2019-2020 Carbon Neutrality and Global Food Fellowships Application

The UCI Global Sustainability Resource Center, UCI Dining, and FRESH Basic Needs Hub are now accepting applications for the 2019-20 Global Food Initiative (GFI) and Bonnie Reiss Carbon Neutrality (CNI) Student Fellowships.

These paid opportunities are sponsored by the UC President’s Global Food and Carbon Neutrality Initiatives. The fellowships are a yearlong commitment. Successful applicants will work on exciting projects across a range of topics including zero waste, energy justice, community resilience, food security, urban gardening, community-aligned carbon offsets, and campus sustainability engagement.

To learn more about the open CNI and GFI year-long fellowships positions, see below. To see what 2018-19 CNI and GFI fellows are working on, click here.

2019-20 Fellowship Application has closed.

Global Food Initiative and Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellowship Program Details

Each fellowship runs from September 23, 2019 – June 13, 2020.

Each fellow will receive:

  • hands-on, project-based experience in the fellowship area;
  • approximately $4,000 in the form of a paid student assistantship;
  • campus and university-wide recognition as a member of a select group of student leaders;
  • an opportunity to convene in person with climate and food fellows from across the UC system at the beginning and end of the fellowship year;
  • an opportunity to participate in intensive sustainability leadership training and retreat; and
  • guidance from prominent scholars and mentorship from practitioners in the field.

In return, each fellow is expected to:

  • contribute approximately 8-10 hours per week to the fellowship during academic year 2019-20;
  • orally present one status update each quarter at select campus-wide events;
  • attend one fellows’ study break each quarter;
  • write at least one blog post each quarter for select social media platforms;
  • create at least one additional way to engage at least 20 additional members of the campus community in the fellowship project;
  • complete work products specific to the fellowship project by June 12, 2020; and
  • write a short mid-term report (date TBD) and final report by June 12, 2020.

Fellows are expected to participate in the following UC system-wide activities (expenses paid):

  • attend an orientation on July 8, 2019, at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) at UC Santa Barbara;
  • attend one multi-day residential Sustainability Leadership Training;
  • participate in quarterly meetings and/or conference calls as needed;
  • attend Fellows’ field trip in April 2020; and
  • participate in a symposium and poster presentation held in conjunction with CHESC in June or July 2020.

UCI Food Waste Fellow

Description: UCI Hospitality & Dining in partnership with UCI Student Housing is committed to sustainable practices in food waste. UCI supports the sustainability goals of the UC Office of the President in reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the sustainable foods available, and reducing water usage. UCI Hospitality & Dining, in conjunction with dining partner Aramark Higher Education, was awarded the 2014 EPA Food Recovery Challenge Narrative Award for Source Reduction. UCI Housing boasts food waste compost services in all residential communities and seeks to increase their diversion rate.

Project Supervisor: Lotus Thai, Sustainability Coordinator, UCI Dining & Dr. Rachel Harvey, Sustainability Program Manager, UCI Student Housing

Student Project: This fellow will create and implement educational programming and conduct engaged research on food waste at UCI. The fellow will be a team member of the sustainability programs of both Student Housing and Hospitality & Dining Services. The fellow will engage on-campus residents educational programs on composting, gardening, and/or culinary skills for sustainability.


UCI Food Recovery Fellow

Description: The UC Global Food Initiative challenges staff, faculty, and students to consider what each of us can do to address food security locally and globally. As part of this effort, UC completed a  Student Food Access and Security Study.  The study found that 19% of UC students who responded to the survey had very low food security and 23% of student respondents had low food security across the UC system as a whole. There are also issues of food security among the greater community in our region. The FRESH Basic Needs team seeks a student to continue its food recovery efforts and manage a set of food recovery programs for the UCI campus.

Project Supervisor: Andrea Gutierrez, Basic Needs Coordinator, FRESH Basic Needs Hub

Student Project: The selected fellow will launch and implement a recovery program for shelf-stable items and perishable items, as well as prepared foods. The fellow will develop relationships with campus partners as well as off campus non-profit organizations and partners. The fellow will implement operational guides with the Environmental Health and Safety and Risk Management stakeholders and launch a variety of food recovery efforts. The student must be a person who is a coalition builder and willing to work through the collaborative decision making process of the University.  


UCI GFI Student Engagement Fellow

Description: UCI faculty, staff, and students from many disciplines participate in the UC President’s Global Food Initiative. Our campus plays active roles to promote food security on campus, zero waste in the dining halls, sustainable and healthy food choices, research in food justice and equity, and development of new food curriculum and experiential learning. During academic year 2019-20, various faculty, staff, and student-led groups will host several high profile events, conferences, and outreach and education campaigns to orient our campus toward the goals underlying the Global Food Initiative and showcase UCI’s leadership across the UC system. At the same time, counterparts at other UC campuses will be leading similar efforts that are designed to be engaged on our campus as well.

Project Supervisor: Andrea Gutierrez, Basic Need Coordinator, FRESH Basic Needs Hub

Student Project: The purpose of this fellowship project is to identify and leverage the synergy among these various food-related efforts at UCI so as to maximize cross-disciplinary learning, elevate our campus dialog, and broaden impact. Actions include communications, Basic Needs website management and content development, marketing, outreach, research, writing, event planning, community organizing, and network building. While serving a campus-wide role, this student will be based in the Basic Needs team through the FRESH Basic Needs Hub in Student Life & Leadership. The Student Engagement Fellow serves as the GFI ‘go‐to’ person for the UC Irvine campus. Ambassador will participate in GFI leadership meetings to share their student voice, report on student engagement activities, and connect with working group leaders across the UC system.

UCI Carbon Offsets Fellow

Description: In accordance with the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative, UC Irvine is committed to being net carbon neutral on Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2025. Based on UCI’s current Climate Action Plan (CAP), developed by the Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability, approximately 46% of these emissions reductions are anticipated to come from carbon offsets. Understanding that carbon offsets are temporarily necessary to achieve UCI’s carbon neutrality goal, we are committed to procuring and catalyzing mission-consistent carbon offsets.

We define “mission-consistent” offsets as projects and programs that do the following:

  • Maintain or improve UCI students’ access to basic needs, including healthy food, affordable housing, and viable transportation options.
  • Prioritize collaboration with community partners to improve the livelihoods of local community members in Orange County and the greater Southern California region.
  • First exhaust all feasible local projects that directly benefit UCI students and community members before expanding to projects in other parts of the world.
  • Are procured from verified, equity-focused offset markets.

Project Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Garrison, Associate Director, UCI Environment Collaboration

Student Project: The selected fellow will explore opportunities for UCI to pursue mission-aligned carbon offsets in conjunction with the Carbon Neutrality Initiative. This will include researching successful offset programs at other college campuses, researching equity-oriented market-based offsets, identifying local offset opportunities, and designing and facilitating one local offset project during the 2019-20 academic year. The student will also work with UCI staff and faculty to coordinate a community carbon offsets equity advisory board.


UCI Community Resilience Fellow

Description: At the UCI Office of Sustainability, we are working on several projects that foster people-centered and inclusive solutions to climate and sustainability challenges. These projects are driven by students, faculty, staff, and community collaborators who come together for meaningful exchange, education, research, and action for social transformation. We work from a shared understanding that the problems of climate change, racism and all social injustice, economic inequality, and our challenged democracy are connected, and so are the solutions. “Community resilience” describes our efforts to create the human infrastructure needed to ensure that climate and sustainability solutions protect and defend both biological and cultural diversity.

Project Supervisor:  Abby Reyes, JD, Director of UCI Community Resilience Projects, Office of Sustainability

Student Project: The selected fellow will work with UCI Community Resilience Projects to integrate and align UCI’s sustainability and climate activities with UCI’s wide-ranging activities that forward understanding and progress on racial and social justice. This work will include coordination of and involvement in UCI’s Community Resilience Co-Lab. The student-led Co-lab aims to build a stronger campus community response to the enduring and intersecting crises of environmental, racial, and social injustice. It brings together UCI graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff from across disciplines and departments to co-generate critical and collaborative shared space for community, experimentation, skills-sharing, and action. The selected fellow will work with staff and faculty supervisors from the Co-lab to plan and carry out AY 19-20 fellowship activities to continue to weave together students, faculty, and staff working at the intersection of these issues. 


Bonnie Reiss CNI Student Engagement Fellow

Description: President Napolitano and chancellors from all 10 campuses announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative in November 2013. The Initiative aims for the University of California to emit net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025. To get there, President Napolitano created a Global Climate Leadership Council (GCLC). The GCLC harnesses the research, teaching, service, and operations strengths of the ten UC campuses to:

  • Advise senior leadership on successful implementation of the system-wide plan for achieving carbon neutrality by 2025,
  • Disseminate campus sustainability best practices,
  • Coordinate all relevant stakeholders to integrate sustainability goals and policies into the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, and
  • Connect the Initiative to UC’s teaching, research and public service mission.

Project Supervisor: Dr. Rachel Harvey, Sustainability Program Manager, UCI Student Housing & Carrie Metzgar, Communications and Office Manager, UCI Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability

Student Project: Students selected to serve as the campus CNI Student Engagement Fellow are expected to work with their campus sustainability office and staff to communicate about campus and UC-wide carbon neutrality goals and programs, to assess existing programs and efforts, and to engage undergraduate and graduate students in those efforts. Engagement and communication efforts should enable and empower students to provide feedback about campus and UC-wide carbon neutrality programs. In addition to these expectations, and those set out by campus supervisors, CNI Student Engagement Fellows have the following responsibilities:

Student Engagement

  • Promote awareness of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative and campus student fellow projects (e.g., tabling about the CNI, engaging student leaders and student organizations in discussions about the CNI, write stories on student fellow projects, Humans of Sustainability Project, etc.)
  • Network and/or help assist with publicizing campus events related to CNI activities, including the Cool Campus Challenge
  • Infuse, where appropriate, CNI branding into campus events, including on‐campus activities in conjunction with Earth Day in April 2020
  • Support efforts to rollout outcomes from Global Climate Leadership Council (GCLC)/CNI Working Groups

Meetings/Events

  • Host a student climate forum on campus
  • Join periodic system-wide CNI Student Engagement conference calls
  • Attend at least one GCLC meeting during the academic year
  • Meet with CNI leaders on campus to learn about ongoing CNI efforts

UC Irvine undergraduate and graduate students in good standing from any discipline are eligible and encouraged to apply. The $4,000 award is distributed in the form of a paid internship with the UCI Global Sustainability Resource Center, UCI Dining, or FRESH Basic Needs Hub. Applicants who are currently employed on campus are advised to assess how the award may interact with existing employment commitments. Graduate student applicants are required to submit a short, signed statement from their faculty adviser acknowledging their intention to pursue this opportunity.

The organizing committee is comprised of faculty and staff from across campus. Select applicants will be asked to participate in a brief (20-30 minute) in-person interview between June 3-7, 2019.