UCSB Sustainability is pleased to announce that we have a new Acting Director, Katie Maynard. Ms. Maynard has been at UCSB since 2001, first as a College of Creative Studies Biology student, and then as a  Sustainability Coordinator. She has worked with UCSB Sustainability for 17 years under Mo Lovegreen, the former Director of Sustainability. After receiving so many years of training and mentorship, she is more than prepared to take on this position. Ms. Maynard loves working at UCSB and values the opportunity to engage the next generation of leaders. She feels she is constantly learning and evolving within her work, and plans to bring that energy with her as Director.

This fall also marks Sustainability moving from its former home in the Geography Department to the Enrollment Services Cluster. The move institutionalizes the work that Sustainability has been doing for years in partnership with the Student Affairs Division, such as its collaborations with  the Food Security and Basic Needs Taskforce and Associated Students. Due to Sustainability’s commitment to uplifting student leadership, the intersectional nature of Sustainability, and the already strong partnerships in place, the move felt like a natural one.   With the move from being embedded within another department to being its own department within a cluster, we have also been able to formalize our structure and access new resources.

Ms. Maynard is starting her tenure by assessing the needs of the community with a listening tour. She looks forward to talking one on one with longtime campus partners and discussing how Sustainability can best support them. This tour is just the beginning. Even beyond it, Ms. Maynard plans to make open communication a central aspect of her work as Director. With a background in community-based and community-driven initiatives, she believes that we can accomplish great things when the people we serve are driving the direction of our program. 

With deep admiration for all the work being accomplished by sustainability staff from across campus and the partners of the sustainability department, Ms. Maynard is focused on supporting the department’s ongoing efforts and providing resources to innovative new ideas emerging. This includes expanding our grant writing infrastructure, developing partnerships that have the opportunity to yield expanded financial support, and deepening relationships with key stakeholders. 

Besides centering student leadership, Sustainability emphasizes intersectionality in its work. This is clear through its many strong partnerships. Sustainability looks at the interconnections between environmental, social, and economic fields. In order to develop any solutions, all of these perspectives must be considered. Ms. Maynard believes in looking at the nuances of environmental issues. Sustainability is about embracing complexities and developing complex solutions. She applies her understanding of ecological systems to her thinking about human systems. She is a scientist at heart, and focuses on evidence-based solutions. She plans to bring all of these values into her work as director. Most of all, she looks forward to bringing all of the different facets of Sustainability together, and doing more collective strategic planning to make Sustainability’s future as bright as it can be.

Written by Caroline Hemphill, Communications Intern, UCSB Sustainability