People & Organizations

Oxy students working in FEAST organic garden

The resourcefulness, energy, drive and collaboration among Oxy students, staff, and faculty drive and shape sustainability initiatives and successes here on campus.

Student Leadership & Clubs
Office of Sustainability
Campus Research Centers
Campus Committees

Student Leadership & Clubs

Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fund (RESF)
RESF is a branch of Oxy’s student government that funds projects, initiatives, and events related to sustainability. This includes everything from FEAST’s chicken coop and baby chicks to the physics department’s solar panel robot, the Cooler Compost Project, and the Earth Day Quad Fair.

Bengal Bus
Oxy’s no-cost shuttle service offers nightly runs to and from anywhere within 7 miles of campus via the TapRide app. The shuttle also offers day trips to different L.A. locations, and a morning and evening service to and from the Highland Park Gold Line Station. 

Bike Share
Bike Share is student-run service that provides free access to bikes and assistance in maintaining and fixing personal bikes for a nominal fee.

Biology Club
This club is committed to encouraging all Oxy students to participate in commonly overlooked aspects of biology, such as conservation ecology, and learn from the science that goes into restoration projects.

FEAST (Food, Energy and Sustainability Team)
This student service runs organic and eco-friendly gardens established with the goal of mobilizing students to work on issues around food systems, energy usage and sustainability. FEAST aims to expose students to the connections between food and regional ecology through immersion in urban gardening and sustainable landscaping.

Geology Club
This club provides an outlet for students, faculty and staff who are interested in the study of earth sciences. It provides support for the community relating to natural disasters, the earth’s environment, current geologic events and discoveries, and education on field methods that are specific to our region.

Green Bean
Green Bean is a student-run coffee lounge founded in 2009. It serves fair-trade, organic coffee in compostable to-go cups or mugs as well as pastries from a local bakery.

Oxy350
The goal of the Oxy350 club is to divest the College’s endowment from fossil fuels. They are actively collaborating with Facilities staff to transition its grounds vehicles—and eventually other campus fleet vehicles—to electric via the Occidental Sustainable Investment Fund.

Public Health Club
This club presents events and campaigns that relate to the intersection of health and sustainability. It has helped to facilitate a compost project on campus, led a campaign to remove plastic water bottles from campus dining facilities and made sustainable menstrual products available to students at no cost.

Sustainable ReCycle
This club endeavors to reduce the amount of waste that enters landfills and decrease the number of new goods being purchased at retail stores. At the end of each semester, especially during the spring Move Out, they collect used items from each residence hall. These items are re-sold to the Oxy community at very low prices.

 

Office of Sustainability

In Fall 2013, Oxy established the Office of Sustainability and hired the college’s first Sustainability Coordinator. This office facilitates the diverse efforts across campus to move sustainability to the next level, gathers and analyzes data trends to inform strategic decisions, and manages and improves upon existing programs and services.

Staff
Jenny Low, Sustainability Coordinator

Interns
Ellie Amann, Sustainability Assistant
Ivy Denham-Conroy, Compost Assistant
Angelina Lee, Compost Assistant
Remy Barbiero, Compost Assistant

Volunteers
Isabella McShane

Design Contributors
The artful work of past students in the office lives on as poster templates and logos for events, announcements and maps.
Anne Skye Harnsberger ‘17
Elena Sanchez ‘18
Liz Richman ‘19
Sofia Swanson ‘20

 

Campus Research Centers

Moore Lab of Zoology
The mission of the Moore Laboratory of Zoology is to answer outstanding questions about the origins of biodiversity and how species respond to environmental change by linking information from the habitats and genomes of species with physical specimens in their collection. Currently, 65,000 specimens, mostly bird study skins originating from Mexico and Latin America, are housed within the collection.

Urban & Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI)
UEPI is an applied research and advocacy center whose mission is to advance community-driven programs and policies to build healthy, thriving communities while achieving social, economic and environmental justice.

Vantuna Research Group
Since 1966, the Vantuna Research Group has been monitoring and researching the marine environment of Southern and Baja California. Their research program features both the longest continual time series studies of rocky reefs in the world and the largest spatial scale studies of reefs in the Southern California Bight.

 

Campus Committees

Food Systems Working Group (FSWG)
FSWG is dedicated to working collaboratively with the Oxy community to increase socially and environmentally responsible practices in our campus food system. Its primary duty is to harness the resources of Campus Dining, the Food Studies cluster, UEPI, and students in order to oversee, update and execute the goals of the "Food at Oxy" Resource Guide.

Occidental Sustainable Investment Fund (OSIF)
Oxy has committed $3.5 million from within the College endowment toward OSIF. This fund makes loans across the campus community, enabling investments in energy and water efficiency upgrades as well as other projects that generate utility cost savings and reduce the environmental impact of the College’s operations.

OSIF Committee Members
Amos Himmelstein, VP and Chief Operating Officer
Reid Samuelson, Board of Trustees representative
Tom Polansky, Director of Facilities
Chris Reyes, Assistant Director of Utilities
Bhavna Shamasunder, UEP Professor
Daniel Snowden-Ifft, Physics Professor
Jenny Low, Sustainability Coordinator (committee chair, ex-officio)
Sammy Herdman, President of RESF (student representative)