Institute for Sustainability 2020

  • Community banner with red background


The Institute engages students from many different disciplines in community activities, outreach, and sustainability-related projects. We develop meaningful relationships with our community to make a difference in our region by partnering with organizations like Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, local government, California ReLeaf, Northridge Vision, Neighborhood Councils, Grid Alternatives, Climate Resolve, Pando Populus and local non-profits to conduct outreach and education, provide valuable learning experiences and engage our students in community sustainability work.

We host regular workshops in the community for residents and engage with businesses on energy and water conservation and efficiency, solar energy, drought-tolerant and native landscaping, and climate adaptation strategies

Tomatoes on a Vine

Center for Food, Faith, and Justice

CFFJ (Center for Food, Faith, and Justice) is a partner with CSUN on the AFFP Project. CFFJ is part of the Berkeley Food Network. The Berkeley Food Network was founded in December 2016 with the goal of ending hunger in Berkeley. We have an innovative mix of community-centered and collaborative programs to get healthy, nutritious food to the people in Berkeley who need it. At the heart of this work is our food sourcing and distribution hub operating out of our warehouse. We source food from the Alameda County Community Food Bank and local food businesses that are later distributed to Berkeley residents.

Urban Farm orchard

Cottonwood Urban Farms

Nestled in the basin of the Tujunga Wash, Cottonwood Urban Farm (CUF) uses creative growing techniques and community-oriented sustainable farming. Led by urban farmer Elliott Kuhn, CU Farms is a key partner with IS, collaborating on education, outreach, and composting projects with CSUN Students.

TLC - Flower

Fernandeño Tataviam Tribe and the Tataviam Land Conservancy

The Tataviam Land Conservancy is governed by a five-member Board composed of preservation-minded individuals, both tribal and non-tribal, that work collectively with local landowners and Tribal citizens to build a volunteer base, develop funding, and provide leadership to support the TLC’s mission.

a girl tending flowers

Hope Urban Garden Project

Heightening Opportunities through People’s Empowerment. Launched by science faculty member German Gurrola at VOCES charter school, this multi-institutional effort brings IS into collaboration with VOCES, CSUN Chicana/o Studies, Tree People, and other community organizations.

LA Compost Truck

LA Compost

IS is developing a partnership with LA Compost, a community organization which creates new “compost hubs” built in places where people coexist -in churches, schools, gardens, and workplaces. LA Compost now has community compost hubs throughout LA County. Each hub reflects the community in which it's located, but they all serve the same purpose. They compost organics locally while creating shared spaces for people to connect with each other and the natural world.

LA Sanitation Student Team

LA Sanitation

LASAN brings together experts (including IS) on an Expert Council and an interdepartmental Biodiversity Team. The collective knowledge and data resources from these esteemed individuals were tapped to measure the Singapore Index and to provide the recommendations presented throughout the report.

MESA exchange program

Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture 

MESA’s International Exchange offers a rare opportunity for beginning and established farmers from different cultures to spur innovation, champion agricultural heritage, and transform our global food system. Awarded U.S. Department of State training and cultural exchange program designation in 1996, MESA sponsors training visas for eligible beginning international farm Stewards. 

Sustainability Truck - Northridge Academy

Northridge Academy High School

IS collaborates with our campus neighbor, NAHS, to create opportunities for mentoring and training NAHS students in urban farming, composting, and sustainability.

Armada Unified logo

Armada Unified

Armada Unified provides leadership development and resilience training to active and aspiring social justice leaders in LA’s underserved communities.

Rootdown LA Logo

RootDown LA

IS collaborates with South LA non-profit RootDown LA on a USDA farmers market and local food initiative connecting communities across the region through food justice initiatives. RootDown LA was born in October 2007 when a small group of motivated youth leaders from Manual Arts High School in South LA realized that nutrition education in their community wasn't working. Together with co-founder Megan Hanson, they set out to develop programming that would get people excited about healthy food.

WISP lake

Water Institute for Research and Policy

WISP (Water Institute for Research and Policy) is a new non-profit headed by LA River artist Steve Appleton, who has a long history of collaboration with CSUN. IS is working with CSUN’s Center for Geospatial Science and Technology (CGST), CSBS, and WISP to create a new “CSUN LA River Outpost) at WISP’s center along the LA River.

Ladybugs on a leaf

Conservation Concierges (CC)

Based in Chatsworth Lake Manor, CC (Conservation Concierges) seeks to restore the endemic ecology of our local chaparral regions to reduce fire danger through vegetation removal. CC provides workforce development for job creation through policy and legislation measures for job development for adverse communities. CC also offers Supportive services cater to members for wrap-around services dedicated to the “whole person needs.