Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.10
Liaison Francis Mitalo
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Riverside
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Fortino Morales
Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:
CalPIRG is a premier student public interest activism group that works to protect the environment, provide hunger relief, and promote civic engagement. This group works with professional staff on campus to educate the public, run grassroots campaigns, and lobby elected officials in Sacramento and in Washington DC.

Sustainable UCR focuses on five aspects of sustainability: food, water, waste, energy, and culture. Previous projects and events Sustainable UCR has worked on include collecting/composting coffee grinds, holding educational workshops, installing solar panels during Solarthon, attending conferences such as the Food Challenge Conference in Santa Cruz, organizing events during Earth Week, and working with other organizations to make their events more sustainable.

Gardening Club: As a community-based organization, Gardening Club is a group of students who are passionate about seeking sustainable initiatives on our campus and in our communities. The role of our organization is to raise awareness of local sustainable food systems and environmental justice, while empowering students to take collaborative action! We hope to create a safe space for gardeners of all levels.

The University of California's Global Food Initiative (GFI) is addressing one of the most compelling issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 8 billion by 2025. UC GFI has harnessed expertise and resources from across its 10 campuses and through existing efforts and the creation of new collaborations is addressing social, economic, political and ecological issues at the intersection of agri-food system, health and sustainability. UC Riverside is supporting the effort of the GFI initiative and pooling together its comprehensive resources to form working groups, involves local NGO, Institutes, faculty, student-led organizations, and existing committees and programs, to share best practices and strengthen capabilities across campus. Our efforts focus on sustainable agriculture and food issues (from production to food access), helping communities eat healthier and more sustainably and translating research into policy. These efforts involve all levels, from faculty to students, from campus dining halls to classrooms, laboratories, and student farms.

The Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) is a sustainability program under the Associated Student Body of the University of California-Riverside that is 100% student-run. GCAP promotes sustainability through our Green Grants, Large Scale Initiatives, and Internship programs in order to empower students and departments to pursue sustainability projects of their own.

The Environmental Science Club's main goal is to provide members with insight into its real-world applications by providing field trips to geological sites and tours of sites with scientists who work in the various fields of environmental science. We hope to have engaging discussions on current issues with the guidance of scientists researching solutions to these problems. Notify and highlight any upcoming volunteer, research and/or internship opportunities with coordination from UCR's Environmental Department and fellow organizations at UCR

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:
R'Garden is open to students, faculty, staff, and community members, to grow fresh produce while providing an opportunity to learn about social, environmental, and economic sustainability through a food systems approach. R’Garden is three acres that includes a community garden, row crops, a Valencia orchard, and a greenhouse area. It serves as a sustainability hub to promote service learning, and community-based research around food systems through student-led projects and collaborations with the campus and community.

The UCR Botanic Gardens is a 40-acre living plant museum with more than 3,500 plant species and thousands of specimens from around the world, with a focus on plants from Mediterranean climate (dry summer) and arid lands similar to California and the desert southwestern US. As a part of the UC Riverside campus, the Botanic Gardens is utilized for teaching, research, and demonstration purposes, as well as for enjoyment and appreciation of nature. The variable elevation and topography of the Gardens and Riverside's subtropical climate create numerous microclimates that allow for the notable diversity of plantings as well as an abundance of wildlife. About one-third of the Gardens' 40 acres remains unplanted and consists of native plant communities including coastal sage scrub and annual grassland. Common native plants on the site include brittlebush (Encelia farinosa), California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and deerweed (Lotus scoparius).

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:

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:
GCAP is a student green fund that collects $2.50 per student per quarter to provide micro- funds of up to $4000 per project to undergraduate students for sustainability outreach and educational programs on the UCR campus.

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:
The Office of Sustainability hosts Sustainability Lecture Series with the most recent lecture series being on April 30, 2019. This lecture series was titled “Carbon offsets History, Programs & Projects, and the State of UCs Innovations & Improvements in relation to Carbon Offsets" by Barabra Haya, Ph.D, who is a research Fellow at the California Institute for Energy and Environment at UC Berkeley. This lecture series discussed UC’s innovative approach to carbon offset procurement, which prioritizes high quality offsets that directly contribute to UC’s mission of research, education, and public service. This offset experiment will inform other institutions that wish to develop offset programs that meaningfully reduce emissions and embrace the multiple priorities and strengths of those institutions.
UC Riverside has recently revamped its Office of Sustainability and created a Sustainability Seminar Series for the 2018/2019 academic year. The first seminar was scheduled for October 16th Tuesday at 12:30pm in HUB-367.The first seminar outlined the structure of UCR’s Office of Sustainability, with highlights from Fortino Morales, UCR’s newest Sustainability Officer; Professor Matthew Barth, Faculty Director of Sustainability, and Professor Brian Siana, Associate Faculty Director of Sustainability. During the seminar, Vice Chancellor Gerry Bomotti discussed UCR’s Sustainability Program. In this seminar, the current structure of the Office of Sustainability, recent program and initiatives, sustainability curriculum, and UCR’s plans for becoming carbon neutral by 2025 will be presented.

The Riverside Green Summit is an opportunity to highlight, discuss and showcase actions towards environmental health of the Riverside community. Join us on Saturday, October 5th 2019, from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at the Bourns Technology Center to experience the Riverside community collaborate, educate and showcase transformative actions in Sustainable Transportation, Food & Working Landscapes, Green Buildings & Homes and Resource Conservation. This event is a collaboration between the university and the city of Riverside. https://sustainability.ucr.edu/event-list/2019/10/05/riverside-green-summit

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:
As part of the Cool Campus Challenge, UC Riverside hosted a variety of events throughout the month of April, which included an Arts Fair and a screening of a sustainability movie (Paris to Pittsburgh) at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts.

Chris Jordan’s exhibition, Intolerable Beauty, integrates ecological themes through a visual journey of exploring the consequences of mass consumption and global plastic pollution in the ocean and on earth. Jordan’s exhibition is displayed in the Culver Center of the Arts and is sponsored by UCR.

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:
The Geology Student Organization (GSO) consists of students who are interested in the earth sciences and participating in outdoor excursions. We encourage students to learn about their local geology and to become knowledgeable members in their communities. We do this through informative trips that unite us with nature either through hiking, rockhounding, or camping, and also participating in local volunteer opportunities.

Outdoor Excursions is a program of UCR Recreation and has been serving the UCR community for over 20 years. Our mission is to provide a variety of programs and services emphasizing safety, skill development, environmental awareness, and community. Our trip program provides opportunities in hiking, backpacking, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, caving, climbing, paddleboarding, rafting, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more. All of our trip leaders are trained to the level equal to or exceeding Leave No Trace trainers during our Leader Expedition (a 5-6 day training consisting of backpacking, kayaking, and/or other outdoor living skills), and during mid-year leadership workshops. For more information about our program contact: Jen Hopper jennifer.hopper@ucr.edu

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:

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:
Each week UCR Sustainability tables at our Wednesday Nooners providing training on various sustainability practices students can use to practice environmentally responsible life choices on and off-campus.
The Office of Sustainability also participates in various events such as the Fair Trade Fest where they educated students on fair trade practices, tabling during our Wednesday Nooners where they promote sustainable practices such as a zero-waste lifestyle.

The campus Housing Services department also promotes sustainability through promotional materials as well as hosting a page on their housing website to share best practices on living sustainably in residential housing. https://housing.ucr.edu/living-at-ucr/sustainability

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

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
The Office of Sustainability provides students with interning opportunities working as student supervisors, working in different working groups, or working on reports.

Every year, the GCAP (Green Campus Action Plan) Referendum allocates part of its fund for three competitive internships. Eligible UC Riverside students will have the opportunity to gain work experience and develop professional relationships with some of UCR¹s sustainability leaders. Each intern will receive a stipend per quarter. Interns will be required to make a presentation on their work at the end of each quarter to the ASUCR Senate.

The Student Recycling Program was started in Fall 2019. The students work in Facilities Services to increase the amount of recycling, reduce contamination, and further campus engagement.

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:
Credit prepared by Michelle Baron and revised by Chelsea Lee.

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.