Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.18
Liaison Ryan Todd
Submission Date May 9, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

California State University, Sacramento
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kristina Cullen
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management—Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills ---
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences ---
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills ---
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions ---
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

ESO: The Environmental Student Organization is a group of diverse California State University, Sacramento students who are committed to educating the campus and surrounding community on important environmental issues and to actively improving our environment with an emphasis on sustainability.
Solar Decathlon: A team of 80 students and alumni collaborate to build a state-of-the-art two bedroom sustainable home.
Field Biology Group: The Field Biology Group is a student organization at California State University, Sacramento that offers students the opportunity to explore conservation and biological issues through field experience, service, and contact with professionals.
STORC: Sacramento State’s Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC) is a highly collaborative teaching and learning model. STORC encourages innovation and facilitates teamwork between faculty and students from multiple educational disciplines by promoting, supporting, and housing ongoing sustainable technology research projects within a common functional space (e.g., Aquaponics, Alternative Energy Technologies, Composting, Bio-digestion, Water Technologies, etc.).
Food and Nutrition Club: promotes career development and nutrition and food education through participation in CSUS Health Fairs and other consumer education events throughout the year. They also sponsor fund raising activities to send members to professional conferences and activities. Has events that help promote a sustainable lifestyle including natural foods and co-op cooking demonstrations.
ASI Green Team: Committee within Sac State's student government that advises the University on source reduction, recycling, and other environmental activities.
Water Treatment Club: Their purpose is to introduce students to practical applications of water resources and environmental engineering. The Water Treatment Team competes every spring in the MidPacific Regional Conference Water Treatment Competition that challenges students to design and build a wastewater treatment system from an assortment of household products. In addition to design and construction, students can acquire valuable networking, technical writing, and presentation experience.
Engineers for Renewable Technologies: A society where like minded engineers can meet to discuss ideas for the development of energy saving technology.
Multicultural Organization of Science Students (MOSS): MOSS maintains a secure and focused support system for its members and alumni by motivating active and cognitive interaction between the general membership, campus community, academic staff, administration, and outside community sources.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

STORC (Sustainable Technology Optimization Center) has an aquaponics research project that allows students to learn about the Aquaponic Urban Agriculture method. Aquaponics is growing plants and raising fish together. Fish waste (ammonia) is utilized in a closed system to feed plants. The plants take up nitrate converted from the fish ammonia by bacteria. Waste from one organism being food for another is multi-trophic, and is where aquaponics gets a leg up in sustainability when compared to conventional growing. The other major sustainable factor of aquaponics is it being a closed system. Closed system means no water is lost to the ground, and less evaporation. Power needed for pumping groundwater can be costly for a conventional farmer. While aquaponics grows organic plants and fish using 2-10 percent of water used by a farmer growing plants in open ground. Aquaponics also has potential to save money by using less space and grows plants faster. Economically, socially, and ecologically, aquaponics just makes sense.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

The Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC) is a highly collaborative teaching and learning model. It encourages innovation and teamwork among administration, faculty and student populations from multiple educational disciplines, representing various campus interests, by promoting, supporting, and housing ongoing sustainable technology research projects within a common functional space.

Because numerous research projects coexist within the same functional footprint, knowledge of various technologies is easily acquired and transferred. Those working on STORC-related research projects quickly recognize how dissimilar technologies might be configured to contribute to the enhanced performance of other technologies. As a practical living laboratory and a multi-disciplinary center for learning, STORC synergistically enhances research outcomes and student learning experiences.

Interdisciplinary participation in STORC includes professors and students from Natural Science and Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science, Social Science and Interdisciplinary Studies, Environmental Studies and from various administrative offices such as Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management, and Facilities Management.

STORC is an example of Sac State’s ingenuity in furthering research and education, and is redefining traditional models of knowledge acquisition and transfer, and exemplifies every aspect of high-quality leadership that Sacramento State strives to instill in its faculty, staff and students.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The Fall 2013 Ecology-Geology Colloquium series presented a presentation on migratory birds and the migration of the flu virus by John Takewawa of the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Fall 2013 Ecology-Geology Colloquium series presented "Drought, dispersal, and invertebrate community changes in arid-land streams" by Michael Bogan of UC Berkeley.
The Fall 2013 Ecology-Geology Colloquium series presented "Historic shifts in hardwoods and conifers along the Sierra Nevada, and methods to assess conversion risk to forested sites from fire and climate change" by Jim Thorne of UC Davis.
The Fall 2013 Ecology-Geology Colloquium series presented "Accumulation of pesticides in Sierra Nevada Frogs" by Kelly Smalling of the U.S. Geological Survey. This talk examineed how pesticides migrate from the Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada, where they affect frogs.
2014:
The Environmental Studies Department presented a special event for One World and Earth Week. "Water and Environmental Refugees: Rejuvenation of the Uprooted" included the following talks: "Environmental Refugees and Environmental Desiccation in the Middle East" by Dr. Michelle Stevens, Environmental Studies Department, "Environmental Refugees and Human Population" by Dr. Tom Krabacher, Geography Department, "Environmental Refugees and Conflict" by Dr. Kevin Wehr, Department of Sociology.
The Geology-Ecology-Environmental Science Colloquium Series presented "Expanding ice and shrinking seas: Pleistocene migrations" by Dr. Dale Russell.
The Center for STEM excellence, as part of its STEM Scholars Lecture series, presented "Forest Migration in a Warming World" by Dr. James Wanket.
The One World Initiative hosted an end-of-year campus symposium to celebrate and reflect upon what the campus learned from the 2014-15 theme "Global Perspectives on Happiness". What defines happiness and how do culture, environment, and history affect that definition? Is happiness physiological or psychological? Will money really not bring you happiness? How is happiness reflected in a society’s creative output? How important is happiness to society and what are the consequences of its absence?
2014: The Environmental Studies Department presented "The Happiness of Sustainability.
The Fall 2014 Geology-Ecology-Environmental Science Colloquium Series presented Happy Otters: How can sea otters tell us about ecosystem health?
Fall 2014: Screening of "Becoming California"-a documentary of the history of California's changing ecological environment.
In March 2014, Nelson Mmbando, a then senior at Sac State won the 1st place Greenie award at the This Way to Sustainability Conference, led by students for students for his aquaponics project. He presented about his project to an audience of students, judges, and conference attendees.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
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A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

2013: The Else Gallery presented "Bodies of Water" a free exhibit of multiple media works by Syliva Spensiper, a UC Davis researcher and artist.
2013: The Composers Symposium presented "Water Works" a concert of original student compositions inspired by the One World Initiative.
2013: The Cambodian Student Association of CSUS presented Nurturing the Mind & Body: Performance by renowned composer Chinary Ung and dance master Charya Burt.
Fall 2014: Screening of "Becoming California" a documentary of the history of California's changing ecological environment.
Spring 2015: "River City and Valley Life: An Environmental History of the Sacramento Region" - University Library Gallery.

http://www.csus.edu/al/index.html

In April/May 2015, Sac State Sustainability showcased a pictorial exhibit of achievements and highlights of campus sustainability titled "Sustainable U", on display at student union gallery.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Peak Adventures is an outdoor recreation program that offers expert guides, equipment, and transportation. Every trip that Peak Adventures coordinates, teaches guests about leave no trace principles and the staff ensures these principles are upheld.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the theme is available:
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A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
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A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

The Facilities Management/Sustainability Department at CSU Sacramento employs numerous student assistants that aid in promoting sustainability. Student employees have participated in Earth Day, Recycle It All Day, Energy Conservation Awareness Day, Arbor Day, and River Clean-Up Day. Student employees participate in outreach to help inform other students of a sustainability minded lifestyle. One current student employee is helping collect data for the STARS program and assembling a sustainability/greenhouse gas emissions report for the university.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

STORC: Through interdisciplinary scholarship in the fields of engineering, computer science, construction management, biological science, and/or physical science, we seek 1) to demonstrate the operation of innovative commercially viable physical systems that are underpinned by sustainable technologies, and 2) to disseminate the associated plans, public policy discourse and scientific findings.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.