Campus as a Living Lab (CLL)

UCI’s “Campus as a Living Lab” (CLL) program is a hybrid seminar and internship experience that offers a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for undergraduates to become sustainability leaders on campus while preparing for the green careers of the future. The program is coordinated in partnership among UCI Biological Sciences, UCI Sustainability Resource Center, and UCI Housing Sustainability.

Students can participate in a three quarter seminar that introduces sustainability concepts weekly and applies them to our most pressing environment, social, and economic challenges. Concurrently, each student partners with a UCI department to improve the sustainability of campus operations, systems, and practices through applied projects.

Applications are open until positions filled.

The desired outcome is for students to gain hands-on experience and conduct applied research and projects to meet actual needs. The collaboration also aims to provide critical capacity to support project sites in initiating or furthering sustainability efforts.

The CLL program gives students valuable skills in project management, research, community outreach, and grant applications, preparing students for the growing “green jobs” market. CLL students help UCI achieve its campus sustainability goals and gain recognition as a sustainability leader. On-campus projects make direct and substantial contributions to UC sustainability commitments, such as the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, the Global Food Initiative, and the Sustainable Practices Policy. CLL students have also applied for and won thousands of dollars in funding for their on-campus sustainability projects. Moreover, CLL helps UCI gain recognition for these sustainability efforts, helping our campus achieve the top spot in Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” rankings and Platinum ratings from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s prestigious Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (AASHE STARS).

CLL was developed in partnership with the UCI Center for Environmental Biology in 2015-2016 as an opportunity to meet the needs of campus sustainability goals and students’ skill development.

Past project sites have included UCI-Nature, Dining, Housing, Campus Physical & Environmental Planning, Facilities Management, Womxn’s Center for Success, LGBT Resource Center, ANTrepreneur Center, Basic Needs Center, and Sustainability Resource Center.


Check out the highlighted projects headed by CLL interns from previous years:

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Contact Information

Room G458, Fourth Floor Student Center South in the R.I.S.E. Suite

Monday – Friday, 9AM – 5PM

(949) 824-2826

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Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor Adventures is a program hosted by UCI Campus Recreation that aims to help students get connected to nature and practice personal wellness through service learning and community-based recreational/fitness activities. This year, interns Trish and Jaden headed the “Leave No Trace” project at UCI, which is part of a larger effort to educate about the importance of enjoying nature while respecting and keeping clean our beautiful parks, beaches, and other outdoor areas. Main duties of this project include outreach to clubs and other campus audiences, social media campaigns with the Outdoor Adventures account, and boothing to educate campus members about Leave No Trace.

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Reproductive Justice

The Womxn’s Center for Success has hosted a Reproductive Justice intern with CLL for the past 2 years (previously called the Menstruation Equity Intern). Reproductive justice is defined by Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective as “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities”. CLL intern Britney was able to work with the Womxn’s Center to organize events such as Tamp-Into Reusables, educating students about reusable menstrual products and related reproductive health topics. The position’s other main topics of focus are abortion care, STD/STI prevention, and contraception as it relates to campus resources/services. 
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Green Labs

UCI Campus Planning & Sustainability hosts an intern to assist with the Green Labs program. The UCI Green Labs program works with principal investigators, lab managers, and students to educate and assist in the implementation of more sustainable practices in campus laboratories and help achieve Green Lab certification. This year, the Green Labs intern, Katie, was able to use her research on campus sustainability and DEIJ goals to help revamp the Green Labs interface with helpful videos and other resources. Katie was able to practice technical skills such as Excel and video editing in addition to communication and organization skills.
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Transportation & Distribution Services

UCI Sustainable Transportation aims to reduce the total number of vehicle trips made to campus by faculty, staff, and students to contribute to the California clean-air effort and reduce campus and community vehicle congestion. UCI Sustainable Transportation worked with CLL intern Amy this year to track how UCI staff have been commuting to the Main Campus, whether that be in a single occupancy vehicle or a sustainable transportation mode, the utilization of the Sustainable Transportation Membership program, and types of parking permits purchased.  Amy’s contributions will be used towards a larger project to reduce commuter emissions by helping to connect UCI staff to carpooling options and a future rideshare matching system that will be added as a new feature to the myCommute portal