Student Fellows Activating Campus Sustainability Plans

Student Fellows Activating Campus Sustainability Plans

TGIF Award: $22,000.00

Project Theme: Environmental Education

Project Sponsor: Office of Sustainability

Project Description: 

In 2020, the Office of Sustainability (OS) published a comprehensive update to the UC Berkeley Sustainability Plan,, setting key stretch goals and strategies. The Plan addresses new intersectional topics including health and sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in sustainability. The Office also produced UC Berkeley’s first Green Labs Action Plan and formed across-departmental steering group to guide its implementation. Additionally, OS recently completed its second STARS rating evaluation, revealing new areas for improvement. Berkeley has a unique and exciting
opportunity to advance sustainability and engage the community by activating these plans and rating learnings. This project proposes a team of students in fellowship roles to develop and implement key priority strategies of the plans.

Project Goals:

Environmental Justice Fellowships: Two undergraduate student positions will focus on identifying how the OS can improve diversity, equity and inclusion in practices and policies. Work will include helping to further develop and implement strategies in the DEI ambitions of the Campus Sustainability Plan and liaison between OS and various student and staff interest groups. Fellows will also engage in similar UC systemwide efforts to integrate DEI into UC climate action policy.

Air Travel Mitigation Program Fellow: The Sustainability Plan calls for a reduction in carbon impacts from campus business travel, the largest source of emissions after building energy use. This graduate student fellowship will activate a pilot mitigation program currently in design that proposes assessing a fee on air tickets to build a fund for projects that reduce carbon emissions on campus and promote more sustainable alternative travel.
Sustainable Science Fellows: This graduate fellow and undergraduate fellow will engage with multiple partners to promote environmental stewardship within campus labs focusing on the strategies outlined in the Green Labs Action Plan. Work will focus on coordination with the steering group to implement measures in engagement/certification, procurement, energy/water efficiency and waste reduction. Additionally, the fellowships will evaluate programs and initiatives to implement the Lands section of the Sustainability Plan and enhance knowledge and improvements in campus biodiversity.

Staff Sustainability Community of Practice Fellow: Through the recent STARS assessment it was determined that more staff engagement in sustainability practices is warranted. In response OS will be re-establishing the Sustainability Community of Practice (CoP) for campus staff focused on environmental interests, peer to peer education, and action on campus environmental priorities. Participating in the CoP is voluntary for the staff and the undergraduate student fellow will develop engaging programming, recruit participants and help facilitate learning and sessions in the CoP.

Project Lead: Kira Stoll

2021 TGIF Spring Application