Issue No. 18
August 15, 2016
Read This Email Online
A yellow flower.

2016 CSUN Sustainability Plan Annual Update Published

Sustainability Plan Annual Update 2016 cover with a man gardening..

The 2016 CSUN Sustainability Plan Annual Update was published last month and has been redesigned for public dissemination and increased readability. The annual update includes accomplishments and highlights from 2015-16 and priorities for the upcoming year. This report is released annually to follow progress on the goals laid out in CSUN’s 10-year Campus Sustainability Plan published by the Institute for Sustainability in 2013. There are ten focus areas with action items identified in each through the year 2023.

The campus realized many accomplishments in 2015-16. President Harrison was a charter signatory to Second Nature's Climate Commitment, which pledges the campus to plan for carbon neutrality.   This commitment is being met through steps identified in our 2016 CSUN's Climate Action Plan. In addition CSUN gained recognition as a STARS Gold campus by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), achieved a reduction of 55 million gallons in water consumption, conducted a solar feasibility study, and enrolled the largest number of students in the sustainability minor courses to date.

In 2016-17, CSUN continues to commit to sustainability by planning a LEED EBOM (Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance) evaluation, beginning the migration from fossil fuels to solar-powered electricity in the grounds shop, and developing a zero waste plan, among many others. The annual update serves as an accountability tool as well as a means for engagement with our greater campus and community stakeholders.

CSUN Selected as a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award Finalist

Climate Leadership Awards 2016.

CSUN has been selected as a finalist for the 2016 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards. A total of 19 institutions were selected and two will be awarded this year’s Climate Leaders. Second Nature offers these awards in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Center for Green Schools to recognize innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation, and resilience at signatory campuses of the Climate Leadership Commitments.

Climate Leadership Award winners will be recognized this October in Los Angeles as part of the Greenbuild Leadership Awards Program.

Go Green & Save Green - Upcoming Workshops

The CSUN Institute for Sustainability, in partnership with LA Department of Water and Power, are offering FREE workshops on energy and water conservation that can help you save. Attendees will learn about rebates and free programs offered to make homes more efficient, and will be shown simple measures to take within their own homes to reduce energy, water consumption and save money.

Go Green Save Green

All households will receive FREE low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. Refreshments will be served.

Workshops will be held in the following locations:

  • CSUN - Oviatt Library, Room 16: Tuesday, September 13, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
    Register Here
  • Mission Hills - San Jose Elementary: Thursday, Sept. 15, 8:15-9:15 a.m.
    Register Here

Participation Requested - Community Risk and Needs Survey

Survey Environmental and Health Risk Perception.

On Oct. 23, 2015, a gas leak occurred from an underground well in the Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon storage complex in Porter Ranch. The leak was finally sealed on Feb. 18, 2016. However, a new leak was detected on July 2, 2016. This ongoing issue is a concern to the community and has not yet been resolved.

People’s perception of their environment and associated risks can be affected by experience with natural disasters or exposures that have the potential to affect health. A graduate student from CSUN’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety is researching the effect of the Aliso Canyon gas leak on the environmental and health concerns of Porter Ranch residents through an internship with the Institute for Sustainability. From the results of this survey, a needs assessment will be compiled, which will inform the recommendation of resources to mitigate residents’ concerns.

If you feel that you have been impacted by the Aliso Canyon gas leak, please complete the survey online or a hard copy can be requested via email:

Enroll in a Sustainability Course this Fall

People gathered arounda conference room.

There’s still time to enroll in a sustainability course this fall. Nine Sustainability GE Path courses and all three Sustainability minor core courses are being offered. In SUST 300 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainability, students develop skills to think critically and apply theories to real-world issues of sustainability, allowing students to become more globally minded citizens. Classes are filling quickly, but there are still seats available in the Wednesday and Friday sections of SUST 300 and the Tuesday section of SUST 310 Best Practices in Sustainability.

A sustainability minor began in Fall 2011 and includes more than 50 elective courses ranging from Mechanical Engineering to Religious Studies. These courses educate students about the economic, environmental and social implications of their actions. Three core and three elective courses are required to complete the minor. Another option is the Principles of Sustainability general education path. This path is designed to complement education in other fields of study while providing students with the knowledge to make sustainably conscious decisions. This essential knowledge can be applied to any field of study or profession.

Erica Wohldmann Speaks at TEDxUCLA

TEDx UCLA Speaker Erica Wohldmann.

CSUN Psychology and Sustainability Professor Erica Wohldmann recently gave a talk at TEDxUCLA titled, An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Rewilding. For six months Wohldmann lived in the wild, and while on her journey she realized humanity’s need for “rewilding” or rediscovering the wild and our oneness with nature.  Rewilding helps us recognize the importance of caring for the natural land because the health of humanity is dependent on the health of our earth. “Rewilding can help you fall back in love with life. And we protect what we love,” Wohldmann said. Wohldmann’s cognitive psychology research focuses on factors that affect learning and memory for knowledge and decision making. Wohldmann is interested in decision making about nutrition and the environment because what we choose to eat has significant social and environmental implications. She expresses her interests in nutrition and the environment through her founding of and involvement in the CSUN Educational Food Garden. The garden is used to educate students on sustainable agriculture, composting and nutrition.


Upcoming Events

Food Forward

Food Forward Internship

Social Media Coordinator Internship

Passionate about food justice? Join the Food Forward team as an intern or volunteer.

The social media volunteer will oversee Food Forward’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms, and curate content to engage volunteers and supporters. Content will focus on Food Forward events, volunteer and community spotlights, informational articles and program milestones.

To find details on the position or to apply, visit the Food Forward site.

2016 California Adaptation Forum

California Adaptation Forum

Sept. 6-8
Long Beach, CA

Connect with a diverse audience of more than 1,000 local, regional and state leaders who are committed to addressing California’s adaptation needs at the second California Adaptation Forum.

The audience will include elected officials, public and private sector leaders, nonprofits, community members and organizations, and researchers from multiple sectors.

Early bird registrationis open through Aug. 25 and a limited number of scholarships are available.

Green Ambassadors

Green Ambassadors Institute: Research in Action

Oct. 3, 8a.m-3p.m.
Lawndale, CA

The Green Ambassadors Institute — the learning lab and professional development incubator of Environmental Charter Schools — invites K-college educators, community leaders, policymakers and businesses for a day-long summit that explores best practices in environmental education, service learning and urban sustainability.

The event will include a keynote speaker, workshops and collaborative curriculum planning. Register now and join the Green Ambassadors.


Stay Connected


Contact Us

Institute for Sustainability
18111 Nordhoff Street
Santa Susana Hall 116
Northridge, CA 91330-8444



Phone: (818) 677-7710