STAR Power


UC San Diego has earned a “gold” sustainability-performance rating in the annual Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) survey administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Of the 269 institutions in the United States and Canada that registered for the STARS survey, only 10 achieved gold status. UC San Diego is the first college or university in California to earn a gold STAR rating.

The university’s high ranking was achieved, in part, thanks to many eco-conscious and environmentally-friendly efforts led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Scripps programs and initiatives highlighted in the winning UC San Diego STARS submission include:

•    Scripps’ numerous classes and research opportunities with a sustainability focus, including more than 45 undergraduate courses with an applied environmental focus.

•    Installation of landscaping elements that filter pollution from surface runoff water for storm water management along the coastal landscape of the Scripps campus.

•    Scripps’ active participation in the Greenovation Forum series hosted by UC San Diego’s Sustainability Solutions Institute, which aims to facilitate and accelerate innovation, dialogue, and action in San Diego's green technology sector.

•    Public outreach to the 415,000 visitors who experience “Feeling the Heat: The Climate Challenge” at Birch Aquarium at Scripps each year, an interactive and powerful presentation of the science of global warming.

•    Efforts to preserve wildlife habitats through the Scripps Coastal Reserve, which occupies nearly one thousand acres in La Jolla, ranging from mesa tops, coastal canyons and bluffs, sandy beaches, rocky intertidal zones, submerged coastal plains, and deep submarine canyons.

“It is because of the collective effort of many sustainability champions at UC San Diego, including Scripps Oceanography, that we were able to achieve the first gold ranking for a California university,” said Kristin Hansen, who led the STARS submission for UCSD.

--Shannon Casey


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