Profile in Sustainability – Ian Clampett

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Ian Clampett | B.A. Political Science – International Relations | Class of 2010

Why is sustainability meaningful to you?

From a young age, I was ingrained with a deep sense of appreciation for our local environment. As a native San Diegan, I was fortunate enough to have a father who taught me how to love and respect the ocean through the sport of surfing. The countless hours spent in the water over the last 20 years have instilled in me a strong passion to protect this natural resource so that my son and daughter can enjoy it the same way I did.  

Could you talk about your work pertaining to environmental protection, land use, transportation, water, etc.?

As the Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director for Councilman Chris Cate, it is my responsibility to manage the legislative affairs of the office by providing sound analysis, research, and advice to guide the Councilman’s policy decisions. In the four years I have worked for Councilman Cate, I have had the opportunity to advise him in his role as the previous Vice Chair of the Environment Committee and former member of the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee. In addition to serving on these committees, our office has published policy recommendations for municipal stormwater regulations, citywide sustainability goals, illegal dumping enforcement, reforms to water department operations, and drought policy standards.

You’ve worked at the City of San Diego for several years now. What are some changes you’ve seen/helped implement to improve sustainability efforts for the city?

The City of San Diego was ranked the “greenest city” in the United States by a recent WalletHub report. A significant contributor to this achievement was the City’s adoption of a Climate Action Plan, an ambitious strategy approved in 2015 by the City Council that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and provide all of the City’s energy needs through renewable sources by 2035. As Councilman Cate’s advisor for the Environment Committee, I am proud to have recommended the adoption of this plan and worked on its approval.

Furthermore, during Councilman Cate’s time on the Environment Committee, the City made significant strides in developing a new, locally-controlled source of water through the Pure Water project, the largest infrastructure endeavor in the City’s history. By 2035, this project will provide one-third of the City’s potable water needs. Pure Water will also help meet the City’s renewable energy goals by utilizing captured methane gas from the Miramar Landfill to power operations at the new North City Pure Water Facility. The first phase of this project will break ground in 2019.  

Finally, our office has been working directly with UC San Diego’s Sustainability team to create a partnership between the university and local breweries to convert spent grain, a byproduct of the brewing process, into renewable energy via anaerobic digestion. This partnership will not only help keep this substance away from local landfills, but it will assist the City and UC San Diego in meeting their respective Zero Waste goals, while creating a new, clean, and local source of energy.

What is the most valuable thing you learned while pursuing your degree at UC San Diego?

As a Political Science – International Relations major, learning how to formulate and defend an argument through rigorous research was vital to my growth and development as a student. This skill was taught consistently amongst my professors and at the highest level. I am proud to have been a part of UC San Diego’s acclaimed international relations program. Now working in the political world, the skills I learned at UC San Diego have proven to be critical to my responsibility to develop and defend policy solutions for San Diego’s most pressing issues.

(Posted 11/15/2018)

2018-19 Global Food Initiative Fellows

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(From left to right: Christiana Schlutius, Luke Lindgren, Erica Ferrer, and Belinda Ramirez)

The University of California President’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) Student Fellowship Program funds student-generated research, related projects, or internships that focus on food issues. All 10 UC campuses, plus the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, participate in this program. The UC San Diego Bioregional Center is proud to announce the 2018-19 GFI Student Fellows and Student Ambassador: Christiana Schlutius, Luke Lindgren, Erica Ferrer, and Belinda Ramirez. See below to read more about the Fellows’ projects, such as conducting cooking demos to encourage healthy eating, developing data-collecting prototypes to help grow food in greenhouses more sustainably, and using visual media to bring to light the importance of small-scale fisheries for global food security.

As a GFI Fellow, Christiana strives to improve food security among UC San Diego students. One way of doing this is to connect healthy, fresh produce from Roger’s Community Garden (the largest community garden on campus) to the Triton Food Pantry. To facilitate this process, Christiana will conduct weekly cooking demos at The Hub on Thursdays from 12:30-1:30pm, featuring the same fresh produce served at the pantry. Check out the first cooking demo from this year, “Cooking on a Student Budget.” The goal of these demos is to help educate students on how to use the food they receive and to build meal preparation skills.

Luke’s GFI project centers around the creation of a smart, aquaponic greenhouse that utilizes off-the-shelf technologies. While this test greenhouse will be relatively small, it is hoped that any lessons learned from this experience can be used to help the University of California campuses grow food in a more sustainable manner. Unfortunately, green and smart technologies have a high cost of entry and knowledge, so Luke has joined forces with a group of coders and gardeners to start the group Computer Science for Agriculture with the goal of training others to set up production sensor and control nodes. These nodes, or “boxes,” can do anything from monitor the temperature and pH of soil and water to gather atmospheric data like gas concentrations. While still in the prototype phase, Luke and his team aim to get several of these “boxes” up and running so that they can install them in the greenhouses at Roger’s Community Garden on campus.

Erica is a second-year Ph.D. student at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Dr. Octavio Aburto’s lab. As part of the Aburto lab, she is interested in questions related to sustainability across marine systems, focusing her graduate research on small-scale fisheries ecology in Latin America. Did you know that anywhere from 30-50% of the world’s seafood is supplied by small-scale fisheries? The catch from small-scale fisheries and industrial fisheries alike comprise an important component of global food security, while contributing to the economic vitality of communities across every continent. But how sustainable are these food systems with respect to their environment? With collaboration and guidance from Zack Osborn, Student and Community Engagement Specialist for the Bioregional Center for Sustainability Science, Planning, and Design, Erica is working to produce a video that outlines fisheries research being conducted at the University of California and beyond. She hopes that this video will demonstrate successful ways to sustainably fish from the ocean without resorting to destructive and unhealthy practices.

Belinda’s efforts as this year’s UC San Diego GFI Student Ambassador will focus on strengthening the connections between UC GFI Student Ambassadors across the UC system by collaborating and maintaining consistent communication. As a former GFI Fellow, she believes that this will have the effect of helping the UC San Diego GFI Fellows understand their role in the larger UC Global Food Initiative. Using her experience with event programming and social organizing, Belinda hopes to connect UC San Diego students with sustainability and food organizations, initiatives, and events on campus, including the many gardens on campus. This can help to create a stronger push toward bringing sustainability, food, and agricultural issues to the foreground at UC San Diego. Belinda is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in sociocultural anthropology. Her dissertation research—which explores the intersections of race, politics, place, and values within the urban agriculture movement in San Diego and Tijuana—builds off of her work as a GFI Fellow and Student Ambassador.

New Water Refill Stations Across Campus

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As part of the UC San Diego’s zero waste and healthy campus goals, Facilities Management finished installing 10 new water refill stations across campus!
Bring your reusable water bottle or mug to get clean drinking water at these new locations:
  • Wells Fargo Hall 1W102 (Rady)
  • Wells Fargo Hall 2N116 (Rady)
  • Hubbs Hall 1st floor near elevator (SIO)
  • Svredrup Hall 1st floor  (SIO)
  • Ritter Hall 1st floor  (SIO)
  • Skaggs School of Pharmacy (2 installed)
  • Solis Hall
  • York Hall
  • Warren Lecture Hall

Funded by the Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning, the stations join many others across the university, keeping the campus community hydrated without the use of plastic bottles. Locate a water refill station near you via the online campus map.