Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 86.82
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date March 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Irvine
EN-9: Staff Professional Development

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 2.00 Richard Demerjian
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability
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Does the institution make available professional development and training opportunities in sustainability to all staff at least once per year?:

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (the rate of employee participation in sustainability professional development and training)?:

Estimated percentage of regular staff (full-time and part-time) that participates annually in sustainability professional development and training that is either provided or supported by the institution (0, 1-24%, 25-49%, 50-74%, 75% or more):

A brief description of any internal sustainability professional development and training opportunities that the institution makes available to staff:

UCI offers sustainability professional development and training opportunities to staff throughout the year. Content offered includes a range of environmental, social, and economic sustainability topics delivered by on-campus subject matter experts, many of whom are national leaders in their fields, or by external experts. These programs are recognized by the institution for professional development. Consistent with UCI human resources policy and other campus policy, the campus supports participation in these courses as professional development through funding registration or course fees, travel costs, and provision of release time where applicable. These professional development opportunities are in alignment with UCI’s 2016 Strategic Plan goal to implement an ethos of sustainability for all campus staff.


UCI offers sustainability learning content that ranges from fundamental topics for all staff to more in-depth content in topic areas of interest to staff. To learn more, visit: http://sustainability.uci.edu/education/staff-professional-development/

-- Sustainability Fundamentals for Campus Staff Course
In 2018, UCI established a professional development course, “Sustainability Fundamentals for Campus Staff,” that provides a general understanding of sustainability topics relevant to campus staff in the UCI workplace. This course is offered twice a year to all campus staff through the UCI Office of Sustainability and is taught by campus faculty and/or staff subject matter experts. Course topics include climate solutions, water and oceans, energy, procurement, transportation, dining, and waste and recycling.

-- Water Resource Learning Content
A fundamental understanding of sustainable water resource issues is relevant to all UCI staff based on UCI’s location in the drought-impacted southwest, campus water conversation needs, and the environmental and social aspects of water quality responsibility. Water UCI is a national leader in providing interdisciplinary knowledge, learning and public outreach in critical water issues and facilitates campuswide collaboration around questions of fundamental and applied water science, technology, management, and policy. Water UCI hosts an ongoing colloquium training series to inform campus staff about local water policy and planning, and what can be done to better address these challenges. This series is offered to all UCI staff, faculty, and students. From April 2017 – April 2018, Water UCI hosted three different trainings.

-- Oceans and Watershed Learning Content
Based on UCI’s coastal location within the environmentally sensitive upper Newport Bay watershed, knowledge of coastal watershed issues is another important learning opportunity to campus staff. UCI Oceans (Oceans, Changing Environments, Arts and Nearshore Societies) is a campus initiative that provides cross-disciplinary training of UCI staff and students at all stages working on ocean systems and marine & society interactions. Twenty-nine faculty from eight schools are part of this initiative.

UCI Oceans hosts two annual workshops open to all UCI staff. From July 19 – 20, 2017, the initiative organized “Advancing Coastal Resiliency in California and Beyond,” a free workshop educating campus employees, students, and local community members about opportunities and barriers to coastal resiliency actions, environmental and social justice issues, and communication strategies for increasing engagement and understanding on coastal resiliency. The second workshop is the Headwaters to Ocean (H2O) Conference which promotes integration across disciplines, sectors, organizations, and institutions around common interests related to water, oceans, coastal environments, resilience, and terrestrial interfaces with marine systems. From May 22 – 24, 2017, panels, presentations, and working groups attendees identified new challenges and advance solutions-oriented thinking about these topical areas.

-- Open Space Management Learning Content
Understanding current issues related to natural area management and habitats is important to many staff related to their workplace and community. The UCI Center for Environmental Biology (CEB) provides workshops and trainings on ecological restoration and monitoring, use of pesticides and herbicides, and conservation of wetlands. These trainings are provided to all UCI employees, students, as well as the local community. On May 19, 2017, the UCI CEB hosted the Ecological Monitoring and Research Workshop, which focused on drought monitoring and wildfire protection. On May 18, 2018, CEB will be hosting its next workshop on Ecological Management and Research.

-- Other Sustainability Learning Content
In addition to the topics listed above, UCI provides sustainability learning content available to all staff in areas such as environmental justice through the UCI Law Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources and global sustainable challenges through the Newkirk Center for Science and Society: Toward a Sustainable 21st Century program. Both of these programs are popular learning opportunities for campus staff.


To support lifelong learning and continuing education, UCI staff are eligible to receive a 50% discount on course fees in consultation with their supervisors. This includes all 30+ continuing education courses identified in EN-12 as sustainability-focused or sustainability-related. The employee’s department may choose to pay the full fee with the option of requesting a 50% refund of fees if the class does not reach its enrollment capacity.

A brief description of any external professional development and training opportunities in sustainability that are supported by the institution(e.g. through payment, reimbursement, or subsidy):

Throughout the year and in alignment with their job responsibilities, UCI staff attend various external conferences, workshops, and accreditation trainings pertaining to sustainability. UCI staff receive financial support through payment and reimbursement.


UCI Staff attend several external sustainability conferences and workshops each year. Examples include, but are not limited to:

-- The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference & Expo: http://www.aashe.org/conference/
-- Better Buildings Summit: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/summit
-- California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC): https://chesc.org
-- Climate Leadership Conference: https://www.climateleadershipconference.org/
-- Association of Environmental Professionals Workshops: https://www.califaep.org/programs


-- LEED Accreditation
UCI Staff from many campus departments including, UCI Sustainability, Design & Construction Services, and Facilities Management, seek LEED accreditation to demonstrate understanding in sustainable design, construction, and operation standards.

Estimated percentage of regular staff (full-time and part-time) for which sustainability is included in performance reviews (0, 1-24%, 25-49%, 50-74%, 75% or more) :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.