Future of Food and the Environment

Since its inception, UC Santa Cruz has been a hub of innovation. Among the campus’s hallmarks are signature contributions in agroecology and sustainable agriculture. Today, researchers are pioneering new fields, including aquaculture to reduce the environmental impacts of farmed fish, sustainable urban development to reduce energy use and transportation needs, and environmental justice to reduce disparate impacts of pollution and ensure diverse access to environmental resources and amenities. The nexus between food, energy, and water is a particularly important arena of focus, providing opportunities for significant reduction in our carbon footprint.  As climate change threatens food production, livelihoods, and the very survival of millions around the globe, the Institute is taking a micro, and macro, look at these interconnections--and at the opportunities for intervention.

Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems

The mission of the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS or the Center) is to research, develop, and advance sustainable food and agricultural systems that are environmentally sound, economically viable, socially responsible, nonexploitative, and that serve as a foundation for future generations.

UC Global Food Initiative

The UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) is an effort to use the university system’s expertise in research, education, and outreach to improve the food system on UC campuses, throughout the state and nation, and around the world. GFI is addressing topics such as UC student food security, agroecological practices, and resource conservation, as well as encouraging hands-on agricultural education and increasing the amount of locally produced, organic food available to the UC community. Student fellowships are available for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Coastal Sustainability Masters

Practical and effective solutions to challenges in coastal systems are badly needed, especially in a changing global environment. The Coastal Science and Policy Program at UC Santa Cruz trains future leaders to advance the sustainable use of coastal resources and conservation of coastal biodiversity, ecosystems, socio-economic integrity, and ecological services. In Monterey Bay and beyond, CSP researchers, students, and partners are working every day to ensure a sustainable future for all who rely on the coastal zone.