Jessica Alvarez is a returning student, and is working to apply and expand upon her experiences working with Greenpeace USA in building a broader understanding of the science of sustainability. Pursuing her B.S in Ecology and Evolution, Jessica is intent on working on projects with a “systems” focus and believes that large scale change and adoption of sustainable practices can be achieved! Food issues are a particular passion of hers, and she is very excited to work with the UC Global Food Initiative to drive greater engagement in the program.

Jasmine Castanada

Jasmine Castaneda is a second year Pre-Biology major at UCSB. She is a first generation college student that is striving to pursue a career in the health field working with children. She has become an active member on campus being involved with Congreso, Los Curanderos, and Hermanas Unidas. She has joined the Educating Leaders for the Future program because she has a passion for helping underserved communities obtain a better education. She hopes to be able to inspire the youth to go to college by connecting their life’s to their education by teaching them about sustainable practices.

Jogreet Chadha is a fourth year Environmental Studies major, in the Bachelor of Arts program. She spent her junior year studying abroad in Bangkok, Thailand where she participated in an internship with a non-profit called Sustainable Development Foundation, interviewing hill tribes and collecting data on their resource management practices. This internship allowed her to combine her passion for sustainability with her interest in working with indigenous communities. Back in Santa Barbara after a year abroad, she is excited to be part of the STARS Assessment team. The Environmental Studies program and overall sustainability on campus were primary reasons for her attending UCSB, so she is particularly enthusiastic about measuring the sustainability of courses, research and other programs on campus in this position.

Daniel Charette

Daniel Charette is a third year Pharmacology major looking to gain experience and new skills in sustainability. He previously worked in small-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing, making new drugs for Phase I and II clinical trials. As a Lab Sustainability Coordinator this year, he hopes to bring new practices and programs to the research labs on campus in order to make them more environmentally friendly. Specifically Daniel hopes to be able to bring conservational practices to the pharmaceutical industry after college. He also enjoys surfing and playing ultimate Frisbee in his free time.

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen is a fourth year Environmental Studies major, pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree. Before coming on board with the LabRATS program, Andrew interned with the California Wilderness Coalition, reaching out to local business owners to support environmentally friendly legislation. Previously, he worked at the Briggs Lab at UCSB, researching invertebrate food webs in Sierra Nevada lakes. With his experience working in labs as well as in outreach, he hopes to make the labs at UCSB more sustainable and less impactful on the environment. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and stand up paddle boarding.

Catherine Enders is a 4th year Psychology major with minors in Statistical Science and Professional Writing. Since December 2014, Catherine has worked at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society studying public risk and benefit perception of hydraulic fracturing. She is interested in both environmental psychology and in the intersection of science policy and the environment. With the support of the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Sustainability Research Internship Program, Catherine will complete research studying how we can promote pro-environmental behavior at the individual level. After college, Catherine intends to go to graduate school and to pursue work in interdisciplinary research concerning sustainability.

Genesis Gilroy is a fourth year communication major with a passion for environmental sustainability, agriculture and nutrition. After acting as Student Trustee and ASG President at her community college, Genesis transferred to UCSB where she became involved in UC environmental sustainability with Dr. Anabel Ford. Her experience in student leadership and advocacy drew her to these fields after witnessing the striking correlation between poor food quality, a disadvantaged society and an unhealthy planet. Over the summer, Genesis interned, lived and worked on a natural process farm in Northern California where she gained valuable insight into the relationship between a farm and its community. Genesis hopes to apply the communication skills she has gained from her major to spread awareness and teach others how to eat to their advantage and grow their own food sustainably.

Maile Hartsook is a fourth year Political Science major and is the project coordinator for the Edible Campus Project this year. Her passion for sustainability started while growing up in rural Hawaii. After studying abroad in Paris she realized she wants to turn this passion into a career by working as a policy analyst in energy policy. Previously she has worked for local government agencies in Sonoma and Santa Barbara. In Santa Barbara, she collaborated with county staff and UCSB  career services to develop and institutionalize an internship program which will offer UCSB students a chance to learn about local government each year.  She is excited to work on this important project for the UC Global Food Initiative. In her free time she likes to read, go to the beach, and spend time with family and friends.

Rob Holland is a 4th year Economics major and Black Studies minor. Previously, he has worked as the Statewide Board Chair for the California Public Interest Research Group, focusing on efforts to expand solar power and limit fracking. Rob hopes to use his areas of study to highlight the economic impacts of environmental damages, especially in already marginalized communities. By working in the sustainability office, he hopes to learn more about how sustainability efforts are carried out in influential places such as the UC system.

Alissa Krueger is a third-year Economics major who is excited about data management and conserving the environment.   As a Berlin native, she worked part time in Business Intelligence at the tech company Fyber.  Alissa will be applying her experience with analysis of key performance indicators (KPIs) and database management to UCSB’s Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Report.  Living and working at a local NGO, Semillas, in rural Nicaragua showed her the urgency of sustainability and conservatory issues.   In this role, she also gained experience in public relations.

August Lack is a third year student, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This will be her second year working for the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, following the 2014 conference at San Diego State. She has a background in social justice studies and student affairs through her previous position as a Resident Assistant at UCSB and hopes to use these experiences as a foundation for a future in communicating social and environmental issues to the public.

Adam Law

Adam Law is a fourth year Psychology major.  As a returning LabRATS intern, he piloted the Shared Instrumentation Website, presented at CHESC 2014 and wrote a successful grant for TGIF. His interests in sustainability were home brewed, where his mother was very environmentally conscious and always taught her children to follow her excellent example.  Concurrently with LabRATS, Adam is the VP of Records and Service of NRHH, where he crafts programs designed to give back to the local community.  In his free time, he enjoys watching Mad Men, drinking coffee and learning how to play basketball.

Jason Lipton is a third year Chemistry major working toward a B.S. in the College of Creative Studies, and he is tackling sustainable energy problems by doing scientific research to make advances in alternative energy and electrochemical energy storage through the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Program. Jason has been involved in undergraduate research for the past year, working on projects relating to Plasmonic Artificial Photosynthesis and Supercapacitor advancement. He believes that modern developments in energy storage and production will pave the way to a more sustainable future.

Abraham Lizama

Abraham Lizama is a third year, Art History: Architecture and Environment transfer student from Santa Barbara City College. A Goleta Valley Native, he has witnessed firsthand the rapid growth and change on the central coast and throughout the state of California. A combination of personal experiences, conscious education, and a motivation to protect and preserve our home has resulted in his interest and involvement with environmental issues. Having worked and studied in the Horticultural field has allowed him to understand the dynamic relationships between species and systems, and our lasting effects as human beings. He has also given his time and knowledge to local non-profit groups and organizations such as Just Communities Central Coast, United Way Boys & Girls Club, and the Santa Barbara County Foodbank. Abraham is looking forward to becoming more involved with on-campus organizations and most importantly giving back to his community, while pursuing his B.A. and then a Master’s in Sustainable Architecture or Landscape Architecture.

Joselyne Matamoros is a third year Environmental Studies and Linguistics double major. During her time at UCSB, she has worked with Student Initiated Recruitment and Retention Committee, which aids first generation, underrepresented, low income students–like herself–succeed in college. She also volunteers with Sprout Up, a program that teaches children about sustainability in local elementary schools. She is very excited to begin working as one of the interns for the Food, Nutrition and Basic Skills Pilot Program. In the future, she hopes to combine her passion for teaching and her desire to help others by educating underrepresented communities that lack access to information regarding environmental issues and the resources to address them.

Colleen McCamy is a second year Environmental Science major who intends to peruse a concentration in marine conservation and ecology and intends to minor in art. Colleen is able to explore her passion for the ocean in research and education as an intern at the Santa Barbara Costal Long Term Ecological Research (SBC LTER) lab on campus and as a volunteer at the Research Experience and Education Facility (REEF). Through her volunteer work with Amigos de las Americas, she also has experience with community-driven projects, stakeholder engagement, and empowering youth. She is eager to empower her peers to get involved with the Carbon Neutrality Initiative and create a campus-wide consciousness of the initiative.

Amanda Pantoja is a first year Environmental Studies major and intends to double major in Chicana/o studies. She became involved in sustainability and environmental justice when she was a youth organizer at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) where she worked with young adults to put on community/school events on environmental justice issues. She also had the opportunity to lobby at Sacramento this past summer with CBE to advocate several environmental bills. Adverse outcomes of pollution in her hometown has sparked her passion to help build people power in the frontline communities and work with decision makers to create more green, sustainable, healthy environments. Amanda believes education is the first step in making change so she is excited to be working as coordinator for the General Education Requirement campaign to engage students on sustainability. On her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and crafting.

Kristyn Payne Headshot

Kristyn Payne is a second year Environmental Studies (B.S.) major. She is currently an event coordinator intern for the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference that will take place this June at San Diego State University. As well as working in the Sustainability Office, Kristyn sits on the Board of Directors for a local urban forestry non-profit Goleta Valley Beautiful. Here she participates with general planning, science nights at local elementaries, volunteer organizing, and various other activities. This year she will also be participating in the organizing team for this year’s California Student Sustainabilty Coalition Convergence hosted by UCSB this Spring.



Jason Nomburg is a third year biology student in the College of Creative Studies. He has been a student intern with the Gaucho Certified Farmers Market since fall quarter of 2014, and is responsible for the market’s outreach and internal tabling coordination. Additionally, Jason has been studying and researching in the field of molecular biology since his freshman year and is very passionate about science. As a STARS intern, he hopes to contribute to UCSB’s sustainability program while learning more about university sustainability. In his free time Jason enjoys playing tennis, practicing photography, and spending time with friends.


Dylan Ruan

Dylan Ruan is a fourth year double major in Environmental Studies and Communication. As the living lab intern, he is responsible for interviewing faculty around UCSB in order to publish their research in written publications. He’s developed media relations skills through building a speakers bureau on sustainability and other various forms of work and projects. Dylan hopes to synthesize his interdisciplinary background to find ways to increase outreach with the general public on environmental issues and the latest science. Outside of UCSB Sustainability, Dylan sits on the UCen Sustainability task force, is a student member on the Chancellor’s Subcommittee for Communications, and is a student manager at the UCen. He hopes to have the opportunity to take his sci-comm skills to NASA in the future.

Ashley Stewart is a fourth year political science major and plans on becoming a legislative aide for environmental policy. Her current position at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis sparked her interest in protecting our natural resources. Furthermore, Ashley’s knowledge of developing environmental policy has stemmed from her internship experience with Assemblymember Das Williams (CA-37), and U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA). As a Green Office Certification Coordinator with the PACES team, Ashley is excited to assist in achieving sustainability goals at UCSB. Ashley is also, a mentorship coordinator for the Women’s crew team and loves to row.

Max Stiefel is a second year Geography PhD student at UCSB where he studies population structure and change under environmental hazard risk. At UCSB Max works to advance institutional sustainability as a Graduate Student Representative for the Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee and a Carbon Neutrality Fellow in support of a UC Office of the President Initiative. Originally from Salt Lake City, Max graduated from the University of Utah with Honors in Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Economics in between studying and working in Brazil, Jordan, South Korea, and Turkey. Max enjoys cooking, trail running, traveling, and the outdoors.

Stephanie Thorne is an active nature aficionado.  Her passion is expressed through many outlets, from learning the intricacies of life forms in completing her final year as a biology major and earth science minor, to teaching children about health education with Kids in Nutrition, to playing soccer on the beach.   She also tests Isla Vista’s ocean water for pollution levels with IV Surfrider, and spent half a year studying abroad at the University of Copenhagen while working in a lab studying gut microbiota.  Her latest endeavor is joining the Food Nutrition and Basic Skills Program as the intern.

Taylor Traxler is a third year Marine Biology major striving to gain valuable research experience in the field. She has developed useful skills while participating in the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research (SBC LTER) lab and is interested in using their data to analyze disturbances in kelp forest communities. Taylor also hopes to learn more about the field of sustainability in relation to fishing of local lobster and urchins. She enjoys scuba diving in her free time and works at a local dive shop to get others interested in exploring our beautiful oceans.

Nicholas Turton is a third year transfer student pursuing a communication major with a passion in community investment, development and sustainability. After moving out of his hometown in Buffalo, NY, Nick decided serve the community of LA with AmeriCorps for two years in nonprofit corporate event planning and volunteer management.  There, he gained valuable experience in serving in a fast-paced environment with enthusiastic individuals and peers.  When making the decision to return to university, Nick went with UCSB for its reputation for high-class academics, sustainability programs and opportunities to become involved on campus and the greater Santa Barbara community.  By working with UCSB Sustainability, he hopes to contribute to all of these aspects.

Chinelo Ufondu

Chinelo Ufondu

Nancy Yang is a third year Global Studies major, who intends to apply for the Professional Writing minor her senior year. She has spent the past year working at the Isla Vista Food Cooperative as an Administrative Intern, which piqued her interest in learning more about locally sourced produce, sustainable food systems, and student outreach. Through her internship under UCSB sustainability, she hopes to promote a campus-wide sense of food mindfulness and self-care. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, volunteering at the local dog shelter DAWG, and cooking for friends and family.