Applications Due: Open until filled

Wage: $15/hr 

Time: 10hrs./wk.

The role of the Sustainable Operations Coordinator and Grant Writer is to work directly with the UCSB Natural Reserve System (NRS) Executive Director, Reserve Directors, and Reserve staff to carry out a sustainability assessment of the seven UCSB Natural Reserves over the course of a one-year period, to develop a prioritized list of projects, and begin grant writing to support those projects. The objective of the assessment would be to: 

  1. Inventory and catalogue sustainability accomplishments which have been achieved to date and develop promotional and educational materials to support those accomplishments.
  2. Identify areas of improvement for each UCSB NRS Reserve in terms of reducing energy and water use, sustainable building design (could include LIving Building challenge, LEED, etc), expansion of electrical vehicle travel, improving alternative transportation and trip reduction, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing use of renewable energy.
  3. Identify best practices and green building certification systems that can be applied to UCSB NRS sites.
  4. Identify potential funding sources and apply for grants to support prioritized projects.

The UC Natural Reserve System (UC NRS) is the largest university-managed reserve system with a network of 41 protected natural areas, field station facilities and residence staff.  The mission of the UC NRS is to contribute to the understanding and wise stewardship of the earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California. Seven of the UC NRS Reserves are  managed by the UCSB campus and are located in the Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, or Mono Counties.  These protected spaces represent most of California’s major habitat types and help provide outdoor laboratories, research facilities, and public outreach opportunities for students, faculty, and the public community. The central UCSB NRS Administration office is located on the UCSB campus in the Marine Science Research Building where the Director, Patricia Holden, and Executive Director, Marion Wittmann, manage day-to-day operations of the Reserves. Learn more about the UCSB Natural Reserve System at

PACES (Program for the Assessment and Certification for the Environment and Sustainability) is a program under UCSB Sustainability that assists departments, event planners, and athletic teams across campus to identify opportunities to reduce their environmental impact through assessments, certifications, consulting, and connections to available resources. The PACES team also collaborates with various campus stakeholders to also help identify funding sources and opportunities for these sustainability improvements. PACES has previously worked with the NRS in 2015 to assess one of their seven Reserves, the Sedgwick Reserve. In this partnership with the NRS, PACES will advise and direct the intern during this year-long program. 

Tasks of the intern:

  • Inventory sustainability accomplishments:
    • Meet with and interview NRS Reserve Directors and staff 
    • Conduct in-person site visits to the Reserves
    • Help document and disseminate information regarding already established, carbon-neutral infrastructure or other sustainable activities ongoing at the Reserves 
    • Create outreach and educational materials for Reserve users 
  • Identify areas of improvement:
    • Develop a database of potential projects identified.  Assess the database for potential resource use and cost savings, return on investment, co-benefits, importance to reserve directors, feasibility, potential negative consequences, and implementation challenges. Prioritize the list.
    • Present findings from assessments to the Reserve Directors.
  • Identify best practices:
    • Research what Reserves or field stationsare doing around sustainability in other parts of the country. 
    • Conduct comparisons of green building certification systems (living building, challenge, LEED, Well Building Challenge, etc) to determine which might be most applicable to NRS sites.
  • Fundraising:
    • Map out potential funding opportunities to support identified projects and assist with grant applications 
  • General coordination:
    • Attend PACES team meetings 

Minimum qualifications: 

  • Eligible for work-study
  • Excitement and demonstrated interest in green building practices, water and energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative transportation
  • Excitement to learn the skill of grant-writing
  • Attention to detail 
  • Strong quantitative analysis skills (this will be applied to doing energy calculations and return on investment assessments). 
  • Strong professional communication and writing skills 
  • Sensitivity to the issues and concerns of marginalized communities including people of color and people of diverse sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.
  • High level of personal initiative and ability to work independently and as a high player
  • Must be able and willing to work in person and follow all university, county, state, and OSHA requirements for safety in the pandemic. If the policy guidance shifts to require positions like this to work remotely, this requirement would change with the most updated guidance.
  • Must be a current UCSB student and enrolled in classes Fall 2021-Spring 2022 and not studying abroad
  • Must have a valid driver's license and be comfortable driving to different reserve locations.  Intern will be expected to make one trip to each reserve.  A car can be rented for the intern if they don’t have one. 

Preferred qualifications: 

  • Knowledge of green building practices, water and energy efficiency, renewable energy, and/or alternative transportation. 
  • Experience with working with diverse stakeholders.

Application instructions:

If you are eligible for work-study, please note this in the cover letter. Work-study is strongly preferred for this position.

Please email your resume, a cover letter describing your interest in the position, and your Summer class schedule to Katie at by August 13th, 2021.

UCSB Career Services offers support and advising in writing résumés and cover letters. Please consider taking advantage of their generous services, especially if this is the first time you have written a résumé and/or cover letter.