Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.80
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Irvine
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Rachel Harvey
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

The active student groups focused on sustainability at UCI during AY 2020-21 are provided below. Visit https://sustainability.uci.edu/studentinvolvement/studentorganizations/ for a list of student organization websites.

American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES): The UC Irvine Student Chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists was founded in 2011 in order to build a tight-knit community amongst the environmental engineers and scientists at UCI. AAEES at UCI works to bring together any undergraduate students dedicated to the environment – including, but not limited to, those with interest in civil and chemical engineering, urban planning, environmental policy, and the physical sciences. The chapter is dedicated to providing opportunities for environmental engineers and scientists to better themselves professionally, academically, and socially through engaging events.

Anteaters’ Habitat for Humanity: Anteaters' Habitat for Humanity is a service organization located on the campus of the University of California, Irvine in Orange County, California. We partner with local businesses, community organizations, faith communities, cities and volunteers to build simple decent homes which are sold to qualified families for closing costs, 1% down payment, and a long-term mortgage. We strive to promote student awareness of, and involvement in, the humanitarian aid and environmental conservation efforts of our local community here in Orange County. Also, we hope to build a fun and interactive student community for our members with social events and volunteer opportunities.

Climatepedia at UCI: Climatepedia is a nonprofit organization created by university students. The organization continues to be run by a team of students and alumni across the country. Though we come from diverse backgrounds, we are united by the belief that climate change is one of the most important issues of our generation. Our Mission is to communicate how our changing climate is impacting people and their communities.

Earth Systems Science Club: The Earth System Science Club is an undergraduate student-run organization committed to bringing together individuals interested in the field of Earth System Science as a community. We are open to all majors who want to join the club. We collaborate with the Department of Earth System Science to help guide students through their college experience. Our club general meetings provide professional networking opportunities, speaker presentations, internship informations, and career workshops, which vary from week to week. Our special events provide a Networking night during the Winter Quarter and an Industry Networking Night during the Spring Quarter for members and students. We'll do our best to help prepare members and students for the real world.

Engineers for a Sustainable World: ESW is a non-profitable 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.

Environmental Law Society at University of California Irvine School of Law: We are a group of student activists eager to learn about local, national, and global environmental challenges. Our hope is to explore the wide variety of opportunities for environmental lawyers and policymakers to enact change. ELS also aims to bring together community leaders interested in all types and scales of environmental issues. Our events will educate about and address the issues surrounding environmental justice, the climate crisis, biodiversity, and habitat loss. We plan to host speakers, inform students of job opportunities, network with other student groups at UCI and around the country, help students connect with professionals in environmental law, conduct greening activities, and participate in advocacy campaigns.

Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders): This organization hopes to educate, advocate with, and provide opportunities to our members who wish to support our mission or those who wish to work in the humanitarian field. We will educate our members on international medical issues and how we can help. We will advocate for the medical rights and needs of those who need it the most. We strive to create a university community that will not be afraid to bear witness and collectively embody the spirit of témoignage.

Green in our Deen: Our organization focuses on promoting sustainability and community service from an Islamic perspective. As Muslims, we believe that all the natural resources of the Earth are blessings from Allah (God). On the Day of Judgement, we will be asked, "How did we use, protect and conserve these blessings?" As a result, it is our duty as Muslims to take care of the Earth and its resources.

In the Green: In the Green is a student organization at UCI with a focus on sustainability from a business standpoint. We strive to empower students to achieve real and responsible business solutions that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. The name ‘In the Green’ draws from the business phrases “in the black” and “in the red” and the most recognizable symbol of sustainability, the color green. When a company is “in the black,” it is at the break-even point or higher; when a company is “in the red,” it is encountering losses. We chose to name ourselves In the Green because companies often profit from “going green,” or adopting more sustainable practices. Our name neatly embodies our mission as a business sustainability club to share ways that better people, planet, & profit.

Orange County Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals at UCI (OCAEP): The Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) is a non-profit organization established to facilitate greater relationships between professionals and students interested in environmental related jobs and to foster the mutual professional growth of our members through those relationships.

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at UCI Law – SALDF: Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at UCI Law is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the welfare and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law.

zotCAMS: Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society at UCI: ZotCAMS is the Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society at UC Irvine founded in April 2017. The mission of zotCAMS is to foster undergraduate and graduate involvement in atmospheric and climate science. Our organization aims to promote undergraduate retention in atmospheric and climate science by supporting atmospheric and climate science career paths. We advocate for student research opportunities, aid in the preparation for continuing education, and stimulate professional development in atmospheric and climate science. Graduate student involvement will nurture mentorship opportunities with undergraduate students, and both parties will benefit from networking, volunteerism, and outreach with our local community. Our organization will encourage student involvement at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, including participation in the student conference. We strive to expand the image of atmospheric and climate science by enhancing diversity, especially by encouraging participation from underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

Sunrise Movement at UCI: We are the UC Irvine hub of the national Sunrise Movement organization. What are we fighting for? Sunrise Movement is a national organization of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process. We are ordinary young people who are scared about what the climate crisis means for the people and places we love—As students at UC Irvine and residents of Orange County, we work to achieve our goals in our local community of Irvine and the broader Orange County area.

Green Medicine Initiative at UCI: Green Medicine Initiative at UCI is a student-run organization that combines medicine, sustainability, and global health to promote greener healthcare practices in the US. We devise cost-effective methods to aid hospitals in reducing waste and costs while promoting environmental responsibility. GMI at UCI is also a branch of Harvard GMI. The Green Medicine Initiative at UCI also aims to promote environmentally friendly practices in hospitals and other medical facilities as well as address the effects of climate change on human health. For example, when hospitals have unused supplies, we collect and donate them to resource-limited communities at home and around the world. If excess waste is not entirely unavoidable, we will redistribute excess medical supplies to healthcare facilities in resource-limited settings in a responsible manner, considering local needs and available resources.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project 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.

Find out more at https://sustainability.uci.edu/engagement/gardenproject/

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Closed Loop Plastics is a business born through student collaboration at UCI. The mission of Closed Loop Plastics is to tackle recycling in a way that no other industry has attempted to in the past, and ultimately shift the recycling paradigm towards a more cost-effective, decentralized system that accepts a wide range of waste types at all levels of contamination. https://www.closedloopplastics.com/

BottleRocket is the first direct to consumer CRV pickup business whose purpose is to allow you to earn money for recycling from home. As students, the founders met as part of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity. After developing a model of their proposed business, the two took their idea to the then-brand-new ANTrepreneur Center, who helped them flesh out their idea, identify their target market, and launch their very first beta test at UCI. https://www.socsci.uci.edu/newsevents/news/2018/2018-08-22-bottlerocket.php and https://www.facebook.com/GoBottleRocket/

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative 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:

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) aims to empower students with active roles in reducing the environmental footprint of UCI through funding and promoting sustainable and educational projects on campus. Funded by a $3.50 per quarter “sustainability fee,” The Green Initiative Fund is a student-run funding board, housed under the Internal VP Office of ASUCI, for sustainable projects at UC Irvine. It is composed of 5 board members with voting power, and several interns. About $120,000 per academic year is available in grants for undergraduate students, organizations, or collaborative between organizations to apply for in the form of project proposals. 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. https://tgif.asuci.uci.edu/

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

Research and shared learning are fundamental to the mission of UCI, 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 Sustainability Resource Center maintains a calendar of student sustainability activities at: https://sustainability.uci.edu/events/

A few event highlights from academic year 202-2021 are described below:

-- Delivering Engaging Talks: Tips for Science Communication:
Bri McWhorter, Founder and CEO of Activate to Captivate, hosts a workshop for communicating your science with anyone. Hosted by Student Housing Sustainability and Sustainability Resource Center.

-- Naturescape & Wellbeing at UCI: An Exploration of Open Spaces and their Influence on Health & Wellbeing:
Informative session about current and upcoming campus initiatives to create a more holistic and health-promoting built environment. Hosted by Campus Physical and Environmental Planning, Student Wellness and Health Promotion, UCI Nature, Student Housing Sustainability, and Sustainability Resource Center.

-- Diving Deep: Dialogues on Environmental Justice:
This symposium was a collaborative effort bringing together the humanities and the sciences, as well as other STEAM fields from around the UCI campus. Three sessions provided practical approaches to studying our oceans, engaging our communities around fighting for their access and preservation, and inspiring future generations to protect these fragile ecological and cultural environments.

-- Zero to Hero: Zoot Your Zot at a Sustainable Lifestyle:
This event raises awareness on the practicalities of a sustainable lifestyle while highlighting B-corp innovations. Hosted by ASUCI Sustainability Project and Garden Commission and In the Green.

-- Confronting Eco-Grief and Climate-Anxiety in the Undergraduate Classroom:
Dr. Jessica Pratt will discuss recommendations from the American Psychological Association (APA) and the recently published A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety (Ray, 2020) to build personal attributes and social support among students that will help them prepare for and recover from mental health trauma related to climate change. Hosted by the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation.

-- International Colloquium on Environmentally Preferred Advanced Generation:
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.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

UCI hosts several cultural arts events focused on sustainability. Below are two examples of recently held events:

The North Pole Screening and Workshops:
In 2018 and 2020, UCI hosted The North Pole Show team to share Season 1 and Season 2 along with workshops on storytelling and filmmaking with our campus. The intended audience was students, having received a full turnout. Executive Produced by award-winning actor and activist Rosario Dawson, The North Pole: Season Two is a political comedy web series about four friends in North Oakland, California, who fight, dream, and plot hilarious schemes to stay rooted as their neighborhood becomes a hostile environment. In season 2, Benny, Nina, Marcus, and Finn face up against ICE agents and shady sheriffs, wildfires and white supremacists – along the way discovering their own power and purpose in this riotous journey of laughter and liberation. The series of workshops following the screening were entitled the following:
1) Law & Social Movements Seminar Workshop: Eco Means Home
2) Jovenes Cultivando Cambios Workshop on Laughter and Liberation: Comedy & Storytelling for Social Change
3) Filmmaking Across Borders: Disrupting Stereotypes, Creating Home
See https://communityresilience.uci.edu/north-pole-2020/

The Art of Climate Change:
In 2020, UCI Student Center & Event Services completed installation of Alisa Singers’ Environmental Graphiti throughout the halls of the Student Center building. She conceived the Environmental Graphiti project in 2014 and created the series The Art of Climate Change, with abstract images illustrating the science behind the critical changes impacting our planet. The intended audience was for students, however, all of the campus community had access. See https://www.studentcenter.uci.edu/the-art-of-climate-change/

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

UCI Outdoor Adventure hosts the Leave No Trace (LNT) program at UCI, training LNT ambassadors and engaging the broader student body on LNT principles. LNT ambassadors provides presentations and trainings on LNT principles and inform the campus community about human impact on the environment. The program also hosts a variety of social media campaigns that encourage the use of the #EarthWeekLNT hashtag on Instagram to share photos related to LNT See https://www.campusrec.uci.edu/outdoor/

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

All incoming first-year and transfer students are invited to participate in Student Leadership Institute for Climate Resilience (SLICR). Developed at UCI, SLICR is a three-day residential intensive that provides participants with an overview of some of the major challenges and opportunities we face in building community climate resilience, as well as tools for action and ways to get involved in sustainability at UCI. This sustainability- themed institute transformed into an online class during COVID for Fall quarter 2020. In Spring 2020 and Spring 2021, a special topics in SLICR quarter length class was open to all students. The theme of the quarters was examining the intersections of sustainability, social equity, and COVID.
See: https://sustainability.uci.edu/slicr2019/

For the 2020-2021 Conversations That Matter series, the UCI Humanities Center chose to focus the year’s theme on Oceans, specifically to foster understanding of how the oceans and waterways of the world have shaped humanities-based inquiry and cultural production. How has the “blue humanities” or how have oceans and oceanic connections shifted our concepts of space, time, and human relations to the environment and the non-human. The “Oceans” theme also provided an opportunity to engage in cross-disciplinary dialogue, bringing the humanities into conversation with science, technology, engineering, arts, and medicine.
See: https://www.humanities.uci.edu/humanitiescenter/programs/oceans.php

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Sustainability-Themed Student Housing

A number of residential theme houses engage the topics of sustainability, social justice, and global peace to inform and educate students about sustainable life skills. Two in particular, Ciudad in Mesa Court, and The Sustainability House in Arroyo Vista, 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.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The following are sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by UCI:

-- Together with the Sustainability program in Student Housing, the Sustainability Resource Center's student assistants and food and climate student fellows oversee the Center's communications, outreach programs, and general office operations. See: https://sustainability.uci.edu/studentinvolvement/src/

-- The Green Initiative Fund's commissioners and interns oversee the distribution of the Fund's grants to students for sustainability-related projects. See: https://tgif.asuci.uci.edu/get-involved/

-- Associated Students of UCI funds both a Sustainability Commissioner and a Garden Commissioner as well as programmatic interns. See: https://www.asuci.uci.edu/internalvp/garden/

-- 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.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information in this credit was provided by:

Rachel Harvey
Sustainability Coordinator
Housing Administrative Services
(949) 824-5263

The information in this credit was provided by:

Rachel Harvey
Sustainability Coordinator
Housing Administrative Services
(949) 824-5263

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.