. By participating in the RightCycle Program we were able to reduce our impact on the environment by diverting 1,620 pounds of waste (which were the metrics from 2016).

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

June 2017: Sustainable Start-Up Seeking Developer 

Local environmental start-up looking for an app developer to join their team, contact igalmich@ucsc.edu for details.

June 2017: 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: Felton, Live Oak, Scotts Valley.

Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Living
Check out the cool various programs within the Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Living. There's lots of ways to get involved with them.

Sustainability Classes for Fall 2017
ANTH 110: Cultures of Sustainability and Social Justice (5 units)
With Professor David Shaw, ANTH 110 brings together diverse forms of cultural knowledge and complexities of everyday life to illuminate longstanding concerns of sustainability and justice. Investigates multiple theories of sustainable development as well as tools, techniques, and contexts for ecological integrity, economic security, empowerment, responsibility and social well-being characteristic of sustainable communities. Case studies are drawn from around the world highlighting the work of Right Livelihood Award Laureates in tandem with UC faculty.

EE 80S: Sustainability Engineering and Practice (5 units)
EE 80S offers a topical introduction to principles and practices of sustainability engineering and ecological design with emphasis on implementation in society. It also provides an understanding of basic scientific, engineering, and social principles in the design, deployment, and operation of resource-based human systems, and how they can be maintained for this and future generations. No specialized background in engineering, science, or social sciences is assumed.

CRSN 56-1: Media Internships for Sustainability (5 units)
In the CRSN 56 internship with Professor Ronny Lipschutz, students develop and work on media projects related to the college theme of "Environment and Society" in film, on television, in print, and on the Internet. Students work in groups with specific instructors and project leaders. Enrollment by application and instructor consent. May be repeated for credit.

ENVS 80B-01: The Ecological Forecast of Global Warming (5 units)
If you aren't an Environmental Studies Major but are interested in our changing climate, you might be interested in ENVS 80B taught by Professor Loik Boycoff. It covers a broad overview of the impacts of human activities on the global climate system. Topics include how climate affects the distribution of ecosystems, the influence of global climate change on biodiversity, ecosystem function, and consequences for the human enterprise.

June 2017: Green Move-Out

It's hard to believe that we are entering the end of another school year. For many of us, that means it is time to begin moving out of our school-time residences. Move out at UCSC can be a hectic and wasteful time. Here are some tips for how to make your move-out experience as sustainable as possible!
  • Plan ahead: Instead of recycling cardboard boxes and discarding supplies, keep them available for when you are packing up your room during move-out
  • Participate in the Santa Cruz Citywide Garage Sale on June 3rd & 4th. Register for the Garage Sale.
  • Sell or Donate unwanted possessions: Create sell and give away boxes while packing. Use Freestyle Santa CruzCraigslist Santa Cruz and other online resources. Drop off bigger give away items (ie refrigerators, couches, chairs) at the Mission Street Goodwill Drop-off location or at other donation locations.
  • Use Social Media outlets: Post your selling and give away items on the UCSC Free & For Sale Facebook page, NextDoor Santa Cruz and others like it.
  • Know your waste: Educate yourself on what goes in the recycling, compost, and landfill containers on campus to avoid contaminating waste streams
  • Get involved in Move-Out Programs: Sign up for the UCSC off Campus Move Out for those who live off campus
  • Check out City of Santa Cruz Guidelines for a smooth Move-Out

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

UCSC Taps: Electric Vehicles Incentives

Driving an electric vehicle reduces California Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by as much as 80% per mile traveled. The UC Office of the President Sustainable Practices Policy strives for 4.5% of all commuter vehicles be zero-emission vehicles by 2025, and encourages commuters who drive to consider electric for their next vehicle purchase. In a short video, hear what local EV drivers have to say about their EV experience.

The offers and rebates shown below are for information purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of any of the listed products, services or programs.
EV Dealership OffersUCSC TAPS has negotiated the following limited duration special promotion(s) for UC Staff, faculty and students for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle.

Through June 30, 2017 Nissan is offering UCSC faculty, staff and students discounted rates on the purchase of a Nissan LEAF. See the promotional flyer or contact a local Nissan dealer for more information.
Through July 5, 2017 Ford is offering UCSC faculty, staff and students $500 off the purchase of an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, or special lease pricing. See the promotional flyer or contact a local Ford dealer for more information.

Be sure to bring the related promotion flyer, and your UCSC ID with you when visiting participating dealerships, and ask about the availability of Federal ($7,500) and State ($2,500) rebates to help lower the cost of your lease or purchase.
EV RebatesMonterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) is offering Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito County residents Clean Vehicle Rebates of $500 to $2,000 (until funds are exhausted) on purchases of qualified new and certified used EVs. More information and applications are available at http://mbard.org/rebates/.
PG&E is offering a $500 Clean Fuel Rebate to EV users within the PG&E Service Area. More information is available on their Clean Fuel Rebate for EV Fueling page.

Home charging equipment rebates and vehicle insurance discounts are sometimes available through the California Air Resources Board. Check their website for more information.

3rd Annual Campus Cleanup Day: The Trashy Details

My name is Malina Long and my largest project this year with the Zero Waste Team was to plan the 3rd Annual UCSC Campus Cleanup. Even though this event took place in the spring, my committee and I began planning this event all the way back in winter quarter! We’ve gone through so, so, SO many different unexpected challenges throughout these past few months, but we made it over them and had a successful event. At the end of the day, volunteers collected 224.4lbs pounds of litter! We collected 82.8lbs of trash, 81lbs of recycling, 33.2lbs of compost, 25.2lbs of electronic/hazardous waste, and 2.2lbs of cigarettes!

Many people might not know this, but planning an event of this scale takes a tremendous amount of work. From an outsider perspective, it may not look like muchfood, t-shirts, buckets, bags, signsit’s just getting things from A to B...right? Well, not exactly. This is true for our three smaller cleanups that we held during fall quarter, but definitely not true for the 3rd Annual Campus Cleanup, an event that brings in over 150 people each year. There are many hoops we have to jump through in order to ensure that we are doing things correctly! SEVERAL permits, forms, emails, and meetings are required to make every little thing you see possible.

For example, take for instance getting the food for our volunteers. In order to get food, we had to reach out to not one, not two, not three, but even more people! Getting food was not just about finding out where to get it from, but figuring out how we would pay for it. We had to make a budget, put in several funding requests, and present to student senates all around campus! We also had to figure out who would get the permits for the food and tables, who would pick up the food, who would store the food, who would serve the food, et cetera... As you can see, a lot of steps go into making just ONE aspect of our event happen! Multiply this process by all the other things we need for the event, and it gets really complicated, really quick!

So why do we do so much work for one day? Why do we take our time to create an event that is focused on TRASH? Because it is our job, as students, campus users, and beings on this Earth to take responsibility for the products we choose to create, use, and dispose of on this planet. This trash will be here forever and will continue to impact beings, human and non-human, forever.  We must do all that we can to lessen this negative impact by working towards creating a positive impact.  We have a lot of power as humans on this planet. We have the power to make small choices NOW and we must remember that OUR choices WILL have a large impact later. This day serves as a reminder to always be conscious of our actions, our environment, and to care for our planet. It is, after all, our home.

​​For more info on the Zero Waste Team and Campus Cleanup Day go to goo.gl/x6OfwX

2017-2018 Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus

On behalf of the Student Environmental Center (SEC), the Student Environmental Center Blueprint Team is pleased to announce the release of the 2017-2018 Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. This document serves as a resource guide and a different way of thinking about sustainability around 10 topics ranging from food to water to purchasing. Part of this process involved documenting student’s visions and actions of what they want sustainability to look like on campus and beyond. In addition, this year’s topic descriptions include intersections with environmental justice and other fields. They encourage you to read it and think about how your own personal or organizational missions relate to environmental justice. They've tried to broaden the scope of sustainability to include issues directly affecting students such as food insecurity and housing accessibility. SEC encourages staff, faculty and students to use this year's Blueprint.

They also recommend that student organizers apply for funding through the Campus Sustainability Council next winter (csc.enviroslug.org) for sustainability related projects or events.

June 2017: Internships, Employment and Volunteering

Sustainability Office: Deadlines vary
The Sustainability Office is currently accepting applications for the academic 2017-2018 year. Internship positions focus on various topics related to sustainability such as: education, buildings, energy, food, land and habitat, procurement, transportation, waste reduction, water, and drought information. While interns help promote sustainability campus-wide through various projects, events, outreach, etc., students will gain hands-on experience, develop and improve leadership skills, communication, facilitation, and so much more. For more details around the different internship positions and to learn more about the Sustainability Office, click here.

Arboretum: Deadline Varies
The Arboretum at UCSC is open to the community both off and on campus. Check out their website, which provides information on their garden, gift shop, gallery, etc. The Arboretum is located on High St. between the east and west campus entrance. Volunteer positions are non-paid and open to students and the public. Work-study internships are paid. Academic credit offered for UCSC Environmental Studies, Biology, Plant Science, Science Illustration and Science Writing students - offered through the departments. Students can fulfill the "internship or independent research" requirement of the new Plant Science major through the Arboretum.
Application Process: Contact Brett Hall, brett@ucsc.edu at (831) 502-2304

Environmental Studies Internship/Field Program: Deadline Varies
The UCSC Environmental Studies internship program, has locally, nationally, and internationally placed students in public and private organizations. From here they have become involved in research, education, and policy formation projects while gaining first-hand experience. Students have contributed to many organizations by completing useful and well-researched projects, leading to mutually beneficial experiences for agencies and students. Students have been placed in a variety of organizations, locally and abroad. To check out the placements click here. The Environmental Studies Internship Office is committed to providing the necessary resources for finding the best placement for each student. Interested? Stop by the Environmental Studies office and start the process to set up an internship for credit! http://envs.ucsc.edu/internships/Contact: Chris Krohn Title: Internship Coordinator Phone: (831) 459-2104 Fax: (831) 459-4015

Student Volunteer Center: Deadline Varies
The Student Volunteer Center offers an internship program for motivated UCSC students seeking service-learning opportunities. Interns support SVC events and programs while working with various campus and community organizations to develop professional, communication, and event planning skills. The internship program is ideal for students wishing to gain leadership experience through volunteerism, or for students seeking nonprofit management experience. Three credits will be offered for each quarter of interning with SVC during the school year. Interns work ten hours per week based on personal schedule. Work hours include group event organization, publicity, volunteer organization visits, and weekly staff meetings. A project binder, which includes weekly journal reflections and one final reflective paper, will be due before the end of the quarter. For more information about the application process click here. See the Student Volunteer Center home page for more volunteer opportunities.

Sustainability Coordinator at Endicott College
Endicott College is seeking for a full-time Sustainability Coordinator. Some but not all of the responsibilities include: assist the Associate Director of Sustainability, coordinate necessary equipment (vehicles, bins, dumpsters etc.) and staffing in coordination with Physical Plant. Hire, train, and manage student workers in the collection of recycled material. Assist with Move In and Move Out procedures in coordination with Community Service Office, Res Life, Physical Plant and Student workers/volunteers. To learn more about the position description and qualifications, please click here. To apply for a position, please send a letter of application, resume and names and phone numbers of three references to:Endicott College Human Resources 376 Hale Street, Beverly, MA 01915 Fax: (978) 927-0084. E-mail: humanresources@endicott.eduAA/EOE

Global Sustainability Manager
The Global Sustainability Manager is responsible for recommending best practices and implementing client’s sustainability and energy objectives. This person will work to ensure that client has the best information and recommendations with which to make sustainability and energy management decisions. The Global Sustainability Manager will work closely with Client sustainability and operational employees and the Cushman & Wakefield Client account team, including facilities managers, chief building engineers, building operating engineers, and vendors to ensure a seamless delivery of sustainability services focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency and waste reduction to achieve Client sustainability operational objectives. To learn more about the job description/qualifications and how to apply, please click here.

Volunteer at the Homeless Garden Project Farm
The Santa Cruz Homeless Garden Project helps men and women gain skills and confidence to enter wider communities. They provide training and transitional employment within a community-supported organic garden. Volunteers have many opportunities to learn about and help in the garden, in the kitchen, and with special events. To learn more about the Homeless Garden Project Farm click here. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Homeless Garden Project office to schedule: (831) 426-3609.

Special Event Superstars Needed
Do you like to get out and help at community events? How about contributing your energy and talents to short term volunteer projects? The Volunteer Center gets requests every month for reliable volunteers to lend a helping hand. Every event is different, but they all support local nonprofits and worthy causes. You can volunteer once a year, or once a week, depending on your availability and interests. Join the team and you get special perks, like quick registration, quarterly recognition events and first choice for volunteer jobs. To register as a volunteer click here. For more information contact Christina Thurston at 831.427.5070 or at connect@scvolunteercente.org

Client Navigator / Advocate for Project Homeless Connect
Project Homeless Connect is a one-day community wide event that provides housing support and quality of life resources to individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. Volunteers assist homeless clients in navigating the services available and help them identify what servcies they'd like to receive. There is flexibility around shifts. For more information and to register to volunteer please click here.

June 2017 Contest and Funding

EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program
The EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program provides scholarships for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that directly support NOAA's mission. Participants conduct research at a NOAA facility during two paid summer internships. Since 2001, over 186 students have completed the program and over 75% go on to graduate school. Find more information by clicking here.

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA facility during the summer. Find more information by clicking here.

Association for the Advancement Of Sustainability In Higher Education Awards

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) grants awards to honor students from AASHE-member institutions who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability at their community college, four-year university, and graduate institution levels. In addition to an application essay, students or teams are encouraged to submit photos, videos, or other media coverage of their green activities. To find more information about this, contact:

Monday, May 29, 2017

June 2017: Sustainability Profile: Melissa Ott

Melissa Ott

Name, title, name of organization: 
I'm a first year apprentice in the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the UCSC Farm & Gardens.

Describe your work environment and roles? 
From April through October, I'm living, learning, and working with 38 other first year apprentices in three sites: the Farm Garden, a hand-cultivated garden on the main farm; the Field, a tractor-cultivated series of fields on the main farm; and the Chadwick Garden or Up Garden, a hand-cultivated garden that is the site of the first garden at UCSC, founded 50 years ago by Alan Chadwick (learn more here: http://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/50th/index.html). The Chadwick Garden is where I'm currently learning and working, and I'll be rotating through the other sites throughout the program. Because most of us live onsite in the tent cabins on the Farm, I also partake in various chores and help cook meals once a month. Once a week, we also have class, which often includes a lecture, a demonstration, and then an opportunity for experiential learning. This process is referred to as, "I do, we do, you do" by our instructors.

What major projects are you working on? 
I'm focused on learning and practicing a wide range of techniques right now, including flower harvesting; single digging (preparing beds for planting); fruit tree thinning and pruning; organic fertilizer application for roses, trees, and vegetables; and finding time to reflect and catch up on my readings for class! We learn a little bit about a lot of different things throughout each week in our work sites, as well as have 1-2 focused classes per week that introduce new techniques or concepts that we continue to practice and learn more about throughout the program. The sum of these activities constitutes my one major project of becoming a skilled and educated gardener, which I've been trying to document as often as I can on my blog and Instagram: greenbeangal.blogspot.com and @greenbeangal

How does your current work relate to sustainability? 
We learn and practice organic farming and gardening in this program, which is a more sustainable way of growing food and flowers than "conventional" farming, which uses pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and other chemicals that pollute groundwater and threaten the health and safety of ecosystems and people. We in the apprenticeship are each becoming skilled in how to effectively grow vegetables, fruit, and flowers in ways that are not only less harmful but can actually be regenerative for the land, ecosystems, and communities around us. Many of us are also interested in becoming garden and farming educators, or at least creating opportunities for those who interact with our food and flowers to learn about the value of agroecology and organic agriculture.

What inspired you to apply for the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture? 
I had heard about the apprenticeship when I was a student at UCSC, and through my work with the UCSC Sustainability Office from 2011-2017, I became familiar with some of the agroecology, Real Food, and Global Food Initiative work happening on campus. When I decided I was ready to move on to something new, I reflected on my desire to be more hands-on with sustainability work and spend more time outdoors. Around that time, I visited my cousin who participated in the apprenticeship last year, and I shared with him that I was thinking of applying. His enthusiasm for the program and his encouragement to apply led me to start working on the application. As I began writing my responses to the application, I re-discovered more and more memories of gardening as a child, learning about plants and ethnobotany, and healing with the help of herbal plant-based medicine. I began to reflect on the profound joy and wonder I experience while growing plants from seed, creating new dishes in the kitchen, and experimenting with fermented foods. I realized as I spoke about the program with family and friends and worked on the application that many threads in my life were leading me to apply to this program focused on sustainable gardening and food. I'm so glad I did!

Share three things you’ve learned since you’ve begun your program:
I've learned a lot so far, but below are three specific things I've learned. You can learn, too, by visiting the CASFS website and downloading PDFs of many useful gardening and farming publications: http://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/publications/index.html

  • I've learned that new potatoes, or those little potatoes you can buy at the market, are literally newer potatoes than the larger ones--they are harvested earlier and that's why their skins are thinner and they have more sugar and less starch! I also learned how to plant potatoes in hilled rows, which you can go observe in the Chadwick Garden on the lower main slope. The potatoes are just starting to poke their green leaves out of the soil, and once they've grown a bit, we'll cover them up with the soil that's hilled next to each row. 
  • I've learned how to thin plums, peaches, and apples from tree branches, which encourages the remaining fruit to grow larger and juicier. Each fruit has different requirements for how far apart to thin each fruit. In learning this, I've also spent some time on orchard ladders, which is fun but also requires knowledge of how to safely position them in an orchard. 
  • I've learned to identify many flowers, such as Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily), Agrostemma (Corn Cockle), Erigeron (Fleabane), and Stachys lanata (Lamb's Ear). Look them up so you can learn them, too!

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 2017: Rooted in History: AAPI Resilience and Sustainability

Rooted in History: AAPI Resilience and Sustainability

Curious about how identity, environmentalism, and history intersect? In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the People of Color Sustainability Collective (POCSC) and the Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center (AAPIRC) will hold a workshop exploring examples of Asian American contributions to environmental justice issues, traditional plant knowledge, and connections that strengthen solidarity between different communities.

>>Learn more about the event here

Sunday, April 30, 2017

May 2017: Internships, Employment & Volunteering


Sustainability Office: Deadlines vary
The Sustainability Office is currently accepting applications for the academic 2017-2018 year. Internship positions focus on various topics related to sustainability such as: education, buildings, energy, food, land and habitat, procurement, transportation, waste reduction, water, and drought information. While interns help promote sustainability campus-wide through various projects, events, outreach, etc., students will gain hands-on experience, develop and improve leadership skills, communication, facilitation, and so much more. For more details around the different internship positions and to learn more about the Sustainability Office, click here.

Provost Sustainability Internship Program: Deadline May 1st (Positions Open Until Filled)
Looking for a year-long, PAID campus internship and want to make a difference on campus? Check out the Provost's Sustainability Internship Program! There are 10 positions open for next year. You will receive 12 units of academic credit and $1,500 scholarship upon completion of the program! OPEN TO ALL MAJORS. To access the application, click here

SupplyShift Internship: Operations Team Lead Position: Deadline (see attached link) 
Supplyshift is currently accepting applications for the position of Operations Team Leader. Interns will participate in training and gain literacy in industry wide organizational software platforms (Asana, Jira, Dropbox, Slack), supply chain management and industry specific composition, client management, and internal operational processes. After an intern has received training they will be asked to contribute to internal operational tasks such as document prep, timeline planning, website quality assurance, website development, supplier support, and any other task deems suitable for a SupplyShift intern. To learn more about SupplyShift internship position click here. If interested in applying, email resume to Carl Broderick at cwbroderick@supplyshift.net


Solar Design Tool Job
Solar Design Tool is a company with a un-corporate culture that is currently seeking for a team member who will help run a website that helps people design solar PV systems. Ideally, SDT is looking for a graduating senior willing to work in a part-time internship that will acquire a better understanding of the company and is willing to offer a full-time job upon graduation. To learn more please click here.

UC Davis: Academic Coordinator III, ASI Student Farm Director: Deadline 11/14/17
The Student Farm (SF) is a learning community where students from many disciplines work to create, maintain and explore sustainable food systems on a 20+ acre farm. A key component of theAgricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), the SF has served UC Davis students and faculty and the public with educational, research, and outreach opportunities focused on sustainable agriculture and food systems for 40 years. Click here to learn more about the job description.

Environmental Project Manager: Deadline 5/23/17 @5PM
Alameda County General Services Agency (GSA) provides a host of centralized services including building maintenance, procurement and contract administration, capital project management, real property and portfolio management, sustainability services, energy management, environmental and hazardous materials management, transportation services, and other countywide support services. To learn more about the job description, please click here.


Take Back the Tap
After six years of working with campus administrators in negotiations, Take Back the Tap has achieved a partial ban on the sale and use of single-use plastic bottled water. Bottled water will now only be sold in the Bay Tree Book Store and Express Store. Volunteers interns are accepted anytime. Volunteer interns will also be considered for hiring for the 2017-2018 Campaign Coordinator position. Please visit TBTT's Facebook page here. To view the full press release on the ban here

EARN-A-BIKE Program, April & May, 2017 
Bike Santa Cruz County needs your old bikes for the Spring 2017 Earn-a-Bike programs in Watsonville and Live Oak. The Earn-a-Bike program provides youth with a bicycle, helmet, multi-tool, lights, and the skills they need to safely ride and maintain their bikes. Support our community’s youth by donating your bike! For more information about Bike Santa Cruz County’s Earn-a-Bike programs, click here.

Santa Cruz High School Community Garden Day, April 30, 10AM – 3PM 
Join Global Student Embassy student leaders in the Santa Cruz High Garden on April 30th 10:00-3:00. Access is on Laurel Street. They’ve been working incredibly hand to get their garden in shape and can use your help building their new cob benches. Come learn about cob/sustainable design with a specialist community partner and help plant our spring/summer garden! Contact nick@globalstudentembassy.org for more information.

Ecology Action still needs volunteers! If you’re interested in volunteering for any of our Bike Week events, please let us know. We’re known for the tastiest volunteer opportunities! Email Kira at kticus@ecoact.org to sign up. For schedule of Events go to Bike2Work Santa Cruz

Snap Shot Day Monitoring Event For Water Quality, May 6, 8:30 AM – 1 PM
Join the Coastal Watershed Council on May 6 for the 18th year of Snapshot Day, the the oldest and largest single-day water quality monitoring event in California! Become a citizen scientist, learn about water quality, explore local streams in Santa Cruz County and make a difference in your watershed! Learn more and sign up here.

Job/Internship: SolarDesignTool

What is Solar Design Tool? Why is this a good opportunity?

SolarDesignTool is a web app geared toward helping residential PV system designers

and installers create PV projects with accurate dimensions (integrated with Google’s Satellite database to trace roof faces), basic sales documents, and more advanced permitting & engineering documents.
The market for Solar is growing every year in the US and the world. Our app has the potential to reach millions of designers in the U.S and abroad. We currently have users in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, India, Great Britain, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Morocco and other countries!

Job description:

Ideal candidate criteria: Senior looking for a paid internship and employment opportunity starting ASAP, with increasing responsibility and hours leading into the summer of 2017.
  • ●  Able to dedicate a minimum of 4 hours/week until January 2017, after which point we would like you to commit more time, ultimately (by summer 2017) becoming a core team member
  • ●  Interest in Solar PV, sustainable development, green energy
  • ●  Good writing and editing skills
  • ●  Open to criticism
  • ●  Able to pick up technical knowledge
  • ●  Comfortable communicating via email, phone (calls via cell and internet connection), and in person
  • ●  Background in customer service is a plus
  • ●  Can commit to at least 1 year of employment (includes 2-month
    probationary/introductory period)
  • ●  A friendly, outgoing attitude and demeanor is a must
    Description of expectations and responsibilities:
    ●  Gaining familiarity with solardesigntool.com web application
    ●  Customer-facing support (interacting with users, communicating the features and limitations of the Tool in a helpful and friendly and patient manner)
    ●  Demoing SolarDesignTool app (reaching out to prospective users, performing live demonstrations of app’s capabilities)
If you’re interested, send a resume my way and we’ll be in contact shortly.
Shawn Kranitz shawn.kranitz@solardesigntool.com 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Vox Limax: UCSC Talks About Home Gardening

April showers bring May flowers as well as July tomatoes, August snap peas, and September potatoes! As the days grow longer and warmer, Santa Cruz's green thumbs dive into black soil to sow sweet and savory summer crops! But others are not getting down-and-dirty with home gardening for a variety of reasons ranging from incompatible living situations, lack of knowledge about gardening, or tight budgets.

So this month we ask:

Why do you or why don’t you have a garden. If you do garden, what do you grow and what inspired you to get started? If you don’t, what factors prevent you from gardening?

"Ever since I was really young my grandparents have really loved gardening. Their entire backyard is full of all different types of plants. They grow apples, they raise succulents. If you walk through their garden, everywhere you go is like a forest because of how much foliage there is. They have bougainvilleas, they have peppers, they have mints and different herbs. It's really neat! They've devoted a lot of time to it!

My entire family also likes planting flowers and things like that, which I think is cool. If I do have my own place one day I think I'll definitely start planting my own stuff. Something I'm really fascinated by is vegetative propagation - being able to eat part of a plant, plant the rest and grow it again. That concept is really neat. 

My family have always been big proponents of having plants in the house, so I think growing a garden will come naturally if I ever have the capacity to make one.  Also, I think sustainability and sustenance are really important in gardening too because being able to grow fresh food is especially important in marginalized communities because they may not have access to fresh foods in general because they're so pricey in stores. So I think gardens (especially community gardens) are a really great way to allow for low-income and marginalized communities to come together and foster a space of sustenance, health, nutrition, and growth." - Katherine (Politics, Legal Studies)

"I don’t have a garden because I live in an apartment on the second floor. I guess we have a balcony [where we could put a garden box] but seeing as we struggle to take care of the house, I don’t think we could keep a garden alive." - Anonymous

"I don't garden because of a lack of space (I live on campus) and a lack of time. I also don't know much about gardening, but I guess that's easily remedied." - Kaio (Computer Science)

"One day, we found one of our snap peas rotting in the bag.  So we thought, 'Let's put it in one of these containers and it will grow!' And so we emptied out our soy sauce bottle and we put some water in there and we put the bean inside and 5 weeks later he's sprouting! His name is Ben. One day I found cilantro next to Ben. My housemate got it at the Earth Day festival. We also have a succulent... I don't know its name." - Sarina (Environmental Studies, Biology)

"I did have a little garden that I sprouted. I was going to transplant them into a larger pot.  Then one morning I was watering them - loving them and taking care of them. They were all in this little carton and they all dropped out of my hands! It was very hard to save them and now they're dead.

But I have a fern and its name is Iz. Iz is doing great." - Alina (Environmental Studies)

Friday, April 28, 2017

May 2017 Sustainability Profile: IDEASS

Impact Design Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS)

What current projects are you working on? 
Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools (DROPS) and Bay View Elementary Low Impact Development (LID)

How do you incorporate sustainable practices within your projects?

We incorporate a few different methods of sustainable practices into our project designs, for the current project at Bay View Elementary we are implementing Bioswales, Rain Gardens,  permeable paths and a playground surface, and a Rainwater Harvesting System. Not only will these methods supply sustainably sourced water and help prevent pollutant discharge to our oceans, they will be incorporated in a way that is aesthetically pleasing as well.

How do you collaborate with community organizations in order to reach your goal?

The DROPS grant is a joint collaboration between UCSC, the City of Santa Cruz Department of Public Works, and the City of Santa Cruz School District. There will be both a 5th grade curriculum developed to teach the LID concepts, and a public/outreach portion that will include seminars and a documentary.

How does water conservation support a sustainable community? 

Reducing the demand on potable water supplied by the City of Santa Cruz means less water pumped from the Graham Hill Treatment Plant, which means less energy used for transportation. This will be achieved by installing five separate rainwater storage tanks with a total capacity of 20,000 gallons. Reducing pollutants by filtering through vegetative Bioswales is a great way to enhance the aesthetics of a property while removing harmful pollutants such as hard metals and oil that would otherwise end up at our local beaches.

What are some green tips around sustainable water strategies that you can practice at home?  
  • Collect rainwater
  • Save shower water as it warms up and use for watering plants, flushing toilets, etc.
  • Be aware of water use: short showers, don’t let faucets run, fix leaks
  • Learn to read your water meter and calculate your daily/weekly/monthly usage
  • Try to keep all the rain falling on your property and keep from running onto the street by catching it (rain barrel), slowing it down and sinking it (bioswales and rain gardens)

Take Back the Tap Announces Partial Ban on Water Bottles

Take Back the Tap is excited to announce that after six years of working with campus administrators in negotiations, they have achieved a partial ban on the sale and use of single-use plastic bottled water. Bottled water will now only be sold in the Bay Tree Book Store and Express Store. In time they hope to negotiate a full ban, and are offering 2-unit internships this quarter, so get on board by emailing chsmille[at]ucsc[dot]edu or mlkeller[at]ucsc[dot]edu, and view the full press release.

3rd Annual Campus Clean Up

Campus Cleanup Day is a large event created by the UCSC Zero Waste Team which has brought in over 300 volunteers who have collected over 540lbs of litter in the previous two years! The purpose of this campus wide cleanup event is to educate students about sustainability, waste, and litter. There will be free food and t-shirts so come early! Feel free to bring friends!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

May 2017: Local Hazard Mitigation Public Survey

Attention City Residents! Please take the City of Santa Cruz’s survey to help plan for natural disasters so that we may better avoid their impacts to you and your community. Responses will guide the City in hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning efforts as we update disaster plans. All responses are anonymous. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHMP_SURVEY

Atención Ciudadanos! Por favor complete la encuesta de la Ciudad de Santa Cruz para ayudar a planificar desastres naturales para evitar impactos en usted y su comunidad. Las respuestas nos guiarán en nuestros esfuerzos de mitigación de riesgos y adaptación al clima mientras actualizamos nuestros planes de desastre. Todas las respuestas son anónimas. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHMP_espanol 

May 2017: Zero Waste Green Tip

This year's Earth Summit, hosted by the Student Environmental Center, was an extremely successful Zero Waste event. This is not uncommon as other Earth Summits in the past have been Zero Waste. However, as UCSC begins to work its way towards Zero Waste by 2020, more and more events are joining the movement.

A Zero Waste Event follows sustainable practices with the goal of generating the least amount of trash possible. Event coordinators should take measures to reduce plastics, paper and trash at the event by purchasing compostable rather than recyclable or landfill materials for the event, sending out flyers over email and social media instead of printing, and asking attendees to bring their own reusable bottles and utensils.

During the event, make sure to follow the three steps: Educate, Monitor, Reduce. Trash talkers are highly important components to a Zero Waste Event as they volunteer as monitors and educators to ensure that waste is disposed of properly, reducing the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill.

The Zero Waste Team in the Sustainability Office is happy to help with coordinating your next Zero Waste Event! For more information on Zero Waste events at UCSC, check out the Sustainability Office website section on hosting these events.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

May 2017: UCSC Bioneers Conference

The Common Ground Center at Kresge College is very excited to announce the 3rd annual UCSC Bioneers Conference, a social and environmental justice event that prompts cultural change. This year, the 3rd annual UCSC Bioneers Conference will be held on May 27-28 from 10am-5pm at UCSC's Stevenson Event Center, click here to register. Slated to speak so far are: Bill McKibben, Chairman Valentine Lopez, John Foran, Mira Michelle, Tj Demos, Rita Rivera, and Stevenson Garden. More speakers will be announced very soon so keep your eyes peeled! Bioneer attendees can expect two days of stimulating and thought-provoking talks, workshops, artistic performances, local artists, dancing, and delicious food.

This nationwide movement is a powerful knowledge hub for advocating the important topics of today's time, such as: Eco-nomics; Ecological Design; Ecological Literacy; Ecological Medicine; Every Women’s Leadership; Indigenous Knowledge; Justice: Racial, LGBT, Human Rights, Equity, and Rights of Nature; Media; Nature, Culture, Spirit; Resilient Communities; Restorative Food Systems; Restoring the Bio-Sphere; Youth Leadership, and more!

The UCSC Bioneers Conference is a zero-waste event aiming to significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. We ask that attendees bring their own tupperware and utensils if they plan on eating at the conference. This event is free and open to any and all who wish to come. For disability-related accommodations or any questions, please email commonground@ucsc.edu.

Click here to register now!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

May 2017: Classes, Trainings, Community

ESLP Speaker Series: Monday nights 7-10pm @ Kresge Town Hall

Education for a Sustainable Living Program (ESLP) holds a weekly lecture series every spring quarter. Each Monday night at the Kresge Town Hall, ESLP invites knowledgeable and interesting experts to speak on topics such as sustainable living, food systems, energy, and social justice. Find out more on their website. The series is open to the public, so you are welcome to join them! For accommodations contact 831-459-1714.

Community Meetings on Mondays at 12 pm throughout Spring Quarter

Hosted by the Common Ground Center, these community meetings are a student run space for ideas, food, and discussion. These meetings happen on the 1st and 3rd Monday's from April 10th through June 5th at 12 pm at the Kresge Seminar Room 159. For more information and accommodations, please email the Common Ground Center.

Permaculture and Agroecology Films and Speakers on Tuesday Nights at the UCSC Village

Join the Program in Community and Agroecology (PICA) on Tuesday nights from April 11th to June 6th in A3 classroom at the UCSC Village. Check the graphic below for themes, times and speakers. For more information, check out PICA's Facebook page.

The Human Race - Santa Cruz on May 13th

The Human Race is an opportunity for Santa Cruz County nonprofits, individuals and groups to fundraise for local programs. The Human Race has been helping nonprofits fundraise together for over 35 years. The 5 mile fun run and walk goes from 2300 Delaware Ave to Lighthouse Park and back. Event day includes complimentary breakfast and lunch, music, entertainment and prizes. They are looking for donations and volunteers. The event is on May 13th and there are two volunteer shifts, 8:30-10:30am or 10am-12pm. Find out more on their website.

Sustainability, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Workshop - June 28-30

Registration is now open for this three-day workshop, happening June 28-30 at University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, is for faculty, administrators and staff of all disciplines, as well as community organizers and city officials and planners, who wish to interconnect and integrate sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion into their campus, curriculum and departments. The format will include opportunities for participants to bring forward topics from their own experiences to inform the discussion and gain insight from the perspectives of the presenters as well as fellow participants. Register online by June 2.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum Online Workshop - May 22 to June 25 OR June 26 to July 30

This online event is designed for higher education instructors wishing to infuse issues of sustainability (ecological stability, social equity, and economic vitality) into their curriculum regardless of the discipline. Sustainability issues across all disciplines and the intent of this course is to identify those areas of intersection. Effective assessment of critical thinking skills, collaboration, creativity, and the ability to analyze, discuss and create solutions to real-world sustainability problems will be explored. Three graduate credits are available through Aurora University. Students must have earned a bachelor's degree in order to receive graduate credits. Sign up online now!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

May 2017: Contests and Funding

Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition: Deadline July 31st
The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is a global program intended to support the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Young people from around the world are invited to submit innovative ideas and projects that contribute to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Check out this link if you'd like to apply! Deadline to apply is July 31.

Spring 2017 Sustainability Project Grants: Deadline April 12th

The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) at UC Santa Cruz is soliciting proposals for Spring 2017 sustainable project grants. Through Ballot Measure 14 passed in 2006, the CSC receives $6 per undergraduate student per quarter to allocate to organizations for projects addressing themes outlined in the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. Check out this link if you would like to apply.

Special Promotion for UCSC Students, Staff and Faculty interested in Purchasing or Leasing an Electric Vehicle
Interested in purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle? Nissan and Ford have special promotions available to all UCSC students, staff and faculty through the end of June. In addition, the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) and PG&E have special rebates you may be eligible for to further reduce your lease or purchase costs. Please go to the TAPS website for more information.

Email Survey to win Potential $50 Gift Card 
Please watch your emails for a link to complete the annual UCSC Transportation
Survey during the first week of May. Survey information is used to plan for a
more efficient circulation system on campus and to better understand our
commuting population’s patterns and needs. All participants are eligible to win one
of five $50 gift cards to the Bay Tree Bookstore.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Benjamin Von Wong Event: 4/19: FREE dinner and #MermaidsHatePlastic speaker!

The UC Santa Cruz Sustainability Office is excited to share with you that we're bringing world-recognized photographer Benjamin Von Wong to campus next Wednesday, April 19th in conjunction with Earth Week.  

Von Wong is a photographer, creative director, social influencer and conservationist. As the creator of the viral #MermaidsHatePlastic campaign, he uses artistic innovation to bring attention and action to the real-world problem of oceanic plastic pollution. Von Wong's hyper-realistic style captures viewers in a fusion of special effects and innovative concepts. His work has been featured in Gizmodo, Today, ABC, and The Huffington Post. He is currently focused on conservation-related projects. 

Von Wong's talk, Storytelling 2.0, will be hosted at the Oakes Learning Center next Wednesday evening (4/19) from 7-8pm.  This event is free and open to the public. RSVP through the Facebook event page: tinyurl.com/vonwong.

For current UC Santa Cruz students, the talk is immediately preceded by an Arts & Action Banquet at the Rachel Carson/Oakes Dining Hall from 5-7pm, which will include a FREE Earth Week-inspired meal featuring local, sustainable, and organic foods. Students with meal plans will swipe in as usual; students with no meal plans need only to show their student ID to attend. Trivia, DIY activities, an Earth Week pledge, and prizes will also be featured!

We hope to see you and your fellow sustainabilibuddies next Wednesday evening for the Banquet and Von Wong's talk!