|Submission Date||March 28, 2018|
University of California, Irvine
EN-3: Student Life
|2.00 / 2.00||
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:
The student-governed student groups focused on sustainability at UCI during AY 2017-18 are:
**Anteaters' Habitat for Humanity is a chapter of Habitat for Humanity Orange County. The club promotes student awareness of and involvement in the humanitarian aid and environmental conservation efforts of the local community.
**Students for Global Peacebuilding (SGP) promotes citizen education, action, and research about peacebuilding initiatives around the world. It engages communities on and off campus to enhance the role of citizen peacebuilding locally and globally. It conducts training workshops and organizes service learning opportunities where there is a need for peacebuilding.
**H2Outreach aims to provide public outreach and education about environmental and water-related issues. H2Outreach is a graduate student‐led informal education group, organized and mentored by Water PIRE. These students are developing their own outreach projects under the guidance of Water PIRE. Students are learning about outreach, science education, developing learning and program objectives, group work, executing projects, seeking independent funding, and intra‐ and interdisciplinary collaboration. Though this will be led by Water PIRE graduate students, undergraduate students and students from other schools here at UCI (e.g. biology and education) are encouraged to join to ensure activities developed are well‐rounded and multidisciplinary.
**UCI Aquaponics is a student-led project that features the symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a balanced recirculating environment.
**Engineers Without Borders - USA (EWB-USA) is a volunteer-based non-profit organization committed to partnering with developing communities to help meet their basics needs.
**Ants in Your Plants/ASUCI Garden Commission works to maintain the student-run, on-campus food garden at UCI.
**Orange County Chapter Society for Conservation Biology (OCSCB) is a local chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), "an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity." As a chapter of the larger organization, members share the vision and values of SCB, and focus on how to apply them locally by increasing the involvement of Orange County citizens in local conservation-based science through guest lectures, outdoor activities, and research opportunities.
** ASUCI Sustainability Project Commission aims to expand the sustainability movement, beginning with our campus and fellow Anteaters. We raise awareness about current environmental crises and inform students about sustainable living by creating and hosting sustainability-oriented events. It is our duty as educated, motivated, and passionate sustainability leaders to advise and educate our fellow peers with this knowledge that can be taken beyond our campus.
**The Association of Energy Engineers, UCI Student Chapter is designed to allow the exchange of ideas on both the challenges and opportunities facing today's energy topics. From technology development, to climate change, to energy issues and how industry leaders are addressing them.
**CLEAN Education is founded on the belief that education is the essential foundation for global climate change solutions. Through a program designed by active climate science researchers to supplement existing science education, UC Irvine students participating in CLEAN seek to provide children and youth with the fundamental scientific background, tools and support they need to take positive action.
**Earth System Science Club's mission is to promote the ESS major on campus to let people know what it is about and what it has to offer.
**The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is a student led fee referendum designed to empower undergraduate students with the financial resources to fund projects.
**Net Impact UCI is a student chapter of a global organization of over 200 student and professional chapters with over 10,000 members.
**Theta Psi is a co-ed professional sustainability fraternity dedicated to empowering innovative leaders, who are passionate about alleviating the current sustainability crises through an economically reasonable, socially just, and environmentally responsible approach.
** Engineers for a Sustainable World is a non-profit organization committed to building a better world. Student chapters focus on designing sustainable engineering projects. We are dedicated to bringing sustainability to campus and the local community.
**ASUCI Food Security Commission aims to help eradicate food insecurity on our UC Irvine campus. As part of our efforts in eliminating food insecurity, we are in charge of operating the food pantry on campus housed under the SOAR Center.
**Climatepedia is a UCLA and UCI student-led initiative dedicated to spread awareness about climate change. Climatepedia's mission is to provide a reliable source of climate change information by connecting the public with academic research and perspectives.
**Global Environmental Brigades at UCI is a student chapters of the world's largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization.
** Anteaters for Animals is a club dedicated to raising awareness about and advocating for the rights of non-human animals. Through campus community and outreach, volunteering at animal-centered facilities, and engaging the public with the vast ideas of veganism and animal liberation, our members try to be the change they wish to see in the world in regards to non-human animals.
**The Urban Studies Student Association/Sustainable Cities Club is a group for students interested in learning about the variety of ideas that go into making cities more sustainable. The club focuses on learning about sustainable design options and promoting sustainability as a paradigm of thought, bringing in expert guest speakers, working on sustainability projects on campus, and navigating career and graduate school options. The focus covers the built environment: green building, sustainable architecture, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable materials, water management, transportation issues, walkable cities, safe cities, socially vibrant cities, ecological vitality, biodiversity, local food production, etc. The club organizes weekly discussions, guest speakers, and projects to learn more about green building.
** CALPIRG Students is an independent statewide student organization that works on issues such as environmental protection, consumer protection, hunger and homelessness. For over 40 years students with their campus PIRG chapters have been making a real difference in people's lives and winning concrete changes to build a better world. CALPIRG gives students the skills and opportunity to practice effective citizenship. Both here on campus and out in the world, they mobilize students to investigate big social problems, come up with practical solutions, convince the media and public to pay attention, and get decision-makers to act.
** Global Partners for Sustainability (GPS) is a network of students committed to leading our campus in maintaining our sustainable track record through annual campaigns based on sustainability. As a student-led initiative, we empower students and faculty to take an active, individualized role in contributing towards UC Irvine's reputation as an environmentally friendly campus.
** Global Engineering Brigades empowers volunteers with hands-on experience, materials, and support to deliver solutions that provide value while preserving local culture and conserving the environment.
The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:
The UC Irvine Garden Project is creating a vibrant, coordinated garden community that serves as a laboratory for hands-on sustainability education, professional development, community engagement, and research on creating sustainable communities. The project is helping to facilitate communication and collaboration among the four UC Irvine community gardens to foster increased sharing of resources, labor, gardening know-how, food, and fun. In addition, the project is establishing linkages with the broader community involved in sustainable food production in Orange County, particularly in low-income communities. Through this engagement, we are not only enriching student understanding of food sustainability and sovereignty through the lens of social, economic and environmental justice, but also working with faculty to foster community-engaged sustainability scholarship on these issues.
UC Irvine has four main gardens:
1. ASUCI Garden (also called known as Arroyo Vista or Ants in your Plants Garden):
The primary goal of the ASUCI garden is to provide UC Irvine students an opportunity to learn about the food system through garden volunteering, workshops, and curriculum integration. The garden operates like an urban farm where the garden volunteers and coordinators have global jurisdiction over all the plots. Undergraduate students maintain this garden as a student club. The garden is student governed and open to anyone in the UC Irvine community. Activities include event and workshop planning, publicity, volunteer management, collaboration with administration and faculty, and hands-on gardening. Intern positions are available. This garden is student-governed.
2. Anthill Village Community Garden: Originally established in 1985, the garden site is located along Anteater Drive between Palo Verde Road and California Avenue. The garden is a maintained as a Student Club. There are 99 garden plots and 100 people on the waiting list.
3. Verano Place: The Verano Garden is an organic garden that exists to provide an opportunity for Verano Place residents to garden in a communal setting. It is a place to work the earth alongside fellow residents you might not otherwise meet, and to share gardening knowledge. It is also an opportunity to increase sustainability by growing food locally, and recycle garden green waste and community kitchen waste. Verano Place Garden is student-governed.
4. The Palo Verde Organic Garden is a resident-run community garden at UCI's Palo Verde student housing complex. The garden is all organic-so no commercial pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or herbicides are permitted. Membership is open to all Palo Verde residents; it is student governed.
Other agriculture-related projects on campus include:
Information about two additional gardens:
1. UC Irvine Aquaponics is a student-governed and led project that features the symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a balanced recirculating environment. The project's primary goal is to demonstrate that aquaponics is an economically feasible and environmentally sustainable method for the local generation of food in Irvine, California. Accordingly, our research goals are to define the parameters that optimize aquaponics system efficiency, sustainability, and economy in a university context. With aquaponics, campus food waste promises to be diverted into fish food, which in turn fertilizes the growth of edible vegetables. This closed loop method simultaneously conserves significant water resources while much of California struggles in extreme drought. Finally, UC Irvine Aquaponics is poised to provide structured, experiential learning for UCI students, as well as local elementary, middle, and high school students.
2. Sustainable Polyculture Project is a project brings together local community members, eco-apprentices, and agroecology researchers to identify what novice growers need to design and grow sustainable polycultures for personal use. A sustainable polyculture is a mutually dependent group of perennial and self-seeding annual plants designed to thrive with little or no external inputs and provide significant amounts of human resources. The project's demonstration site is located at the UCI Arboretum. The National Science Foundation has awarded doctoral student Juliette Norton a grant to develop this project, which is student-governed.
The UCI Arboretum is a 12.5-acre botanic garden and research facility located approximately one mile from the main campus. The Arboretum features plants and communities from the California Floristic Province and also has an extensive collection of South African species. The faculty director of The Arboretum regularly sponsors educational tours for students, faculty, staff and visitors to interact with the garden.
The UCI Shadetree Nursery program is a long-term community partnership that provides shade trees and support for community tree planting projects throughout southern California. The nursery was founded through a three-way partnership among UCI, the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), and the non-profit Shadetree Partnership.
The UC Global Food Initiative aims to rally the broad UC community across a wide range of disciplines to work toward putting the world on a path to sustainably and nutritiously feed itself. The UC Office of the President, along with additional support from the UC Irvine Sustainability Initiative and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, has enabled the third cohort of Global Food Initiative student fellowships pursuing projects in sustainable food systems.
The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
Established in 2009, The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is a student-led fee referendum designed to empower undergraduate students with the financial resources to fund projects related to the three main aspects of sustainability: economy, ethics, and environment. Funded by a $3.50 per quarter "sustainability student fee," The Green Initiative Fund is a student-run funding board, housed under the Administrative Affairs division of ASUCI, for sustainable projects at UC Irvine. It is composed of five board members with voting power, and several interns. About $120,000 per academic year is available in grants to undergraduate students, organizations, or collaborations between organizations. Any UC Irvine undergraduate may submit a project proposal for consideration; projects are selected by the Grant-Making Committee composed of students, and non-voting staff and faculty. The principle goal of The Green Initiative Fund is to provide funding for projects that reduce the University's overall impact on the environment and create a more sustainable atmosphere on campus. TGIF is student-governed.
The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:
Research and shared learning are fundamental to the mission of UC Irvine, and students are encouraged to attend, organize and/or
participate in numerous sustainability-related activities held across campus throughout the year. A number of these programs are
identified below. This is by no means an all-inclusive list of such activities. Many departments across campus host seminars and
conferences related directly to issues of sustainability that are open and intended for all students.
Additionally, the Global Sustainability Resource Center maintains a calendar of student sustainability activities at:
UC Irvine's Newkirk Center for Science and Society sponsors the "Toward a Sustainable 21st Century" seminar series. The seminar series allows "a foundation of global reach" and a research university to do together more than they can do separately
on significant unsolved problems of global society in the areas of marine resources conservation, and threats to ecosystem and
environmental health caused by toxic chemicals and the absence of effective governance structures that promote sustainability.
The Newkirk Center launched "Empowering Sustainability" series in 2011. This series brings together emerging sustainability leaders
from around the world, along with students from UC Irvine. It is co-sponsored by the School of Law Center for Land, Environment, and
Natural Resources with active support from the School of Social Ecology.
The School of Law Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources hosts conferences, a lecture series, and an environmental
literature and film series, all of which are open to students
The Advanced Power and Energy Program and the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine annually host the International Colloquium on Environmentally Preferred Advanced Power Generation, which involves significant participation by affiliated graduate and undergraduate student researchers.
In November 2015, February 2016, and February 2017, UCI Hospitality & Dining hosted a Sustainable Food-Systems speaker series, with speakers that included current staff, alumni, and experts in both the public and private sector. These events focused, respectively, on production and consumption of sustainable foods and on food waste and recovery.
In May 2016 and May 2017, UCI's Paul Merage School of Business hosted Sustainability Symposiums, which included speakers from private sector companies that have made considerable commitments to sustainability. These events aimed to share the opportunities sustainability can bring to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations.
The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:
The Sustainability Program in Student Housing hosted an event on Environmental Graphiti: the Art of Climate Change with artist Alisa Singer on January 18, 2017 in the Anteatery Private Dining Room. The event was open to all undergraduate housing residents.
UCI Oceans and Water UCI hosted a Plastic Ocean Art Exhibit January 12-February 13, 2017 at the UCI Student Center. The Exhibit had students as the intended audience.
The UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) also hosts events directed at community and student participants that often include several sustainability-related activities. For example, from October 18-19, 2017, the School of the Arts hosted An Ocean of Knowledge Conference. The conference focused on the navigation and seafaring traditions of the peoples who traversed and settled one-third of the world. The event considered the centrality of seafaring for Pacific Island cultures, focusing on the intersections of history, climate science, cultural survival, and Indigenous sustainability. The conference was open to all students.
The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
The Outdoor Adventure and Boating Program at UC Irvine provides participants opportunities to get outdoors in a variety of classes, trips and paddles. It also includes a 35-foot indoor climbing wall contained within the Anteater Recreation Center. Programs include backpacking, camping, rock climbing, snowshoeing, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and wilderness first aid. All of these programs operate within the Leave No Trace principles of wilderness ethics. UCI also uses recreation trips as opportunities to teach participants about the Leave No Trace ethics since there is a strong likelihood that these people will continue to engage in outdoor activities after their college career is completed.
The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
All residents of Arroyo Vista 1008, one of UCI’s Sustainability themed residence halls, are provided with the book “It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living.” This book helps inform student’s sustainability lifestyle choices over the course of the year, as they learn from the book and from their peers in the theme hall. More information on the sustainability theme resident halls can be found in the Sustainable Life Skills section.
UCI Campus Recreation offers an annual Spring Break sustainability-themed trip to Catalina Island. Participants snorkel, kayak, compost, repair trails, and remove invasive species on the island. More information on Campus Recreation’s outdoor adventure programs can be found at http://www.campusrec.uci.edu/outdoor/.
For Fall Quarter 2017, UCI Campus Recreation chose to emphasize sustainability through its educational programs by participating in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge. A nationwide challenge, this competition encourages people to connect with nature and participate in outdoor activities. All students were invited to join UC Irvine’s challenge team, and log their outdoor activities to earn points. UC Irvine students participated by cycling, rock climbing, camping, swimming, and more.
All incoming first-year and transfer students are invited to participate in UCI’s Student Institute for Sustainability Leadership (SISL). SISL is a three-day residential sustainability leadership immersion program. It offers select incoming first-year and transfer students a chance to meet fellow student leaders and start building leadership skills while learning about sustainability on campus and around the world. After participating in SISL, students are invited to join the EarthReps program, where they serve a year-long sustainability-focused ambassador position in their residence halls. SISL participants continue their focus on sustainability throughout the year, hosting a community forum on sustainability, receiving support from the campus Global Sustainability Resource Center, and participating in ongoing sustainability-related discussions and initiatives.
The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
Earth Representatives or EarthReps is a student training and community building internship for undergraduate on campus residents offering education, skills, and hands-on experiences broadly related to sustainability. The EarthReps are sustainability ambassadors in student housing. The program trains emerging young leaders, expand campus awareness of sustainability, and build community among students, staff, and faculty. EarthReps receive training in substantive sustainability issues as well as skills for initiating essential conversations among peers, planning hall activities, and other community building approaches. The program is run through the Student Housing Sustainability Program.
UCI Hospitality & Dining features cooking demonstrations focused on eating healthy in the residential dining commons, includes a Healthy for Life program for students to better understand portioning, daily recommendations and how to create a holistic diet, and also participates in a variety of health fairs for students, staff and faculty. Additionally, Dining hosts "Vegan Hacks" events where students can learn how to make vegan-friendly versions of their favorite dishes. Dining also works with the MyFitnessPal app to make the selection of healthy choices simple for those eating on campus.
Sustainability Themed Student Housing. A number of residential theme houses engage the topics of sustainability, social justice, and global peace. Two in particular, Cuidad in Mesa Court, and The Sustainability House, starting in Arroyo Vista in Fall 2016, boast the following descriptions.
Ciudad Mesa Court (54 first year residents). This hall brings together students who have an interest in environmental issues, sustainability, and eco-friendly living. Residents of this community will explore the impact of personal decision-making on the environment and its natural resources through hall programming events, faculty interaction and community involvement. Residents are encouraged to explore ways to practice and promote conservation and "green" living. Residents will also have opportunities to engage in dialogues about issues such as global environmental change, policy and management of natural resources, sustainable rural and urban environments, and environmental leadership. Residents will also be encouraged to learn more about campus and community organizations and efforts related to topics of sustainability, including Green Campus, Students for Sustainability, Anteaters for Recycling and Conservation, and CALPIRG.
Sustainability Theme House Arroyo Vista (17 residents). Under the theme of sustainability, students in the Sustainability House are invited into a holistic, community living learning experience. Residents collaboratively build skills and knowledge to enact a simple yet rich lifestyle, grounded in the urgency of the global climate crisis and the invitation the crisis provides to create deep and lasting fundamental changes in the way we live. Cooperative residents learn stewardship through multidisciplinary hall programming that guides residents in audits of energy and water use, recycling and garbage patterns, and local food production possibilities to lessen the group's total impact on the environment. Residents learn empathy and other essential community skills through participatory group process as well programming on interrelated environmental, economic, and social justice concerns. The house offers a wide variety of activities including weekly vegetarian dinners, faculty and community interactions, and specialized academic course offerings. Students can learn heirloom skills for living in the twenty-first century such as food preservation, organic gardening, aquaponics, sewing, home and self-care, as well as tools of community engagement. Residents are expected to be actively involved and participate in programs and activities. This house requires hours of cooking, cleaning, or household planning work every week. Residents are encouraged to enroll in a for-credit class to complement their experience receive recognition for their efforts. Priority is given to those students who are pursuing a major or minor related to global sustainability.
Campus Village Sustainability Themed Community (32 residents). The Campus Village Sustainability Community provides residents with the opportunity to engage with peers who have an interest in environmental issues, sustainability, and eco-friendly living. Programs provided by the community include faculty interaction and community action as they explore the impact of personal decision-making on the environment and specific natural resources. Residents are encouraged to practice and promote conservation and "green" living in Campus Village.
The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
A designated student sustainability leader (Green Captain) oversees the sustainability efforts at each of the dining locations available to students. Green Captains assess areas where the dining facilities can make better improvements towards sustainable practices in their food service.
A student sustainability team oversees the zero waste educational programming and outreach for Facilities Management.
Together with the Sustainability program in Student Housing, the Global Sustainability Resource Center's student assistants and food and climate student fellows oversee the Center's communications and outreach programs.
The Green Initiative Fund's commissioners and interns oversee the distribution of the Fund's grants to students for sustainability-related projects.
The Energize Colleges internship program provides paid, quarter long internships for students interested in renewable energy and green workforce development.
The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
A brief description of the graduation pledges:
The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
At UC Irvine, co-curricular sustainability programs emerge from multiple campus units and student-led initiatives. We consider this distributed network a strength. UC Irvine leverages this strength through the Global Sustainability Resource Center (GSRC), a campus-wide hub for co-curricular sustainability programming.
GSRC Vision. The GSRC unleashes youth leadership for community resilience to a changing climate and cultivates a campus culture of sustainability. This pursuit informs our students' academics, career choices, and ways of life. As the University of California steps up as a global force for climate resilience, GSRC enables UC Irvine students to shape this legacy.
Mission. The GSRC is a hub for students, providing resources, education, and programming to forward environmental balance, economic vitality, and social equity. Students, as well as campus and community partners, are invited to share a platform from which to address the root causes of ecological disruption, deepen understandings of the interdependence of all life, and engage the challenges and solutions of sustainability in a campus, community, and global context.
Pathways and Programs. The GSRC is anchored by a physical resource center offering a host of student services. Students come into the GSRC via our outreach programs, internship/fellowship placements, and trainings pathway. Our student and staff team co-creates actions with campus and community partners that build skills and experience along three sustainability pathways:
- Campus as a Living Lab Pathway
- Training Pathway
- Communiversity Pathway
First incubated by former UC Irvine Environment Institute, the Resource Center is now supported by a partnership among the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Division of Undergraduate Education, and the Sustainability Initiative. It is shaped by the input from students, guided by the support of staff, and modeled after many existing sustainability resource centers at other University of California campuses. GSRC enjoys a working partnership with the Student Housing Sustainability Program.
The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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.