This Way to Sustainability Conference

Breakout Session Descriptions

Breakout Session Quick Links

THURSDAY | March 25, 2021

Breakout 1 | 10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Session Description

Eli Goodsell
The Urgency for Stewarding California’s Forest

California is experiencing catastrophic wildfires. In 2020, these wildfires released more CO2 than all of the cars in California for the entire year. This presentation will explore the fire predicament that California is in, discuss how we got here, and outline some possible solutions. While no single topic will be covered exhaustively, the case will be made that all Californians need to be focused on and investing in wildland stewardship. Whether you live in a metropolis or in the wildland-urban interface, the future of an inhabitable and ecologically healthy California is in your hands.

Rachel Wong
Getting the Carbon Out of Buildings: What Works for the CSU?

California’s climate goals are among some of the most ambitious in the country. What does this mean for the CSU and its existing building stock? In this presentation, the presenter will discuss how the largest public university system in the United States can maintain its world-class reputation in social mobility and tackle climate change at the same time.

Gayle Kimball, Ph.D.
Climate Girls Saving Our World 

In contrast to earlier environmentalists like Bill McKibben, the current climate movement leaders are much younger, Generation Z, and the most prominent are girls like Greta Thunberg. Because girls are the majority of young climate activists and created most of the recent activist organizations like Fridays for Future and Polluters Out, I interviewed 54 young women climate activists. Since climate crisis is a global disaster, I included girls from 31 countries, nine US states, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. I report on their tactics, solutions, personal characteristics, mental health and coping techniques in a 2021 book titled "Climate Girls Saving Our World," a follow up to the environmental activism chapter in "Resist: Goals and Tactics for Changemakers."

Cynthia Daley
Regenerative agricultural solutions to soil degradation and the climate crisis

In the face of global climate change, we at the CSU, Chico Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems (CRARS) seek to promote regenerative farming practices to reduce greenhouse gasses, restore soil health, improve resiliency of farms and ranches, and address food and water insecurity. This presentation will cover the science behind Regenerative Agricultural (RA) practices (minimum disturbance; compost; cover crops; diversity; managed grazing; crop rotations), including the impact on soil organic matter, soil carbon & nitrogen (C:N ratios); aggregate stability; water use efficiency; water infiltration; soil biological changes including the importance of fungal to bacterial ratios (F:B) and microbiological diversity.

Ben Sampson
Activating Corporate

Ben Sampson is the co-founder of WeHero, an organization that works with hundreds of companies from startups to the Fortune 500 in designing and executing social impact strategies. Ben will speak about the adoption of sustainable practices in companies, and how a company's greatest resource can be better activated to leverage impact.

Mr. Edward Quevedo, J.D. , Ms. Mackinzee Marie Macho
The End of Sustainability: Regenerative Development and Cultural Transformation 

This session will be highly interactive and discursive, and will introduce attendees to the ecological, social, and economic dynamics that require a turn from sustainable to regenerative development. We will introduce attendees to the cultural and scientific evidence that sustainability has failed. And we will provide a clear pathway to a future of hope and thriving by demonstrating the efficacy of the techniques of international diplomacy, systemics, and complexity science (The Techniques) as tools to successfully attack the wickedly complex challenges we face.

Chauncey L Foster, Benjamin Parr, & Noah Mertz
Making Actionable Change a Habit: A We.Grow.Eco Project is a project that will ultimately re-examine normalized societal, organizational, and individual values so that we can better understand our actions and choices and how they affect those within and without our community, as well as the environment. We will be kicking off this project with a walk across the U.S. starting March 20, 2021 in Virginia Beach, VA, ending in San Francisco, CA. Along the way we will be: -picking up at least one piece of litter a day and getting it to its proper place -facilitating community clean-ups and other events with interested municipalities, organizations, and independent groups -documenting discussions with members of different communities about a variety of different topics, such as civic engagement, community organizing, and grassroots power

Breakout 2 | 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Session Description

Emilyn Sheffield, Joel Ramirez, Daniel Crispino, Juan Ruiz, & Liliana Garcia
Career Camp: Increasing Engagement Awareness for Diverse First Term Students

Engaged students are more likely to complete degree programs. Career Camp is an award-winning program that removes barriers to engagement that are particularly acute for under-represented students. Fee-free service-learning excursions and leadership retreats help students make friends, expand networks, develop skills, and connect coursework to careers. Career Camp advances campus and agency sustainability and workforce diversity goals. Students work with agency personnel and their partners to sustain and improve natural systems, while expanding their networks and developing skills for seasonal employment and entry-level careers. Looming workforce retirements create an unprecedented opportunity to recruit a workforce that reflects the growing diversity of America. Rationale, highlights, and findings from Career Camp will be shared in this presentation. Outcomes relating to communities of support, connections to academic life, and career awareness will be included.

Maria Giovanni, PhD
Connecting Personal Health to Planet Health: A Case Study with First Year Students

A critical component to creating a resilient society is an informed citizenry that understands the impact of daily lifestyle choices on the health of our planet. In Fall 2020, a U-Course focusing on the connection between personal health and planet health was taught as part of the First Year Experience at CSU Chico. U-Courses integrate two General Education classes, in this case Introduction to Living Systems: Biology of Food with English Composition, and give students the opportunity to connect and learn on different levels. Students are treated as emerging professionals and innovators, with a focus on project-based work guided by both the instructors and student mentors . The semester culminates with a presentation at a civic engagement event. For Fall 2020, the course was redesigned to allow students to apply the scientific method and discover the connection between personal health and planet health, using food as the focus.

Jared Geiser, Lynette K Niebrugge, & Jeffrey Creque
Building Resiliency in Soils and Communities through Carbon Farming

Maximizing carbon capture on working lands is the primary objective of carbon farming. Carbon is the building block of life and it powers agricultural productivity by fostering plant growth and feeding soil life that cycles nutrients. But the carbon cycle has been disrupted by the past two centuries of fossil fuel use and land degradation which have resulted in an alarming shift of carbon from our soils and ecosystems into the atmosphere. Carbon farming is an opportunity to restore balance to the carbon cycle to address climate change, regenerate landscapes, and build healthy soil capable of utilizing water and nutrients efficiently. The presentation will include experts in the field of carbon farming from the Carbon Cycle Institute and a local conservation planner from the Glenn County Resource Conservation District who is developing carbon farm plans in the area. We will educate attendees on the carbon cycle, its relevance to agriculture and global sustainability, as well as highlight what farmers, ranchers, and planners are doing to create regenerative agroecosystems. Carbon farming is key to strengthening resilience and diversity in our soil, communities, and economies from the ground up!

Sarah Smith & Nikita Bangera
Marketing to save the world: Psychology and Sustainable Marketing

In this presentation we will cover how we use principles of psychology to get better results with our social media marketing. By understanding how people are motivated, we can create social media campaigns that work to change the social opinion. With the end goal of making being unsustainable socially unacceptable. The audience will leave this event with a better understanding of how to use basic psychology of human behavior to get farther reach on social media, and how to use that reach to change social opinion.

Shawn Shafner
Assume the Throne: The Tao of Poo and Collective Transformation

Vietnames monk Thich Nhat Hanh famously wrote: “No Mud, No Lotus.” Our natural systems are based on this alchemical transformation, yet most of us would rather not deal with the “mud,” whether literally in the environment or metaphorically in our lives. In this experiential session, Shawn Shafner, founder of The People’s Own Organic Power (POOP) Project and self-proclaimed “Puru,” spills the beans on “Tao of Poo,” a time-tested recipe to transform our personal and collective crap into nourishment worthy of our inherent Royalty. Featuring excerpts from the play ​Assume the Throne​, Shafner combines nature’s template for compost with wisdom from world religions, lessons learned from ten years of preaching POOP-positivity worldwide, and a hearty dose of audience participation. Anyone can master “The Four Noble Poops” through this intimate blend of storytelling, ritual and razzle-dazzle - and create the circumstances for positive transformation in their own lives, our relationship to the earth, and in our society. A heart- and colon-warming experience unlike anything you ever thought necessary, the time has come to ​Assume the Throne​.

Breakout 3 | 2:10 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Session Description

Jacquelyn Chase PhD, Casey Hegel, Peter Hansen, & Samuel Mijal
Vulnerability to Fire in the Wildland Urban Interface: Lessons from the Camp Fire

Our research looks at vulnerability to wildfire in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) through a geographic examination of fatalities in the 2018 Camp Fire of Butte County. The geographic context can reveal whether victims accessed a network of information and support from neighbors, friends and family members during the catastrophe. A contextual perspective also points to a broader policy and land use planning challenges facing everyone who lives in fire-prone areas. This presentation first examines the geography of fatalities in the fire with a map of where remains were found. We will present some demographic information for each location and summarize this individual data for the whole group. We will highlight some basic spatial patterns of the distribution of fatalities such as distance to nearest neighbor and to road networks and will note the presence of any clusters of fatalities. Next, using qualitative data from news items, remembrances, and other published sources on a sample of the victims, we describe the spatial and social networks that these individuals attempted to draw upon as the fire closed in. We have found nothing that suggests the victims were socially or geographically isolated but we offer some clues about why the networks that saved many other people’s lives tragically failed these individuals.

Josh Trout PhD
Sustaining an Extraordinary Life Through Movement: The tools to transform your health

Remote instruction has exacerbated wellness challenges because we no longer walk between classes, use the Wrec, or go to playgrounds. Instead, we are often isolated at home due to Covid-19 and spending more time working on computers and mobile devices. This interactive presentation will focus on the physiological conditions caused by excessive sitting associated with virtual instruction. Using anatomical animations, we will examine the root causes of discomfort in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs as a result of sitting. The interactive portion will be an invitation to participate in targeted strengthening and stretching exercises that help “unwind” the body from sitting too long.

Callan Glover
Life Cycle Assessment of Integrated Resource Recovery on Large-Scale California Dairy Farms

Large-scale production of livestock for dairy products has a significant impact on the environment through greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and resource consumption. In particular, manure management at large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) poses risks to air, water, and soil quality. However, manure is also a rich source of organic matter, nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, and water. Resource recovery technologies offer a way to recycle valuable compounds in manure into beneficial products while simultaneously reducing harmful emissions. In this research, a novel nutrients, energy, and integrated recovery (NEWIR) system is compared to a typical California dairy farm with life cycle assessment (LCA). With NEWIR, water, nutrients, and energy are recovered from dairy waste through a membrane treatment process, microalgae cultivation, and a hydrothermal process, respectively. LCA is used to evaluate how resource recovery technologies affect carbon footprint, water footprint, and eutrophication relative to conventional farm practices, paving the way for sustainable food production on a large scale.

Emily Moose
Another buzzword or our only hope? The role of third-party certification in meaningful assessment of regenerative farming

“Regenerative” is the new buzzword in environmental and climate change community circles, and there are countless variations of what “regenerative farming” means--all very different and many extremely vague. Before “regenerative” is co-opted and made meaningless, we must work to make it meaningful. For regenerative farming to make the urgent, large-scale change needed to address the enormous problems we face, it’s important to be sure the farms and practices being promoted under this new banner are, in fact, regenerative. But how? Meaningful third-party certification programs are an established, proven strategy to deliver positive, lasting change. They can also increase farm viability and consumer trust. A Greener World (AGW) provides standards-based, independent assessment of a farm’s management practices with annual audits and meaningful certification. This session will introduce AGW’s newest program, Certified Regenerative by AGW, and discuss how their third-party certification is helping define and assess regenerative practices.

Elline Deogracias, Tracie Tung, Sarah Johnson & Natale Zappia
A Closer Look at CSR Practices in Sustainable Fashion: A Guideline for Apparel Brands

Current literature suggests that there is an attitude-behavior gap among consumers in the apparel industry; that is, consumers may show positive attitudes towards eco-friendly products, but in practice do not purchase these products. Some sustainable strategies have been deemed as green wash that results in skepticism among consumers. We posit that this gap is worsened by ineffective marketing strategies and the absence of a uniform definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in existing literature. Our research aims to provide market practitioners and educators with a matrix that identifies CSR practices in the apparel industry.

Dr. Peter Michael Hess & Spencer McNairn
Seeking Common Ground on Climate Sustainability: a Dialogue Between Two Generations

Conversations about climate are often sidetracked by seeking blame: what nations or cultures or age brackets are most responsible for global warming? This dialogue will explore the intersectional approaches to bridging the generational divide on sustainable climate conflicts by modeling mutual respect and representing a gap of forty years: a graduating CSU Chico senior and an actively retired academic. Understanding the differences in generational perspectives on climate change will better prepare and educate the global steward to uphold compassion and empathy in seeking common ground on climate sustainability.

Dr. Mark Stemen, Nora Pizzella, Katherine Dahl & Chelsea Barron
Building Community Resilience by Telling Stories of Climate Action

The City of Chico is currently updating its Climate Action Plan. Students in GEOG 506 participated in the initial community input survey and followed along as the consultant developed 20 emission reduction measures. Each student selected a measure for further study and then wrote a story about it. To overcome the denial and dissidence surrounding climate change, GEOG 506 students wrote stories set in the future where they described the successful implementation of the measures, emphasizing them as one reason why Chico was able to successfully meet its objective of becoming climate neutral.

Breakout 4 | 3:10 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Session Descriptions

Jillian Buckholz
Creating an Air Travel Offset Policy at Cal State East Bay

Cal State East Bay (CSUEB) made a commitment to pursue climate neutrality when President Morishita signed the Carbon Commitment (formerly the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment) in January 2015. To support the work to fulfill the Carbon Commitment, CSUEB formed the Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC) in May 2015, adopted a campus Climate Action Plan (CAP) in May 2018, and approved the creation of the Climate Action Plan Implementation Task Force (CAP-IT) in September 2018. The CAP commits the University to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and specifically requires that “All state-funded travel will be carbon neutral or 100% offset by 2022.” One way that CSUEB is meeting this CAP directive is by adopting an Air Travel Offset Policy, which direct funds from University business travel into a Climate Action Plan fund designated for on-campus projects with measurable greenhouse gas reductions. The CSUEB Air Travel Offset Policy was adopted in June 2020 and is the only policy of its kind in the California State University system.

 Fred Klammt
Mitigating global weirding - adapting design to a changing world

This presentation will focus on new residential design strategies to mitigate changing conditions due to ‘global weirding’. It will empathize three main areas: water, fire and human comforts. Extreme temperature swings along with storms, drought and ravaging wildfires increase in veracity every year. We need to change our design parameters to accommodate these extremes.

Hayley Heino, MS, Joanna Rodriguez Bahena
Cultivating Food Literacy and Economic Diversity at Farmers' Markets

The Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) has provided programming targeted at low-income farmers’ market shoppers for the better part of the last five years. In pursuit of increasing food literacy and making farmers’ markets accessible to individuals from all income levels, we have implemented interventions ranging from nutrition education to financial incentives to a combination of the two. While we do not collect data from participants directly, we have been able to quantify the success of our programming by investigating changes in farmers’ market sales. Join us as we present program details in addition to findings from this exciting research!

Consuelo Baez Vega & Ana Medic 
Benefits of Cover Cropping Systems in Walnut Orchards as Sustainable Agricultural Practice

California orchard growers are increasingly adopting cover crops as a part of orchard floor management. Studies have demonstrated that cover crops have numerous benefits to the soil and environment, such as increasing the soil infiltration rate that reduces runoff and erosion. These benefits reduce nutrient loss to groundwater and provide a habitat for beneficial insects and pollinator species. The experiment has been conducted in a walnut orchard in northern Chico area. In this field experiment, we investigated the differences between a multi-species intercrop, monocrop, and bare soil in a walnut orchard. It has been shown that multi-species intercrop is the type of cover crop to provide more benefits to soil health and is a better weed competitor compared to a single-species monocrop or leaving the soil without vegetative cover.

Garett Liles

This presentation will outline the development and goals of the Regenerative Ag Demonstration Lab (RAD-Lab) at Chico State. The RAD lab was established in 2018 to provide efficient low cost soil health assessment and C accounting in support of adaptive and regenerative management across the North State and Beyond. Outside of basic data development and knowledge transfer, an evolving focus is developing an open-access business plan to support the establishment of similar labs across the landscape. This talk will cover what we do, how we do it, and how others can join us in quantifying C across the landscape.

Beth Weinman, Marissa Acosta, Jason Vang, Ayanna Alewine, Nicole Lucha, Feng Teter, Iris Soto, Michael Mayfield, & Juana Lozano
Ongoing Student-led Sustainability Efforts at Fresno State

Since 2013, student-led efforts have been transforming Fresno State into an institute that better integrates sustainability throughout all levels, helping transform the university into a high-impact educational experience connected to solving real world problems. Recently, students achieved high-level administrative support to help the institution develop, redesign, and institutionalize co-curricular sustainability-related authentic activities that engage students in helping solve relevant, real world, socio-environmental problems. While questions remain about equitably sharing advantages and burdens of inclusive sustainability work, Fresno State’s student-led efforts are in line with advocacy and work by the younger generations towards making a major positive impact on the health and welfare of the planet. 

Antonia Carolina Castro-Graham, Julia Islas, Olivia Martinez, Kenneth Hagihara, & Alec D'Leon                                                                                                                 Town and Gown Partnership to Foster Sustainable Communities

The City of Fullerton partners with CSUF on many sustainability initiatives and has worked with student groups on a variety of projects. The Deputy City Manager along with selected students will speak about the following programs that facilitate and foster a sustainable community and a Town and Gown Relationship.

Nikoal Phantom
A New Approach to Inspire Activism? How Art Enhances Environmental Education Programs and Stimulates Empathy and Concerns for Bees and other Pollinators

Environmental education has become an integral component of education in recent years. But very few studies have been done with young adults to measure the efficacy of these programs. In a world threatened by climate change and herbicide/pesticide use, bees and other pollinators are under imminent threat. Most environmental education programs voice concerns over these threats, but often that is not enough to motivate people to act. This study aimed to identify and explore student feelings and knowledge about bees and other pollinators after attending an environmental education workshop combined with an art activity. Participant responses in focus groups helped illustrate how combining a hands-on creative project with an environmental science discussion can make the experience more meaningful and may foster empathy, concern, caring and/or compassion for bees and other pollinators. 

FRIDAY | March 26, 2021

Breakout 5 | 10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Session Description

Bonnie Persons, JD MBA, John Meyer, JD, Araceli Vargas Ayala, and Julie Beck
Water Law. The Maui Case: Time and Distance and 50 years backwards?

In a 6-3 decision the US Supreme Court handed down a measured decision in the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund. Many view this as the Clean Water Act (CWA) case of the century. In short, the County of Maui’s wastewater treatment plant had been discharging approximately 4 million gallons of partially treated sewage per day into the groundwater in a predominantly volcanic region. The US Geological Survey found that the coral reefs were being adversely impacted in the area through discharge, in addition to other concerns. Environmental groups brought a citizen's suit against the county for discharging pollutants into navigable waters in violation of the CWA and other permitting requirements. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled favorably for the environmental groups. When Supreme Court accepted the case for review, there was very real concern that the increasingly conservative court might further limit the CWA protections. The holding held some support for environmental groups however in many ways it further complicated and confused the issues. This presentation will explore the issues raised and the probable impacts of this hugely important case.

DingXin Cheng
Improving Sustainability of Roadway Construction through California Pavement Preservation Center

As a sustainability trailblazer, Chico State has a commitment to address climate change by reducing and ultimately neutralizing greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate research and educational efforts to equip students for a more sustainable future for the society. California Pavement Preservation Center (CP2 Center) was established at Chico State in 2006 and first funded by California Department of Transportation. At the CP2 Center, we have developed multiple sustainable practices and educational materials through the research projects sponsored by various partners including Caltrans, CalRecycle, MTC, Associations, and industry and academia partners.

Sara Keough, MS, CNS, LDN
The Role of Pasture-raised Animals in Human & Ecological Health

Pasture-raised animals are a vitally important source of nutrient-dense food for consumers while also playing an essential role in the regeneration of soil and ecosystem health.

Anastaysia Cole, Yesm Lydia Breen, Alejandra A Arciniega Greeley & Leslie Chang
Climate Change in A Hungry World: A Community Science Healthy Soil Investigation

Tamara Wallace, Brad Haydel, Tom Johnson
CSU Sustainable Procurement Policy

The CSU is developing purchasing strategies that establish minimum sustainability requirements, and are designed to maximize the use of suppliers and vendors with sustainable practices in campus contracting activities. This procurement policy covers all campus business operations, including self-funded entities such as student housing, student unions, parking, children’s centers, and auxiliary operations. Topics to be covered include waste reduction, single-use plastics, STARS reporting, SABRC compliance, life-cycle cost analysis, and EPP certifications. 

Melissa Reyes
Social Justice Through Sustainability: Acknowledging students of environmentally discriminated areas through sustainable efforts on campus

This project analyzes the need for inclusive sustainability and environmental justice awareness on college campuses, like CSUSM. This project acknowledges that some students that attend CSUSM come from places where the air quality, water quality, or other environmental injustices may have impacted their or their families' lives. This project seeks to connect students on the top of environmental justice. It discusses the importance of acknowledging environmental justice at CSUSM and analyzes how students with environmental injustice backgrounds can be better represented in conversations related to sustainability.

Ms. Melina Sempill Watts
Cultural Impacts on Ecosystem Transitions: the Rise of the Anthropocene in Novel "Tree" by 
Ms. Melina Sempill Watts

Novel Tree by Melina Sempill Watts is the story of 229 years in the life of a California live oak from the point of view of ... the tree. The book uses ecological history as a lens to consider how different cultural values force ecosystem transitions. Watts’ extensive scientific and historical research support a bold exploration of a plants’ perspective of California history.

David Eaton 
Reimagining Chico's historic core

Chico’s nineteenth-century core is a diamond in the rough, with a mature urban forest, diverse building stock, mixed uses, and the ‘good bones’ of a walkable grid of wide streets and short blocks. This session draws on anthropological methods, student and faculty field research, international case studies, and New Urbanist ideas to propose concepts that could guide public works projects in its future development. Topics examined include flows of people and vehicles, pedestrian safety, cycling infrastructure, wayfinding and public art, parks and gathering spaces, and the interplay of residences and businesses in creating qualities of experience, property value, and a sense of place. We look for ways forward toward greater sustainability consonant with recent legislation, reports, guidelines, and revised standards across California and within Chico.

Breakout 6 | 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Session Description

Noelle Ferdon Brimlow & Brooklynn Lozano
Engaging Students in Environmental Activism

Environmental Advocates (EA) is one of 12 programs in the Community Legal Information Center (CLIC). EA uses a 3-pronged approach to promote responsible environmental decision-making – Research, Education and Action. Interns can provide support for local issues by conducting research in a variety of areas including water law, land-use/planning, environmental justice and air quality, to name a few. Environmental education is an important part of a healthy environment and interns may work on environmental education campaigns, promoting laws and policies to reduce waste, advocate for responsible water use and more.

Dylan Hall & Dr. Pablo K Cornejo
Social, Environmental, and Economic (SEE) Wastewater Decision Support for Small Communities

The Social, Environmental, and Economic Wastewater Decision Support Tool (SEE WDST) was created to help small communities serving 10,000 population equivalent or less to select a wastewater treatment system based on environmental, economic, social, and technical sustainability metrics. The SEE WDST uses life cycle cost analysis to evaluate cost and life cycle assessment to evaluate environmental impacts to provide a holistic understanding of economic and environmental implications of each system evaluated over its lifespan. Social and technical metrics are also assessed through scoring rubrics to consider key factors (e.g., resilience, operation and maintenance requirements, automation) that impact the long-term success or failure of a wastewater treatment system. The weighting scheme can be changed from even weighting to an economic, environmental, social/technical, or custom preference based on the stakeholder’s decision. This presentation will discuss a case study comparison of three on-site wastewater treatment systems designed for nutrient removal.

Keoni Liclican
Life cycle assessment of high rate algal ponds for nutrient recovery from wastewater

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are responsible for polluting air, soil, and water through nutrient emissions, primarily from managing their wastewater. These emissions negatively affect human health and the environment. A life cycle assessment was conducted on a high rate algal pond (HRAP) used to recover these nutrients from CAFO wastewater effluent, rich in nitrogen and phosphorus needed to grow algae biomass. The HRAP is a system commonly used to grow algae for biofuel production; however, in this application the algae could be utilized as cattle feed. The HRAP has several processes (paddlewheels, centrifuge, pumps) with high energy requirements for operation. Through collecting inventory data in existing literature, the water depletion and carbon footprint of this proposed system was estimated using SimaPro 8. Under current estimates, the water demand for operation could slightly contribute to water depletion if the water is not recycled. Additionally, the energy demand for the HRAP processes would increase the carbon footprint of CAFOs.

Sarah Johnson & Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Sustainable Menstruation: Making Periods Zero Waste and Accessible to All

A person uses approximately 240 disposable menstrual hygiene products in a year, which end up in landfills forever. If they were to switch to a reusable cup, they will eliminate 2,400 disposable products over the life of one cup (10 years) or 9,120 products in a person’s lifetime from going to the landfill! By educating students about the benefits of reusable menstrual care products and even providing them at no cost, we are empowering them to reduce waste, save money, and be able to focus on their studies.

Megan Luke, Elizabeth A. Boyd, PhD
Old field new tech: How scientific innovation and data science are increasing sustainable practices in commercial agriculture

Agriculture is one of the oldest and most vital industries in the history of civilization. As we move forward, as a global community, towards a more sustainable means of existing on our planet, commercial agriculture is being called on to re-envision strategies to produce more commodities while simultaneously having a lower impact on the planet. This push towards sustainable practices is coupled with the challenges incurred by feeding and clothing a growing population, and the burgeoning changes brought on by global climate change. Data science, high tech innovation, and new applications of cutting edge advancements are allowing producers to manage their crops and land in ways that reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides and increase overall yields, while protecting fragile ecosystems, and reducing worker and community exposures to these chemicals. GIS, GPS, intensive monitoring, drone technology, air and water quality sampling, and eDNA sampling are strategies allowing scientists and farmers to make decisions on the ground about the best ways to manage land, increase yields, and protect our Earth. Examples of these strategies include use of drones to determine precise zones for herbicide application in cereal crops, use of eDNA sampling to determine fish populations by US Forestry services, and the use of mass trapping and intensive monitoring techniques to reduce pest populations in orchards.

Jesse Engebretson
Paying Attention to Process: Mitigating Epistemic Violence on Environmental Planning and Policy Development Collaborative Teams

Working toward sustainability exemplifies a “wicked” problem. In planning and policy contexts, such problems are never solved, they are constantly mitigated. This is because different human and nonhuman communities are disparately affected by both the problems themselves and their ostensible solutions. To best mitigate wicked problems, including issues related to resilience and sustainability, transdisciplinary teams of academic researchers and public stakeholders, such as people with local and indigenous ecological knowledge, must be involved in planning and policy development in meaningful ways.

Kerri Vanderbom, Betina Wildhaber & Josephine Blagrave
Sustainability Through the Disability Lens

Individuals with disabilities are a minority group that is overlooked in many policies and practices at the local, state, federal, and global levels--including sustainability and climate discourse. With 15% of the global population living with a disability, this significant oversight needs to end, inclusive approaches need to be considered, and the disabled population needs to be added to the conversation. The purpose of this discussion will be to amplify the voices of those who are disabled, bring light to the way sustainability issues and practices can positively and negatively impact those who are disabled, and the start of conversation within the context of this conference to include a disability perspective and culture moving forward. This presentation will explore sustainability, climate change, and other related issues through the lens of disability. Disabled activists who are working to improve sustainability practices at multiple levels of society will be highlighted.

Dr. Tim Sistrunk, Nathaniel M Millard, Dr Mark Stemen & Angela Casler
Renewing the Sustainability Designation for Course at Chico State

The Curriculum team of the Campus Sustainability Committee will introduce and discuss the newly refreshed program goals of courses that will be designated in the University catalog with the Sustainability Greenleaf symbol. The Greenleaf will promote student understanding of climate change, climate resilience and sustainable practice so everyone can embrace environmental responsibility, social and economic justice, and cultural diversity through civic engagement. This session will share practical advice and explore suggestions about how to integrate these ideas into the course design of those who are inspired to participate in this university effort.

Cheri Chastin
Climate Action and Resilience Planning at Chico State

Chico State’s climate commitments and initial planning began back in 2007 when the University committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. A lot has happened in the last 13 years and there are many successes to be celebrated. However, we have not yet achieved our carbon neutrality goals and the climate impacts are hitting closer and closer to home. We must now not only work to achieve neutrality, but must also ensure that we are able to be resilient to the continued effects of a changing climate. Campus Sustainability Manager, Cheri Chastain, will provide an update on the current state of climate action and resilience planning on the Chico State campus including recent accomplishments as well as immediate and future plans.

Marie Patterson
Presenting the Strategic Energy Master Plan for Chico State

The Strategic Energy Master Plan will outline the steps to assist Chico State in achieving Climate Neutrality by 2030. It was generated with the focus on reducing energy, retrofitting of buildings and/or replacing them per the Master Plan, and the addition of renewable energy. Throughout the plan recommendations are made to engage and educate the campus community, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, improve our energy efficiency, reduce emissions and increase our resiliency to utility costs and outages. The SEMP closely aligns with the updated Climate Action Plan (CAP) and Campus Master Plan to round out the path for the campus over the next ten years towards neutrality. The presentation will introduce the SEMP, provide an overview of the recommendation, and chart out the energy and emission reductions until 2030.