Sustainability

Education

CSUN strives to reduce its own footprint on the environment and to educate its students and the broader campus population on sustainable practices.

Main Strategies

  1. Expand education on sustainability principles and practices to entire campus population
  2. Increase formal educational offerings in sustainability
  3. Increase opportunities for hands-on student learning in sustainability
  4. Increase research opportunities in sustainability

 Objectives for 2023 

  1. Participation in a sustainability office program by all campus offices/units by 2015
  2. Implement university-wide sustainability education for all students by 2018
  3. Offer M.A. Degree in Sustainability Practices by 2018
  4. Expand service learning and internship opportunities in sustainability
  5. Expand network of faculty engaging in sustainability-related research

  2017-18 Priorities and Outcomes

  • Develop an interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in sustainability practices.
    • A committee has been formed to develop this program, and has submitted an outline for a Master’s Degree in Sustainability Leadership and Policy. It will be housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and will likely first be offered in 2021 or 2022.
  • Commission student art pieces to display at the Sustainability Center.
    • Numerous student art pieces are on display in the Sustainability Center. Current pieces explore different themes relating to sustainability such as waste, reuse and repurposing, and depictions of nature.
  • Develop sustainability center tour and virtual tour video.
    • 17 tours of the LEED Platinum, net zero energy Sustainability Center have been given since it opened in October 2017 including tours to eight Sustainability courses, the US Green Building Council, LA Department of Water and Power, and Northridge Academy High School students. An online registration form is being created for building tours. Associated Students is developing a virtual tour that will be launched summer of 2018.
  • Explore opportunities to develop an internship program employing students from existing internship courses.
    • Many internship projects and positions have been identified, and a finalized list will be created over the summer. Once the finalized list is created the list will be posted on the Sustainability webpage and the applicable departments will be made aware of these new opportunities.
  • Promote the new Sustainability Center as the hub for sustainability on campus.
    • The Sustainability Center has been used for a variety of sustainability related activities, events and meetings by a wide array of campus and community members. It will continue to serve as the epicenter of sustainability efforts at CSUN, educating and inspiring action among students, staff and faculty.
  • Launch a sustainability themed film series.
    • The scale of the film series will depend on funding from a Campus Quality Fee grant, and the program will be developed over the summer. The possibility of remote movie streaming with online discussions is also being explored.

  Other Highlights

  • The Institute for Sustainability hosted Sustainability Day in the Fall and Water Day this Spring and saw over 600 attendees total.
  • This year there were over 370 students enrolled in the Sustainability core courses – SUST 300, 310, and 401. 93 students have currently declared a Minor in Sustainability, and since 2012 over 100 students have graduated with a Minor in Sustainability.
  • Sustainability staff hosted a “Go Green –Save Green” employee development workshop in partnership with Human Resources.
  • The Institute co-hosted a screening of the documentary “Plastic China” with the CSUN China Institute that was followed by a panel discussion with campus faculty.
  • As part of the Climate Resilience in Urban Campuses + Communities (CRUX) initiative, CSUN hosted community partners from CSULA, CSULB, and LA Valley College to work on resilience plans, a component of the Second Nature Climate Commitment. Urban Planning masters students also received training on developing a resiliency plan for CSUN and the Northridge community.
  • The Institute presented at many conferences and events including Climate Day LA, the APLU Annual Meeting, This Way to Sustainability conference, and LA Business Council Sustainability Summit.

  2018-19 Priorities

  • Provide faculty development on sustainability Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) and on how to incorporate sustainability content into courses.
  • Develop and launch a sustainability internship program.
  • Develop method for identifying faculty research related to sustainability and develop an online directory of faculty.
  • Coordinate with film and journalism departments to encourage student films, documentaries, public announcements and articles related to sustainability. These can be screened before events, on MIND screens, and linked to web pages.

SOP Materials

Issue:

ED1.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Develop sustainable office program (SOP) training materials for student trainees and office staff

Status:

Training videos, assessment tool (survey), consultant FAQ sheet, and department resource list have been created. (IS)

Party Responsible:

IS, AS

Next/Action Items:

Completed

Training Workshops/Audits

Issue:

ED1.2

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Establish schedule of training workshops for office staff and execute audits

Status:

Training for student consultants conducted in April, 2014 (IS). There are 4-8 students interested in being consultants. AS will schedule assessments in Student Affairs offices.

Party Responsible:

IS, AS, HR

Next/Action Items:

See AD1.4

SOP Tracking

Issue:

ED1.3

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Establish and maintain tracking system for SOP

Status:

Data collected will be stored in survey monkey. New account purchased.

Party Responsible:

IS, AS

Next/Action Items:

Ongoing

Host Events

Issue:

ED1.4

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Continue to host annual sustainability day and water day events, and participate in America Recycles Day and Earth Day

Status:

IS continues to host Sustainability Day in the Fall and Water Day in the Spring. Approx. 525 students attended Sustainability Day, using Garbology as the theme. Thirteen faculty brought their classes and approx. 400 students attended Water Day, where climate change and the drought were the theme AS continues to host America Recycles Day in the fall (700 attendees) and Earth Fair in the Spring (3,000+ attendees)

Party Responsible:

IS, AS

Next/Action Items:

Ongoing

Film Series

Issue:

ED1.5

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Establish sustainability-related film series

Status:

This has not been started yet.

Party Responsible:

IS, AS, SA, Housing

Next/Action Items:

Look into the potential to run a film series through the MataSphere.

Site Signage

Issue:

ED1.6

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Design and post educational signage at sustainability sites on campus

Status:

Signage has been posted at Orange Grove, Fuel Cell, Rainforest, Institute for Sustainability, Student Rec Center, VPAC, AS Recycling, Food Garden, Weather Station, PV projects, Transit Station, Ecoregion Garden, and other sustainability sites on campus. Signage was added for the Matador Dr. and F5 bioswales.

Signs have been posted by AS for new drinking fountain spigots for filling reusable water bottles.

Party Responsible:

IS, FPDC, PPM

Next/Action Items:

Signage will be added as new installations are made. Signs are being posted for new dual-flush toilets.  Also new signage is being developed for the restrooms on saving water. (Rosenthal)

Informational Signage

Issue:

ED1.7

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Increase informational signage for waste, food, water and energy use

Status:

FPDC/IS have working with VISCOM to develop a sustainability marketing campaign for all aspects of this plan.

Party Responsible:

IS, AS, TUC, PPM, SA sust.comm.

Next/Action Items:

  On-going.

Student Media Pieces

Issue:

ED1.8

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Coordinate with film and journalism departments to encourage student films, documentaries, public announcements and articles related to sustainability. These can be screened before events, on MIND screens, and linked to webpages.

Status:

Potential to use students to create sustainability media pieces.

Party Responsible:

IS, faculty, AS

Next/Action Items:

 No action taken.

Campus Tour and Orientation

Issue:

ED1.9

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Coordinate with the University Ambassadors (UA) and Student Development Office (SD) to include sustainability education and features in campus tour and new student orientation

Party Responsible:

SA, AS

Next/Action Items:

AS (Crandall) will work with UA and SD on implementation.

Informal Education in Housing

Issue:

ED1.10

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Provide informal sustainability education to students in campus housing and develop a plan for improving related practices

Status:

Potential to do this through the Matasphere as champions in student housing.

Party Responsible:

IS, Housing

Next/Action Items:

 No action taken.

Life-Learning Community

Issue:

ED1.11

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Establish living-learning community in campus housing and train students as peer-to-peer educators in sustainability

Status:

Summer 2014 the MataSphere was created in Student Housing as a living learning community.

Party Responsible:

Housing

Next/Action Items:

On-going.

Assess Sust. Literacy

Issue:

ED1.12

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Assess sustainability literacy within student population

Status:

IS (Cox) developed survey based on one conducted at OSU and obtained Human Subjects Approval in Fall 2013. Conducted pre and post surveys for all SUST classes in F2013. IS (Jackiewicz, Geog) and a student assistant are conducting assessment with a range of classes, mostly lower division in Spring 2014. Goal is to assess 1000 students this semester and continue for 4 years. Analysis to take place based a multiple student attributes starting in Summer 2014.

Party Responsible:

IS, Faculty, AS

Next/Action Items:

Ongoing

Identify Courses

Issue:

ED2.1

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Identify and flag sustainability-related courses. Maintain list of such courses

Status:

Created GE course SUST 111/L GE course in climate change.

Party Responsible:

SCC, IS, LSP

Next/Action Items:

On-going. Need to develop more SUST courses.

Faculty Development

Issue:

ED2.2

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Provide faculty development on sustainability SLOs and on how to incorporate sustainability content into courses

Status:

Some of this is being done through the GE path.

Party Responsible:

SCC, LSP

Next/Action Items:

 In-progress.

SLOs and SUST Courses

Issue:

ED2.3

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Encourage inclusion of sustainability-related SLOs and/or SUST core courses in programs

through faculty and Department Chairs

Status:

 No action taken.

Party Responsible:

SCC, LSP

Next/Action Items:

 No action taken.

Master's Program Tracks

Issue:

ED2.4

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Work with Department Chairs to develop discipline-specific tracks for Master’s program in Sustainability Practices

Status:

MBA with a sustainability concentration has been approved.

Party Responsible:

SCC

Next/Action Items:

In-progress.

Sustainability Literacy

Issue:

ED2.5

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Develop and provide sustainability literacy education to all students

Status:

Also under ED1.6.
Created GE course Sustainability 111/L GE course in climate change.

Party Responsible:

SCC, LSP, IS, AS

Next/Action Items:

On-going.

Identify Faculty

Issue:

ED2.6

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Identify faculty willing and able to teach sustainability

Status:

CSUN has 12 faculty currently teaching Sustainability 300, 2 additional teaching in Sustainability 310.

Party Responsible:

SCC, LSP, IS

Next/Action Items:

On-going.

Online/Hybrid SUST 300

Issue:

ED2.7

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Identify faculty willing and able to teach sustainability

Status:

This has not been done yet. There has not been an issue filling in class sessions. We would add in class sessions before online if expanding.

Party Responsible:

Faculty

Next/Action Items:

 On-hold.

Offer Graduate Certificate

Issue:       

ED2.8

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Implement and offer Sustainability Practices graduate certificate through Tseng College

Status:

On-hold.

Party Responsible:

SCC, IS, Tseng

Next/Action Items:

 On-hold.

On-Campus SL & Internships

Issue:

ED3.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Establish list of service learning and internship opportunities on campus related to sustainability

Status:

This has been expanded, garden compost, lighting inventories, RFC, SOP, farmers market, event org.

Party Responsible:

IS, CIELO

Next/Action Items:

On-going: IS will work on expanding On-campus SL & internships.

Community SL & Internships

Issue:

ED3.2

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Collaborate with local agencies and non-profits to establish a list of service learning and
internship opportunities in the community related to sustainability

Status:

 There are some opportunities on Moodle.

Party Responsible:

IS, CIELO

Next/Action Items:

Need to contact external companies for opportunities.

Active Learning Procedures

Issue:

ED3.3

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Establish procedures for accepting, allocating, and supervising students in active learning opportunities in sustainability

Status:

Keeping a Moodle page updated with available service learning projects and opportunities.

Party Responsible:

IS, CIELO

Next/Action Items:

On-going.

Active Learning Outreach

Issue:

ED3.4

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Engage in outreach to bring in students from a variety of departments into active learning opportunities in sustainability

Status:

On-going.

Party Responsible:

IS, CIELO

Next/Action Items:

On-going.

Internship Course

Issue:

ED3.5

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Create internship course in sustainability, SUST 494

Status:

 In Progress.

Party Responsible:

SCC, Faculty

Next/Action Items:

 In Progress.

Faculty Research

Issue:

ED4.1

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Identify and maintain a list of faculty conducting sustainability-related research

Status:

Potential to use the Library team to develop an efficient way to determine faculty involved with sustainability research.

Party Responsible:

IS, RGS

Next/Action Items:

 In Progress.

Online Directory

Issue:

ED4.2

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Establish online directory to connect faculty engaging in sustainability-related research

Status:

 No action taken.

Party Responsible:

IS, RGS

Next/Action Items:

 No action taken.

Faculty Participation

Issue:

ED4.3

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Increase faculty participation in green core team, and expand size and number of working groups

Status:

Potential to use the Library team to develop an efficient way to determine faculty involved with sustainability research.

Party Responsible:

IS

Next/Action Items:

On-going.