Measures of Success

  • Annually, UCSB hosts a local summit, the Central Coast Sustainability Summit, where local governmental staff, elected officials, citizens, business leaders, regional schools, and non-profit organizations come together to share ideas and best practices; and strategize how we can better partner regionally.
  • UCSB also hosts the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) bringing together colleges and universities from all four systems of higher education in California to share successes and lessons learned.
  • Collaborated with Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, the County of Santa Barbara, the City of Santa Barbara, the City of Goleta, Santa Barbara City College, the Santa Barbara Waterfront, SBCAG, MTD, and community members to launch a bike share program.


  • The University of California is committed to excellence in teaching, research, creative activities and public service.

Ongoing Practices and Programs

  • Central Coast Sustainability Committee: UCSB has partnered with the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria, the County of Santa Barbara, and the Community Environmental Council to host an annual Central Coast Sustainability Summit.
  • The UC Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency:  Established in 2008 by the Institute for Energy Efficiency, this conference is an annual event which brings together stakeholders in efficiency technologies, facilitating growth and collaboration . The Summit brings together national leaders in industry, academia, and government for two days of in-depth discussions on the latest advancements in the fast-moving sector of energy efficiency. The 2011 summit focused on the current administration’s major investments in energy efficiency research and development and will include a session on the Department of Energy’s latest program aimed to reduce the cost of solar power to $1/Watt. Sessions were also held on the evolution of the Smart Grid and the related potential for energy efficiency and renewables. Additional areas of focus included supercomputing, UCSB research highlights on silicon photonics, battery storage, and solid-state lighting, and expediting innovation from the lab to market in today’s economy.
  • Earth Day Celebrations: UCSB Sustainability reserve annual booths at the Community Environmental Council‘s Earth Day Celebration to educate the local community on our sustainability programs and student research happening on the UCSB campus.  UCSB Sustainability also reserves a booth each year at the Isla Vista Earth Day Celebration organized by the Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board.
  • Natural Reserves:  UCSB manages four natural reserve systems: Carpinteria Salt Marsh, Coal Oil Point, Sedgwick Ranch, and Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves. All of these natural reserves offer public tours, educational programs, and volunteer opportunities for the community.
  • The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER): provides public tours of their animal, plant, and special collections, and showcases the restored natural areas that the Center manages on campus. The Campus Flora Project was created out of former Chancellor Vernon Cheadle’s wish to develop the campus environment into an outdoor classroom. Walking tours and online maps are available for anyone to experience the living collection of hundreds of plant families from six continents.
  • Kids in Nature: The CCBER program enriches the learning experiences of underrepresented and underserved youth in the Santa Barbara community by taking them out of the urban setting, introducing them to the natural environment, and teaching them how to preserve our ecosystems.
  • OCTOS: The Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science within UCSB’s Marine Science Institute is an educational program that provides research lesson plans and projects for elementary and secondary school teachers. In addition, OCTOS provides touch tank tours and other opportunities to get up close and personal with marine life. OCTOS will be housed in the new Ocean Science Education Center on campus. The building, which is expected to earn a LEED-NC Gold rating, will be shared with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the offices of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.


  • Website upgrade: New information goes up on the website everyday, especially in the last few months. We have been working hard to become more transparent and to share more of our challenges, progress, and success stories through the website.  This will allow concerned community members to stay in touch with our path to sustainability.
  • Multi-jurisdictional Renewable Energy Taskforce: Launching in January 2013, the taskforce will consider five potential projects including: Community choice aggregation (CCA), streamlining the permit process and fees with the goal of regional continuity, creating a case studies and best practices manual, a joint renewable energy project (such as a large solar or wind installation), and developing energy and sustainability policies for region
  • Product Stewardship Initiative: People interact with products (electronics, paint, etc.) at several different points along the product’s lifecycle, and, yet, each stage is managed and interacted with as if there was no connection to the rest of the life of that product.  Currently, agencies throughout Santa Barbara County do a great job handling household hazardous wastes such as paint, but we do so at great cost to our local government agencies, and have a limited ability to expand in order to meet the full needs of the community due to costs. What if the companies that sell us paint would take responsibility for the end of life of the product that they created?
  • Collaborative Volunteer Management Program: At the last Central Coast Sustainability Summit, Ben Romo, formerly of the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO), offered an intriguing presentation on SBCEO’s Partners in Education Model and how it could be replicated for environmental volunteerism.  Partners in Education matches professionals in the community with local schools needing volunteer support.  They manage close to 4,000 volunteers a month for schools throughout the district.  Their process is easy for volunteers to get involved with, it efficiently and effectively deploys volunteers to the schools that need them the most, and it ensures that volunteers fill out necessary paperwork and waivers.  With a high concentration of environmentally focused non-profit organizations in town competing for volunteers, a program like this could help to bring in more volunteers and ensure that each organization receives the volunteers that they need.
  • Chancellor’s Sustainability Internship Program:

More Information