UCI Sustainability

2021-2022 Carbon Neutrality Initiative and

Global Food Initiative Fellowships Application

The UCI Sustainability Resource Center, UCI Student Housing, FRESH Basic Needs Hub, and Campus Physical & Environmental Planning are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 Bonnie Reiss Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) and Global Food Initiative (GFI) Student Fellowships.

The fellowships enable graduate and undergraduate students to contribute significantly to a select group of on-campus projects. The projects reflect some of the many ways UC Irvine is mobilizing to achieve the underlying goals of the UC President’s Global Food and Carbon Neutrality Initiatives.The fellowships are sponsored by the UC Office of the President.

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 the descriptions below.

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the dates of near term activities could shift. Fellow responsibilities will follow remote learning, social distancing, or alternative guidance as the situation evolves. For the latest on COVID-19, visit uci.edu/coronavirus.

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 28, 2021 AT 5:00 PM PT

For questions, contact sustainability-center@uci.edu

Apply Here

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carbon neutrality initiative


The purpose of the CNI Student Fellowship program is to engage and energize students’ interest in supporting the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative and its work towards meeting UC’s carbon neutrality goals. Fellows are expected to communicate about campus and UC-wide carbon neutrality goals and gain a greater understanding of UCI’s climate mitigation efforts. There will be great emphasis on carbon offsets, which are temporarily necessary to achieve carbon neutrality.

Fellows are expected to:

  • contribute approximately 8-10 hours per week to the fellowship during academic year 2021-22;
  • orally present one status update each quarter at select campus-wide events;
  • attend one fellows’ study break each quarter;
  • complete work products specific to the fellowship project by June 1, 2022; and
  • write a short mid-term report (date TBD) and final report by June 1, 2022.

All fellows are expected to attend the following meetings and trainings:

  • a virtual orientation session on (date TBD) that will bring together both the incoming and outgoing CNI and Global Food Initiative (GFI) Student Fellows
  • a field trip in the Spring of 2022 (date and location TBD)
  • a closing symposium and poster presentation to be held in conjunction with the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) in July 2022
  • periodic conference calls to discuss their projects and share best practices with their peers
  • fellows are expected to participate in the UC system-wide activities (expenses paid)

Planning and collaboration are key to a successful fellowship. All Fellows are expected to work with their supervisors to develop a project overview that includes their project goals, deliverables and timelines, and the metrics that will be used to measure success. Fellows are expected to meet regularly with their supervisors to discuss projects, progress, and issues that arise. Fellows will also submit progress reports and a final report to UCOP. Fellows will also present a poster outlining their project at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Reporting deadlines include:

The 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 virtually with climate and food fellows from across the UC system at the beginning and end of the fellowship year;
  • an opportunity to participate in a virtual sustainability leadership training; and
  • guidance from prominent scholars and mentorship from practitioners in the field.

The CNI Climate Action Fellow will work on projects related to helping UCI achieve climate neutrality, as outline in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy. This includes but is not limited to supporting annual sustainability reporting, conducting overall campus sustainability gap analysis, and updating sustainable operations pages of the UCI Sustainability website. As needed, the selected fellow may support climate outreach and engagement efforts, including upcoming projects pertaining to climate resiliency planning as well as article contributions to the UCI Sustainability Corner. The fellow will work with their supervisor to develop a project overview that includes their projects goals, deliverables, and timelines.

The Student Engagement Fellow will be a team member of the UCI Sustainability Resource Center (SRC). The fellow will focus efforts on incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into the CNI and Sustainable Practices Policy. This will include but is not limited to supporting DEI programs based on Environmental Justice and Climate Justice principles. The fellow will host a program each quarter such as a workshop, film screening, and other student forums or events and report on student issues, concerns, and proposals. The fellow will also collaborate with campus units to update and maintain campus sustainability information on the SRC website. Planning and collaboration are key to a successful fellowship. The fellow is expected to work with their supervisors to develop a project overview that includes their project goals, deliverables and timelines, and the metrics that will be used to measure success.

The Community Resilience Fellow will be a team member of the UCI Sustainability Resource Center (SRC) 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. The fellow will also support the UC-wide efforts to integrate social equity into the work of the UC Sustainability Steering Committee and the UC President’s Global Climate Leadership Council. At UCI, this work will include leading the Environmental Justice Collective (EJC), formerly UCI’s Community Resilience Co-Lab. The student-led EJC 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 SRC staff and faculty mentors to plan and carry out AY 21-22 fellowship activities to continue to weave together students, faculty, and staff working at the intersection of these issues.

global food initiative

Former UC President Janet Napolitano, together with UC’s 10 chancellors, launched the UC Global Food Initiative in July 2014. Building on existing efforts and creating new collaborations among UC’s 10 campuses, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the initiative draws on UC’s leadership in the fields of agriculture, medicine, nutrition, climate science, public policy, social science, biological science, humanities, arts and law, among others. Its focus is both external, such as how UC translates research into policy and helps communities eat more sustainably, and internal, such as how UC leverages its collective buying power and dining practices to create desirable policies and outcomes. The Global Food Initiative offers a student fellowship program for undergraduates and graduate students to work on research projects or internships related to the initiative.

Fellows are expected to:

  • contribute approximately 8-10 hours per week to the fellowship during academic year 2021-22;
  • orally present one status update each quarter at select campus-wide events;
  • attend one fellows’ study break each quarter;
  • complete work products specific to the fellowship project by June 1, 2022; and
  • write a short mid-term report (date TBD) and final report by June 1, 2022.

All fellows are expected to attend the following meetings and trainings:

  • a virtual orientation session on (date TBD) that will bring together both the incoming and outgoing CNI and Global Food Initiative (GFI) Student Fellows
  • a field trip in the Spring of 2022 (date and location TBD)
  • a closing symposium and poster presentation to be held in conjunction with the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) in July 2022
  • periodic conference calls to discuss their projects and share best practices with their peers
  • fellows are expected to participate in the UC system-wide activities (expenses paid)

Planning and collaboration are key to a successful fellowship. All Fellows are expected to work with their supervisors to develop a project overview that includes their project goals, deliverables and timelines, and the metrics that will be used to measure success. Fellows are expected to meet regularly with their supervisors to discuss projects, progress, and issues that arise. Fellows will also submit progress reports and a final report to UCOP. Fellows will also present a poster outlining their project at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Reporting deadlines include:

The fellow will receive:

  • hands-on, project-based experience in the fellowship area;
  • approximately $3,000 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 virtually with climate and food fellows from across the UC system at the beginning and end of the fellowship year;
  • an opportunity to participate in a virtual sustainability leadership training; and
  • guidance from prominent scholars and mentorship from practitioners in the field.

The GFI Student Ambassador role was established to increase student engagement in the Global Food Initiative at both systemwide and campus levels. At each of the 10 UC campuses, the Student Ambassador Fellow serves as the GFI student engagement liaison for their campus. Ambassador Fellows may be invited to participate in leadership convenings of the UC Global Food Initiative where they will lift student voices, report on student engagement activities and progress, and connect with GFI workgroup leaders across the university system. 

The GFI Ambassador at FRESH Basic Needs Hub, UCI more specifically will lead CalFresh communications and engagement efforts at the FRESH Hub. The Ambassador’s role is to increase visibility of the CalFresh program and student eligibility requirements in multiple spaces thus improving student food security and wellness. This includes creating content to advance CalFresh awareness on social media platforms and newsletters, and coordinating CalFresh outreach activities and programming events. 

The GFI Food Recovery Fellow at FRESH Basic Needs Hub, UCI will lead operational communications and engagement efforts with a commitment to sustainability practices at the FRESH Hub. The Food Recovery Fellow’s role is to coordinate engagement activities and create content to communicate the impact of FRESH’s signature food recovery efforts: The Harvest Project, the Grocery Rescue Program, and Zot Bites. The Harvest Project is a partnership developed with UC South Coast Farm to harvest locally-grown produce at the farm and make them available for FRESH pantry clients. The Grocery Rescue Program lifts partnerships with local grocery stores to recover food that would otherwise go to waste and make it available at the food pantry at FRESH.  Zot Bites is a text notification system that invites students as an after-event guest after a catering event has finished and excess food is available. The Fellow will facilitate communications to sustain and increase visibility of these programs in multiple spaces.  The Fellow will also seek opportunities across campus to uplift coordinated efforts to increase sustainability practices at UCI.

The Garden Fellow will create and implement educational programming and conduct engaged research on urban agriculture at UCI. UCI is home to a growing network of gardens that capture student and staff interest in urban agriculture and greening and responds to urban sustainability, food security, environmental health, and climate change resilience. Many of these gardens are student led with functions for food production, education, research, community building, and cultural representation. Since 2015, a partnership among UCI Student Housing, ASUCI, the UCI FRESH Basic Needs Hub, and the UCI Sustainability Resource Center has coordinated a campus gardens program which aims to improve integration between urban agriculture and Basic Needs services, increase experiential learning, and initiate cross-campus collaboration. In particular, the GFI Garden Fellow will support programming and sustainable approaches to urban agriculture at the Arroyo Vista housing “Ants in Your Plants” garden. The fellow will lead the produce donation program between the AV garden and the pantry at the FRESH Basic Needs Hub. This is a hands-on, experiential learning internship engaging the range of skills essential to urban agriculture, both inside the garden and as a community organizer.