STARSCamarillo, Calif., July 31, 2015 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) is now one of only three CSU campuses to have been named a STARS Gold Institution by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

STARS, which stands for Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, has four levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

CI was one of the charter participating campuses in STARS when it received its first rating, Silver, in 2011. The ratings are valid for three years so this is the second rating for CI.

The only other CSU campuses with a Gold rating are CSU Chico and Cal Poly Pomona.

“Our Facilities Services department has really been a leader in terms of water and energy conservation,” said CI Associate Provost Dan Wakelee, Ph.D. “We have academic programs conducting research related to sustainability.  CI has a host of faculty and student sustainability projects, many of which were showcased at our SAGE Student Research Conference in May.”

Among the ecologically-conscious SAGE research projects were: methods for more efficient water pumping; an examination of the effects of the climate on bees; mercury concentration in rice; and the effects of Camarillo weather conditions on the ozone, to name just a few.

Efforts to become an increasingly sustainable campus have been ongoing, according to Jose Chanes, Associate Director of Infrastructure and Energy for CI.

“Even as we add new buildings, we’re continuing to apply conservation standards,” Chanes said. “We design new buildings with conservation in mind.”

Chanes compares the campus to a small, thriving city where everyone collaborates to keep the campus green and sustainable.

Campus conservation practices include hydration stations to limit use of plastic water bottles, irrigation with recycled water, and the ongoing replacement of water-hungry turf with drought-tolerant landscaping.

For the third year in a row, CI was designed a “Tree Campus USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. The student-run Earth Day celebration grew from one booth in 2014 to a 30-display extravaganza in 2015.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.