In order to advance campus-wide efforts to move towards a more sustainable future, FS Sustainability continuously communicates and collaborates with other departments on campus in addition to searching for innovative students who are eager to contribute fresh ideas, implement unique projects, and lead research initiatives. Students in the Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM) program take on Capstone research projects that often revolve around sustainability both on- and off-campus, along with many other academic programs including Art, Anthropology, Performing Arts, Sociology, Biology, Chemistry and more. 

Here's what the CI community has been up to in the past year to help advance sustainability efforts:

Energy and Society (CHEM 344)

Students in CI's Energy and Society course (CHEM 344), instructed by Dr. Safa Khan, engage in a semester-long project that, when completed, may recieve funding to be implemented on campus. These projects are based upon surveying the physical, chemical, and engineering principles involved in the production of energy from current and potential sources and the economical, environmental, and political issues surrounding energy production. Facilities Services often collaborates in the creation and implementation of these projects, many of which are listed below. 

Sustainable Pollinator Gardens

Dr. Khan's Spring 2018 Energy and Society class designed and implemented a pollinator garden on the second floor of Sierra Hall. This garden includes multiple native plant species as well as drought-tolerant succulents and is specifically designed to give pollinators a "safe haven" here at CSUCI. Our campus community recognizes the vitality of pollinators and is making huge steps toward ensuring their health and abundance. More pollinator gardens are in the works in various other locations on campus. These pollinator gardens were instrumental in helping us to achieve our Bee Campus USA recognition!

Figure 1: Pollinator garden on the second floor of Sierra Hall

Waste Signage Improvement 

This project aims to further students' understanding of which materials are recyclable and which go into landfill. The signs, which were created by Dr. Safa Khan's CHEM 344 students, display common items that are often thrown away on campus. This way, when students approach a bin to dispose of something, they know exactly where it should go.

Figure 2: Signage above recycling bin in Bell Tower

Organic Waste Educational Campaign

To achieve compliance with AB 1826, CSUCI has begun to collect its organic waste and is using EJ Harrison and Sons to process the organic waste at an industrial compost facility. The initiative will take place in 2 stages:

  Phase 1:  Prep/Kitchen Staff Collections

  Phase 2:  Post-Consumer Collection

Figure 3: Infographic created to raise campus awareness about compostable waste

EJ Harrison and Sons collects CI's food waste and delivers it to a secondary company called Agromin, which sells compost soil in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. Agromin employs a Covered  Aerated Static Pile System in Oxnard, California to promote aerobic conditions that mix the food and green waste to create enriched compost materials that will eventually become nutrient-rich soil amendments.

The student leaders in this project created signage for the CSUCI Sustainability Projects Office to assist in the  launch of this initiative. In addition to signage, a survey was given out on Earth Day to determine which of these visual aids were most effective and impactful within our student body.


Originating in Academic Affairs through a course section and funded via Instructionally Related Activites (IRA), GreenScreens were conceptualized to help reduce CSUCI's unnecessary paper consumption that resulted from printing and putting up informational posters in buildings around campus. By using these screens, we are able to efficiently post up-to-date information for our campus community in a more sustainable and efficient manner.

Figure 5: Green screen in Del Norte displaying the "Go Green Gazette" for Spring 2018 (created by SustainableCI, Art Capstone students and Academic Affairs)

"No Single-Use Planet" Student-Led Campaign

During the Spring semester of 2018, a group of students created a campaign to raise campus awareness about the dangers of single-use plastics and their detriment to all living systems. The petition that was created to eventually eliminate all single-use plastics on campus got nearly 1000 student, staff and faculty signatures, which exemplifies the importance of sustainability to our entire campus community. The campaign was also created in alignment with the CSU-wide goal of moving toward zero waste set by the Chancellor's Office. Those who collaborated in this effort were the CI Art club, Santa Rosa Island Student Committee, Green Generation Club, Surfrider Foundation Club, and many CI faculty and staff. The campaign will continue on through the 2018-2019 academic year to work on creating and implementing the next steps for eliminating single-use plastics at CSUCI.

 Figure 7: Students and staff gather to discuss the future of the "No Single Use Planet" campaign. From left to right: Sustainability and Operations Analyst Coleen Barsley, Dining Services head personnel Nic Manocchio and Peter Maher, President of Surfrider Club Chelsea Narajos, Exec. Director of University Auxiliary Services Deanne Ellison, Student Kiana Sailor, Dean of Students Toni DeBoni, and Sustainability Student Assistant Lisa Noriega. Not pictured: Student Daniel Cook

The first milestone of this campaign, a product of the meeting pictured above, is to put all single-use straws behind counters at dining locations on campus. As of Fall 2018, straws will not come with drinks unless customers specifically ask for them. Signage for this initiative has been provided by the Surfrider Club at CSUCI and the Surfrider Chapter of Ventura County. 

Past Projects

Rain Barrel Capstone Project

Locations of the rain barrels around campus








The full report can be found here.

This Capstone research project was created to help conserve water at CI! The water collected during the rainy seasons are then used by the Grounds Department of Facilities Services to water nearby plants.

Hydration Stations

This student-led project was completed in August of2014. Between their initial installation and December of 2015, hydration stations around campus have diverted over 4 million plastic water bottles! CI also has a sustainability map that displays the locations of these hydration stations on campus along with other sustainable features at CSUCI.

Figure 4: Hydration station in Bell Tower with informational signage about the dangers of plastic water bottles in landfills and a map displaying all refill stations on campus

Get Involved

Learn how to get involved!

We have projects in the areas of energy conservation, waste minimization, water conservation, and landscaping. For more information on how you can contribute to CI’s sustainability efforts beyond the classroom, contact us:

Coleen Barsley
Sustainability & Operations Analyst for Department of Facilities Services
California State University Channel Islands
Phone: (805)437-3507
Located in Ironwood Hall