Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.35
Liaison Mo Lovegreen
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Santa Barbara
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Katie Maynard
Sustainability Coordinator
Geography & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

UC Santa Barbara is home to forty-five student-led organizations that work on environmental and/or sustainability issues. Each of these programs is devoted to informing the campus and community about topics such as climate change, law and policy, ecology, energy, food justice, and sustainability. A description of each organization's primary functions and goals, as well as past and current projects, can be found in the included link below.

1. Animal Rights at UCSB
2. Associated Students Bike Committee*
3. Associated Students Bike Shop
4. Associated Students Coastal Fund*
5. Associated Students Commission on Student Well Being (COSWB)*
6. Associated Students Community Affairs Board (CAB)
7. Associated Students Department of Public Worms (DPW)*
8. Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board (EAB*)
9. Associated Students Food Bank*
10. Associated Students Human Rights Board*
11. Associated Students' Legislative Council
12. Associated Students Recycling*
13. Associated Students Zero Waste Committee*
14. Bren Environmental Justice Club
15. The Bee Keeping Club
16. California Student Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG)*
17. Climate Justice Hub*
18. Climate Reality Project Campus Corps at UCSB*
19. Ecological Coalition (ECOalition) at UCSB
20. Edible Campus Program*
21. Educating Leaders for the Future (ELF)*
22. Engineers Without Borders (EWB)*
23. FeelGood SB
24. Food Cycling
25. Food, Nutrition, & Basic Skills Program (FNBS)
26. Fossil Free UCSB*
27. Growth International Volunteer Excursions (GIVE)
28. Greenhouse and Garden Project*
29. Health, Environment, & Animal Rights (HEAR)!
30. Isla Vista Community Relations Commission (IVCRC)
31. Isla Vista Surfrider Foundation*
32. Isla Vista Tenants Union
33. Kids In Nutrition
34. LabRATS (Laboratory Resources, Advocates, and Teamwork for Sustainability )*
35. Net Impact at Bren
36. Oxfam America Club at UCSB*
37. Plastic Solutions*
38. Program for the Assessment and Certification for the Environment and Sustainability (PACES)*
39. Residence Hall Association (RHA)*
40. Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-op
41. Save the Mermaids
42. The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF)*
43. West Campus Family Student Housing Tenants Association
44. The Wildlife Society*
45. Your Children’s Trees at UCSB

The starred organizations are also members of our ECOalition at UCSB, a council of student organizations that comes to gather to jointly voice their ideas and concerns; and to share best practices and resources.

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:

UCSB has three community gardens on campus. Through the Edible Campus Program, we also have a student farm in development, an urban orchard, and a hydroponic garden.

The Greenhouse and Garden Project (GHGP) allows students, faculty, and staff to maintain their own gardening plot. It currently has 64 plots with owners, and some plots have multiple people working in them. Each member has full access to the greenhouse. The GHGP practices organic gardening; no pesticides or harmful chemicals may be used. Several faculty members use the grounds for research and educational purposes. More information can be found here:

There are also two community gardens in housing, the Storke Family Housing Garden and the West Campus Family Housing Garden. These gardens are run by the residents and their families. The gardeners follow certain mindful principles to maintain the gardens’ diversity and keep the gardens healthy for future stewards. The principles are: Develop an Ecological Mindset, Encourage Your Garden Rather than Tame It, and Avoid Tilling the Soil. More information can be found here: https://fshgardens.weebly.com and the following link can be used to sign-up for a plot: http://ucsbfsh.weebly.com/services-555152-417722.html

Additionally, UCSB launched the Edible Campus Program which aims to address local food insecurity by re-purposing underutilized spaces on campus for food production, turning waste into food, and engaging students as growers and producers. This effort is supported by the AS Department of Public Worms, AS Food Bank, and UCSB Sustainability. The program empowers the campus community, especially students, to be responsible stewards and leaders of our food system. Students are trained in practices that address social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability to help them to reclaim their personal connection to the land and their food. The Edible Campus Program has several different projects (Student Farm - in development, Urban Orchard Project, & Hydroponic Vertical Gardens) that work toward this goal. These projects are primarily maintained by students and will provide long-term education on sustainable farming.

Recently the Edible Campus Program was approved for a space to run a student farm. The farm will grow a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that will to be distributed to UCSB students via the AS Food Bank and other venues. The farm will launch in the 2017-2018 school year.

As part of the Urban Orchard Project, students are working to plant citrus trees on campus to help feed students in need. So far, seven trees have been planted in Storke Plaza. The fruit from all seven trees is harvested and donated to the Associated Students Food Bank (ASFB), an organization that provides fresh, free, and nutritious food to the student community.

The Edible Campus Program’s third project involves the implementation and maintenance of hydroponic vertical gardens on campus to eliminate the need for the land and excess water that is typically needed to grow produce. Nutrients for the plants come in part from compost tea prepared by the student-run AS Department of Public Worms. Food grown from the vertical gardens is donated to campus food pantries.

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:

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF)
TGIF is a student-funded program that awards approximately $170,000 annually in grants for projects that enhance UCSB’s environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability. Students, staff, and faculty can submit project proposals to a student-majority governance board that selects which projects receive funding. Priority, however, is given to student initiated projects. Examples of past student initiatives that received funding from TGIF include the retrofitting of UCSB’s largest lecture hall with energy efficient, dimmable LED lights (2016-17), the replacement of inefficient dissection lamps with energy efficient LED dissection lamps (2016-17), the designing of an open source bike-mounted phone charger (2016-17), and the purchasing of two refrigerators for the A.S. Food Bank (2016-17).

The Renewable Energy Initiative (REI)
The REI student fee went into effect in Fall 2010 with the role of funding a series of renewable energy installations to try and achieve Zero Net Energy. Through a $6.00 fee per student per quarter, the initiative funds the reduction of fossil fuels and carbon emissions, increased energy efficiencies with the use of clean and renewable energies, and helps UCSB meet its Climate Action Plan goals for a carbon neutral campus by 2050. When REI went into effect, a consultative and decision making student majority governance board was also created with the responsibility to facilitate the use of the proceeds from this student fee.

The Coastal Fund
The Coastal Fund is a student initiative that is dedicated to the conservation of the UCSB coastline. Each undergraduate student contributes $5.75 per quarter ($3.00 for graduate students) to the fund through a student lock-in fee. The Coastal Fund accepts proposals each academic quarter for projects such as marine research, community and campus restoration initiatives or coastal education, and funds are administered by a board consisting of 5 undergraduate and 2 graduate students. The Coastal Fund has further involved UCSB students in coastal protection by creating the Coastal Service Program in which student organizations can raise much needed funds by participating in a local beach clean up or native habitat restoration.

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:

The University of California, Santa Barbara founded the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) and has been host to CHESC seven times since 2002. CHESC is designed by and for campuses from each of the four systems of higher education in California, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, and private and independent colleges and universities. As a result of this unique partnership, CHESC provides top quality sessions highlighting the most innovative best practices from the past year. Speakers include staff, administrators, faculty, and students from colleges and universities throughout the state, often speaking on teams representing the stakeholder collaborations which are the foundation of campus sustainability efforts.

In 2011, UCSB created the Central Coast Sustainability Summit. The Central Coast Sustainability Summit is a yearly event that brings together elected officials, staff, faculty, and interested parties from local governments and organizations to discuss common sustainability issues, share best practices, and seek regional sustainability partnerships. Common discussion topics include issues of energy, transportation, waste, and water management. We have also held a variety of colloquia featuring notable authors and environmental advocates.

The Bren School, a graduate school for Environmental Science and Management at UCSB, holds the Bren Seminar Series on Mondays every quarter so that students can learn from an expert in the environmental and/or sustainability field. The Bren seminar committee brings in speakers that do work related to Bren's mission of solving environmental problems. Below are two examples of speakers that were part of the Fall 2017 series:

Chris Lowe discussed how human impacts have resulted in detrimental effects such as habitat loss, degradation, over-fishing, pollution, and loss of apex predators in coastal marine ecosystems. He cited the increasing white shark population as evidence of the success of various conservation measures. Protection from fishing, recovery of other mammal species, properly-managed fisheries, and improved air and water quality are all important factors in the recovery of these sharks and other predators.

Magali Delmas’ talk focused on effective information strategies to shift consumers toward sustainable behavior. If the environmental impacts of products are easily accessible to consumers, they can make informed choices and potentially drive a revolution for product sustainability. Delmas discussed how a “green bundle” that combines environmentalism with other benefits, such as savings and status, can lead consumers from information to action.

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 Carsey-Wolf Center (CWC) supports research in the field of Media and the Environment through the Environmental Media Initiative (EMI). The EMI brings together environmental scientists with film and media scholars—drawn from the humanities, arts, and social sciences—to collaborate on teaching, research, and public programming. EMI programming efforts include a conference on Environmental Media, film festival panels on green movie production, film screenings of innovative environmental films, and invited lectures by an international array of scientists and artists addressing issues of the environment in film and film in the environment. The CWC screens documentaries from the Blue Horizons Summer Program for Environmental Media and the GreenScreen’s Environmental Media Program course, as well as hosts other events related to the environment and/or sustainability. The following are a few examples of events held by the CWC:

Blue Horizons is a nine-week summer program in which students produce short documentaries that examine the critical issues of our region’s oceans and seashores The films are shown in August at Pollock Theater.

GreenScreen is an environmental media production program where students learn to both increase awareness about the environment and expand the ways that these issues are represented and communicated. Four student-produced films focused on eco-consciousness were shown at the June 2017 event.

In May 2017, the CWC held a four-day event titled “Water Is Life: Standing with Standing Rock.” The event honored water protectors and indigenous-centered leadership. Participants from the year-long encampment at Standing Rock, including two of the co-founders and some of the organizers of non-violent direct actions opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and indigenous media makers convened at UCSB to celebrate and discuss this unprecedented gathering and its relevance to our shared future.

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:

UCSB Adventure Programs offers students, staff, and faculty wilderness trips, outdoor recreation classes, ropes courses and climbing center programs that are meant to provide educational and recreational experiences as well as opportunities for growth and leadership. Activities include backpacking, kayaking and camping. One of the direct commitments of the program offerings is to "promote wilderness ethics and stewardship, utilizing Leave No Trace principles."
Additionally, as part of the Adventure Programs, First Year Outdoor Adventures (FYOA) activities are offered prior to first year students' move in day and last about a week. There are four different outdoor programs for first year students (and one for transfer students): Backpacking Adventure, Rock and Canyon Adventure, Colorado Canoe Adventure, and Multi-Sport Adventure. One of the main goals stated for participants of these programs is to "learn environmental stewardship through the practice of Leave No Trace (LNT)".

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:

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:

In January of 2016, the Food, Nutrition, and Basic Skills Program was launched to provide education and workshops in the following four tracks: Budgeting and Planning, Kitchen Basics, Cooking and Nutrition Basics and Connecting to your food. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, UCen Dining Services, IV Food Co-Op, Health and Wellness, Community Housing Office, Environmental Affairs Board, and other organizations/departments on campus are all part of this effort to provide basic and sustainable skills to students. Below are some examples of workshops that this program provides to students:

Soup with the Soup Guy
This was a demonstration by the chef who cooks the soups that are sold in cafes on campus. He presented how to make quick, sustainable, and tasty soups.

Financial Aid Literacy
This workshop was held by the Financial Aid Office, and it presented the tools, contacts and services to help students utilize the resources on campus. It also provided Financial Aid Basics such as how to understand loans, understand award letters, budget accordingly, and search for scholarships.

Healthy Snacking on a College Budget
This workshop taught students how to make tasty, affordable, and healthy snacks while living the fast-paced life of a college student. It also discussed local resources that give away free food or provide money for food.

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping
This workshop explained how the incorporation of zero-waste shopping habits can make a large impact on individuals’ budget and the environment. It focused on tips and tricks to reduce a ‘shopping footprint’. Students tasted zero-waste recipes and left with their own reusable shopping bag.

What Can you Cook with CalFresh?
This workshop discussed how students can get free financial aid for groceries, as well as how to make those groceries stretch. There was also a cooking demonstration and information about CalFresh benefits.

Saving on Your Utilities
This workshop provided information on how to decrease energy use and save money on utility bills. Attendees received a free LED light bulb.

Ramen 2.0
This workshop explained how to create two quick and easy vegetarian and vegan ramen recipes. The recipes featured sustainable and local produce.

In addition to the above program, one of our on-campus residence halls, San Miguel, contains a floor dedicated to the living learning community "Green Living". This is a community personally committed to living lightly and reducing their impact on the earth and oceans. Students who choose to live in this hall find opportunities for involvement in sustainable initiatives and issues on campus, like becoming an Environmental Ambassador to promote saving our resources on campus. Residents also engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing and camping. Additional features in this hall are the energy and water competitions and various other sustainability outreach and educational events.

UCSB Housing and Residential Services also offers a published Sustainability Guide online. This guide offers students valuable information on how to be "green" while living in UCSB Residence Halls. It includes sustainability tips, efforts, and opportunities for students.

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:

The Sustainability Internship Program, based in the Department of Geography, offers students opportunities to gain experience in sustainability projects and make a difference on campus as well as in the local community.This year, 53 students were hired to take part in paid internships through the UCSB Sustainability Internship Program.

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:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.