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Letter from the Director, Leslie Gray
Friday, Sep. 30, 2011
There are many changes ahead for us. This year we welcome a new academic department of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Michelle Marvier is the new department chair but I will continue to serve as ESI director. We have many exciting and vibrant programs with great opportunities for student, faculty and staff involvement.
Bronco Urban Gardens Program
We are in the process of hiring our new Americorps team to run food justice outreach programs at the Forge Garden, Alma Verde Youth Center and Gardner Elementary school. We are thrilled to announce that ESI graduate Cara Uy will be joining us at the Forge Outreach Coordinator. Her job will be to connect SCU campus to our neighboring communities in environmental justice outreach. We also want to welcome Natalie Yoder who will be joining us from Austin, Texas, where she previously ran Nanny Goat Farms. Natalie has extensive experience in urban agriculture and will be our “farmer” at the Forge Garden. Finally, we are very pleased that Nicole Latham has signed on for a second year with us, continuing her wonderful work at Alma Verde.
This is going to be a busy year for the Forge as we undertake some more design work and build out the garden. Our goals are to get a new fence and continue to build out our garden beds. We hope to get lots of involvement from campus volunteers to make this a great campus education and outreach garden!
Sustainability across the Curriculum
John Farnsworth will lead the Penstemon project this year, looking to re-involve past participants in reading groups and discussions about sustainability. We also hope to pilot a project involving selected departments in greening their curriculum!
Sustainability and Justice Research Programs
We are very excited to announce that ESI received a $30,000 grant from the Sustainability and Justice Research Initiative. With these funds, we are working with local partners, including Somos Mayfair and La Mesa Verde, to understand challenges to food justice in the South Bay.
Residential Life Programs
We have many new students participaing in SLURP (Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project) class, conducting reserach to improve campus sustainability. Some recent highlights include Samantha Juda's interview with Voices of America about her SLURP project and new filtered water stations on campus, a direct result of on of our first year SLURP projects!