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2019 Earth Plaza Palooza Fair


Sustainability is rooted in everything that we do at UC San Diego. As one of the world’s top public research universities, UC San Diego is addressing the challenges that accompany our unprecedented growth. As we expand our academic, research, public service and ancillary programs, we continue to make sustainability a top priority. We aim to achieve the best possible balance between aesthetics, sustainability and functionality to guide stewardship over the development of UC San Diego’s spectacular location while appropriately integrating with the surrounding La Jolla community.

Each Triton plays an important role in helping to meet our campus sustainability goals. You can do your part by implementing sustainable habits, joining a sustainability group and connecting with UC San Diego Sustainability on social media.


  • In February 2022, the Green Classroom Program certified the first UC San Diego Preuss School teacher, Ms. Tan.
  • UC San Diego and Thermo Fisher Scientific agreed to form a transformational 10-year strategic partnership that leverages the leading expertise of each organization. The unprecedented public-partnership will focus on achieving four key objectives, including the launch of a “Technology Sandbox,” establishment of a collaborative research framework, creation of a pipeline of underrepresented, next-generation talent that become tomorrow’s leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and development of a sustainable supply chain.
  • In Spring Quarter 2022, the Green Labs Program launched three new student projects focusing on water conservation, recycling of lab items and shutting the fume hood sash.
  • The Inter-Sustainability Council and Sustainability Ambassadors hosted the Seventh Annual Green Talks on April 28. Watch the video.
  • In recognition of Earth Day and Arbor Day—a national holiday that encourages to plant and care for trees—UC San Diego volunteers planted 13 trees on Friday, April 29 in Scholars Grove (behind Ché Café). Facilities Management began the event with an educational program and ceremonial tree planting.
  • Launched a campus-wide Utilities & Sustainability Update e-newsletter, featuring highlights of progress towards our goals.
  • Began hosting quarterly campus-wide Climate & Sustainability Town Halls.
  • Published UC San Diego CALPIRG’s 2021–22 Annual Report.
  • Collaborated with the Office for Strategic Initiatives to facilitate three focus groups on energy and sustainability campus efforts with student, staff and faculty representation. The final focus group included deans, professors and directors.
  • Recognized by Forbes magazine this year in the annual college ratings. UC San Diego’s sustainability efforts were singled out, contributing to the campus being ranked 17th overall and third in public institutions.
  • Ranked as a top performer in Research and Investment/Finance Categories for AASHE Campus Sustainability Index.


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Volunteer Positions

Sustainability Ambassadors

The Sustainability Ambassadors Program is a registered campus student organization sponsored by the UC San Diego Sustainability Office and the UC Office of the President’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative. This program aims to educate and engage students through peer education and programming to raise awareness of UC San Diego’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality and encourage students to implement sustainable living methods. Volunteer ambassadors will work under the direction of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Engagement Fellow and the Sustainability Program Office.

Ambassadors will be trained to educate other students on sustainability issues through workshops, projects and social media engagement activities at the Sustainability Resource Center. Each Sustainability Ambassador will become knowledgeable about the Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) and focus on informing and engaging students on personal, campus-wide and global changes that can be made to reach CNI goals. Four ambassador positions are available for the 2021–2022 academic year.

Benefits of being a Sustainability Ambassador include:

  • Enhancing communication, decision-making and leadership skills
  • Improved presentation, teaching and facilitation skills
  • Gaining extensive knowledge of an interdisciplinary model of sustainability education
  • Being part of a skilled, fun, diverse student team committed to educating their peers about sustainability
  • Creating, maintaining and enhancing relations with campus sustainability staff and faculty
  • Gaining valuable experience for future employment and academic endeavors

CCR Approved Volunteer Opportunity

CCR approvedCCR, or Co-Curricular Record, recognizes the work students do outside the classroom by recording the experience on an official document that accompanies the UC San Diego transcript. Students who volunteer for 30+ hours during the 2022–2023 academic year with UC San Diego Sustainability are eligible for this program. Learn more about CCR.

Position Description

Application deadline: Closed

Location: Online and in person at the Sustainability Resource Center

Number of positions: 4

Duration: Three academic quarters (Fall 2022 Winter and Spring 2023)

Hours: 5–6 hours per week

Duties include:

  • Attending:
    • Two training sessions a week during Fall Quarter from Week 4 through Week 9
    • Weekly team meetings with the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow
  • Assisting the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow in planning and hosting Green Talks, an annual climate change symposium during Spring Quarter 2023
  • Assisting as needed with implementing sustainability related events (UC San Diego’s Earth Month, Green Talks, department and student organization’s events, etc.)
  • Creating small- and large-scale presentations for various venues and campus groups
  • Coordinating do-it-yourself projects that help to reduce consumerism in our daily lives
  • Liaising with campus committees and stakeholders


  • Demonstrated understanding of sustainability concepts
  • Strong written, oral and interpersonal communication skills
  • Proven ability to independently manage projects
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Familiarity with Google Suite (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides)
  • Experience with recruiting, training and coordinating volunteers
  • Commitment to UC San Diego values of community, diversity and sustainability


Bonnie Reiss Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Fellowship

The UC President’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Fellowship Program funds student-generated projects that support the UC system’s goal to produce net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Students selected to serve as campus CNI Student Engagement Fellows will work with campus Sustainability staff to communicate about campus and UC‐wide sustainability goals and programs, to assess existing programs and efforts, and to engage undergraduate and graduate students in those efforts. In addition, engagement and communication efforts should enable and empower students to provide feedback about campus and UC‐wide sustainability programs.

Application period is closed.

Global Food Initiative Student Fellowship

The UC President’s Global Food Initiative Student Fellowship Program funds student-generated research, related projects or internships that focus on food issues. The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students and is administered by campus Sustainability staff to ensure that student efforts align with local needs.

Application period is closed.