Bonnie Reiss Carbon Neutrality Fellows at UCSB

Christian Gallegos-Alarcon – Student Engagement Fellow


Christian is strategizing methods in which to gain student and faculty engagement in the Carbon Neutrality Initiative. He serves as a mediator between the student body and UCOP by facilitating discussion amongst stakeholders through coalition building and faculty relations. For example, last quarter he partnered with four different environmental student organizations to bring the Mayor of Santa Barbara, Helene Schneider, for a panel with John Foran, a faculty member, and Haley Nieh, President of the Climate Corps Chapter at UCSB.

Please feel free to contact if interested in collaborating or giving feedback on CNI.




Hallie Brown Energy Outreach


Halle is creating an outreach program connected to UCSB’s Energy Dashboard, which shows real-time energy use of all the buildings on campus. The outreach program consists of a bi-quarterly newsletter, a webpage, and a presentation, all of which are targeted at staff, faculty, and students on campus to reduce UCSB’s energy use.








Elizabeth Szulc – Carbon Offsets


Elizabeth’s research is focused on carbon offsets. She is currently developing a guidebook for the UCs on procuring carbon offsets. In addition, she hopes to recommend policy on carbon offsets for the Climate Action Plan.









Denley Rodriguez – Reducing Commuter Emissions for Staff and Faculty


Denley is doing research and data analysis on faculty and staff behavior when traveling to UCSB’s campus. He has used both quantitative and qualitative data to develop a heat map of an area approximately 45 miles around UCSB. He is currently in the process of establishing a vanpool program in which faculty and staff can travel to the campus on a smaller carbon footprint.







Faculty Involvement

Dr. David Lea – Global Climate Leadership Council Representative (GCSC)


Dr. Lea is the representative for UCSB on the GCLC. The GCLC is comprised of UC administrators, professors, staff, and outside experts, GCLC advises the UC system on the best practices, policies, and technologies that will help achieve their carbon neutrality goal. The council also provides guidance on how to integrate CNI and other sustainability goals into the UC system’s teaching, research, and public service mission. Dr. Lea received his undergrad in geology from Haverford College and his Ph.D. in oceanography from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lea switched from geology to oceanography to focus on the chemistry of the ocean and the carbon cycle. He was also interested in reconstructing changes in ocean circulation and how they related to past climate change.



Learn more about faculty involvement here.


Research at the Bren School

UCSB has a wide range of researchers and interns including faculty, administration, and students, all working on achieving carbon neutrality. Below is a list of many different leaders on campus striving towards zero emissions.

  • TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project seeks to develop and deploy solutions to mitigate climate change by capitalizing on the vast resources and researchers within the University of California (UC) system. The goal is to support innovative, multidisciplinary research projects that will substantially accelerate the progress of the University of California Carbon Neutrality Initiative. David Auston, Principal Investigator
    •  Net-Zero Communication Strategy Working Group is developing a plan for strategic communications to help the University of California achieve its carbon neutrality goals. This involves identifying key UC decision-makers and values, conducting primary and secondary research on audiences throughout UC, and performing message testing to determine the most effective methods of engagement for different audiences. Jay McConagha, Celine Mol
    • Natural Gas Exit Strategies working group is evaluating options for eliminating natural gas as an energy source at University of California. This group is specifically investigating how energy efficiency, biomethane, and electrification can reduce and replace natural gas consumption at the University of California. Charlie Diamond, Evan Ritzinger
  • Carbon Zero UCSB Carbon Zero is a graduate student group thesis project from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management working with the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UCSB to determine optimal technological, financial, and stakeholder engagement strategies to achieve the Carbon Neutrality Initiative. Carbon Zero is collaborating with Geography and Facilities Management to prioritize locations for onsite rooftop solar photovoltaic. They are researching possible funding mechanisms and developing a financial model to forecast potential greenhouse gas and cost savings if a green revolving fund were implemented on campus. After meeting with an array of campus decision-makers and students, they are developing communications tools and recommendations to provide different campus groups, including staff and students, tools to help further engage the wider campus community around the Carbon Neutrality Initiative.  Charlie Diamond, Evan Ritzinger, Lydia Rudnick, Dawnielle Tellez, Emily Waddington