Learning through service CSULB students take action to create a sustainable campus

The Importance of Media Coverage

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

California State University Long Beach is making leaps and bounds to becoming the leader in sustainability for all CSU campuses. But if no one is documenting their efforts, how will the community learn about pressing environmental issues and how to help?

Here is a graph showing what americans know about science topics. Thankfully, 68% of Americans understand that the burning of fossil fuels will create carbon dioxide. If we can give the public a basic knowledge and understanding of climate change and global warming, hopefully we will be able to create a society with a stronger civic commitment.

Of the U.S. adults that answered the survey correctly most had some college experience or a college degree. I believe that the uninformed can be taught through the media with coverage of global warming events, policy, and community action.

The Pew Research center also concluded that young people, ages 18-29 care the most about climate change.

With that being said, I had the privilege of following a group of students at CSULB and their quest to change policy on campus. I hope this presentation will bring a new understanding of the Importance of climate change and how seriously CSULB students are about change.

Environmental Science Policy and Geography 392

"CSULB is a charter signatory to the Climate Commitment, in which some 650 colleges and universities have joined together to address the causes and impacts of climate change. It includes a Carbon Commitment, which focuses on reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions and achieving carbon neutrality as soon as possible (we have pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2030), and a Resilience Commitment, which focuses adaptation to deal with a changing climate and resulting extremes by working with the community. CSULB is also committed to other dimensions of sustainability. In this course, students contribute to these efforts through service learning assignments working with CSULB staff, faculty, and community partners," according to the course syllabus.

This unique class allows students to take action, and work at all levels of sustainability.

Assignments will seek to match individual students’ interests and abilities with the requirements of the work. The variety of assignments will require the application of different sets of knowledge and skills, and will be appropriate for a wide range of academic majors and individual abilities. The physical campus will be the principal site of activities for the course. Off-campus assignments will be included as campus-community partnerships are established, and are expected to strongly focus on building resilience.

Students worked hands on to draw maps for outdated irrigation maps, identify plants on campus, strategize proper signage for waste bins, and create policy of buying green tech on campus.

One group went above and beyond to create new sustainable purchasing policy on campus, and did so in just one semester.

Peter Aspestrand, supervisor Pina Wright, Becky Wybroski, and a representative of the receiving department talk about end of life for technology purchased by departments.
After weeks of research, planning and strategizing, the student team was ready to propose new policy changes to CSULB's president Jane Close Conoley.
Students, along with CSULB "green team" prepare for President Conoley's visit.
Right to left: Daniel Brown, Becky Wybroski, and Peter Aspestrand, Students of ESP/GEOG 392 review the proposed purchasing policy.
Here we are with the president (center top) during the meeting.

A few weeks after the meeting, Project manager Malia Kinimaka informed the students of their success.

ESP/ GEOG Professor Dean Toji and I

Thanks Dean!

Created By
Priscilla Aguilera

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