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Members of Campus Community Recognized for Sustainability Efforts

Ioana Patringenaru | April 27, 2009

Sustainability Awards (Photo / Victor W. Chen)
In addition to individual awards, many members of the UCSD community received certificates for their efforts to boost sustainability on campus during Wednesday's award ceremony.

UC San Diego hosted the third edition of its Sustainability Awards Wednesday at the Student Services Center. The awards are designed to recognize members of the UCSD community, from students, to faculty, to alumni, who are engaged in all-out efforts to boost sustainability on campus. These are the campus’ superstars, Vice Chancellor Steve Relyea said during the awards ceremony Wednesday. “Our strength is pulling together as a community and looking at what the future of sustainability will be,” he said.

Here is a list of the award recipients with a brief summary of their accomplishments.

Overall Individual Award

Bill Scripps
Bill Scripps (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Scripps was imperative in making the dream of a Greenovation Forum become a reality, officials said.  He created and has completely funded the program for the last two years. As a result, Greenovation has been able to showcase UCSD’s research and innovation to the public in partnership with experts from government, industry and the nonprofit sector.  Through his support, the university is one step closer to addressing how to achieve economic prosperity alongside environmental sustainability, officials said. Scripps could not be present to pick up his award, and Lisa Shaffer, the executive director of the campuswide Sustainability Solutions Institute, accepted it on his behalf.

Faculty Awards

Steve Kay
Steve Kay (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Biological Sciences Dean Steve Kay has actively promoted UCSD’s involvement in algae biofuels research as a solution to transportation and national security issues and is working passionately and tirelessly to establish the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB), officials said. This organization will facilitate the interactions of many scientists at separate research institutions with private and public industry, with the goal of developing and implementing innovative solutions that move algae biofuels to commercial success. “I really think that Steve and his colleagues are going to propel San Diego to the forefront of alternative fuels research worldwide,” Relyea said.

Kim Prather
Kim Prather (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Prather has obviously captured the hearts of students, who sent multiple nominations to make sure she received an award, officials said. Her lectures go beyond the textbook to emphasize how students can apply the air pollution, climate and health principles she teaches. Her lessons also go beyond the classroom, as she includes her research group in her outreach activities at local elementary schools. Prather effortlessly juggles multiple projects, Relyea said. “I don’t know how she does it,” he added.

Student Awards — Undergraduates

Erika Kociolek
Erika Kociolek (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Kociolek is a Green Campus intern, a Sustainability Solutions Institute intern and has worked on LEED certifications for existing buildings on campus. She has been invited to represent UCSD in radio and on-camera interviews and participated in the Chill Out video, which showcases the campus’ sustainability efforts and recently received an award from the National Wildlife Federation. She also has led sustainability tours for visiting dignitaries and has won several prestigious awards. She is an amazing ambassador both for UCSD and sustainability as a study and a way of life, officials said. “She’s a great person to work with,” Relyea said.

Ashley Ferrer
Ashley Ferrer (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Ferrer is a Sustainability Solutions Institute intern and has worked on the campus Green Events Guide, the Sustainability Resource Gallery, Greenovation Forums, student orientations and various additional outreach and education events and projects. Ferrer also participated in the campus' award-winning three-minute Chill Out video and has been a campus sustainability ambassador. She has worked to include sustainability as part of the student experience and overall reputation of UCSD, officials said. “The only problem I have with Ashley is that she’s graduating,” Relyea joked.

Student Awards — Graduate Students

Kathy Lin
Kathy Lin (Photo / Victor W. Chen) A Rady School of Management MBA student, Lin served as President of the UCSD Net Impact Chapter; was instrumental in securing funds for the student-initiated campus Sustainability Walk project highlighting campus green features; organized the Green Jeopardy and other outreach events; and served on the project team to write a business plan for a three megawatt biomasss project. Lin’s passion, energy and experience make her a campus leader, officials said. “She really knows how to twist people’s arms for dollars,” Relyea said jokingly.

Melanie Zauscher
Melanie Zauscher (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Zauscher is a founding, principal member of the Biofuels Awareness and Action Network, which is working to develop a biodiesel reactor and brings students, faculty, researchers, and staff together with outside partners to make possible the Greenline shuttle, a collaborative research project. “It’s a great project,” Relyea said. Zauscher’s passion extends beyond campus boundaries to local elementary schools, where she talks with students about pollution in the atmosphere.

Staff Awards

Martin Klein
Martin Klein (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Martin Klein is the assistant marine superintendent at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability, officials said. Some of his accomplishments include reducing carbon emissions by 30 tons; 10,000- to 15,000-gallon water savings per docking; saving more than 27,000 gallons of fuel annually; and reducing site run-off. “These are real outcomes,” Relyea said.

Breda Walsh
Breda Walsh (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Because of her passion for sustainability, Walsh has implemented laboratory recycling procedures for packing materials; established receptacles for cardboard and plastics; educated her co-workers about recycling; and transports the material to a proper recycling receptacle. Because of her friendly manner, she has garnered great support and has made a huge positive impact in her lab, officials said. Walsh is a role model, Relyea said.

Academic Awards — Organizations

GreenLight Project
GreenLight Project (Photo / Victor W. Chen) Project GreenLight focuses on the development of metrics and technologies to help minimize the environmental impact of the IT industry. GreenLight allows researchers to start to train the next generation of energy-aware computer scientists. Project GreenLight has enlisted dozens of scientists and graduate students from five disciplinary projects, partnering to create a direct impact on commercial components that enable deep investigation into energy efficient computing and storage for the next decade and beyond. “What they’re doing doesn’t looking very sexy on the outside; but the inside is just amazing,” Relyea said.


Student Awards — Organizations

Environmental Science and Policy
Environmental Science and Policy (Photo / Victor W. Chen) The Environmental Science and Policy group at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography was created as a cross-disciplinary student initiative to promote the integration of student research into the policy process. The students coordinate seminars series, coursework, publications and workshops to advance the awareness of policy issues in environmental science, exemplifying the type of partnership that creates UCSD sustainability successes. “We’ve thrown a lot of technology at this problem on campus,” Relyea said. “But it’s the policy issues that are equally important.”

Net Impact — UC San Diego Chapter
Net Impact (Photo / Victor W. Chen) A graduate student organization, Net Impact is dedicated to promoting sustainability and businesses as agents of positive social change. Students have been working with Auxiliary and Plant Services and Facilities Management staff members to implement a campus “Sustainability Walk.” The walk highlights campus green features viewable via a self-guided, walking tour. Net Impact has not stopped there: future plans include additional sites on the tour. “This group of students is just so creative and so bright,” Relyea said.

Department Awards

Early Childhood Education Center/Mesa Child Development Center
Early Childhood Education Center staff (Photo / Victor W. Chen) The team of teachers and staff members at the ECEC and MCDC have embraced sustainable behavior in daily activities and curriculum, passing along to center’s pupils and parents the knowledge and desire necessary to become responsible environmental stewards, official said. Children participate in hands-on recycling and as a result measure the impact of their own behavior. The building housing the Mesa Child Development Center is set to receive a Gold LEED certification, Relyea pointed out.

Environment, Health & Safety, Green Team
Environment, Health & Safety (Photo / Victor W. Chen) The EH&S Green Team designed a “hypothetical green office” identifying a list of “can-do” sustainable changes. They illustrated these changes in a poster shown at Sharecase, effectively demonstrating for others strategies that every office can implement in order to positively affect our environment.  EHS practices these strategies on a daily basis, including composting their wastes from their break room The project is not only good for the environment; it also saves a significant amount of money, Relyea said. “It’s really remarkable,” the vice chancellor said. “They’ve created a perfect UC San Diego sustainable office.”

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