There are a variety of people who work on sustainability issues at San Diego State University. The people below are faculty and staff responsible for sustainability in some capacity, along with Sustainable SDSU interns. There are many others who impact the campus in their own way.
Spring 2023 Interns
As of May 2022, Kristin Larson has joined the Office of Energy & Sustainability as the Sustainability Director! She graduated with a degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst and a Master of Environmental Science and Policy degree from John Hopkins University. Kristin has worked in the sustainability space for 12 years. She served as the first Sustainability Planner with the City of Bowie, Maryland and worked for the Center for Sustainable Energy right here in San Diego. We are excited to welcome Kristin and see the positive environmental progress she will bring!
Madeleine has a background in marketing, education, and outreach and has parlayed her communications skills to implement energy conservation and public outreach programs at MiraCosta College, in addition to working with local tribes in San Diego County to develop renewable energy development on tribal lands. She is committed to bringing her passion for living a more sustainable life to students, faculty, and staff by providing strategies that reduce waste, promote public transportation, and engage and empower others to live more sustainably.
As a San Diego State University Alumni, Glen Brandenburg continues his passion for
sustainable practices as Director of Facilities and Sustainability, Adviser to A.S.
Sustainability/Green Love Commission, and has dedicated his time to the Climate Action
Planning Council on campus. Glen has also revamped Mission Bay Aquatic Center's sustainability
practices as well as ensured that many of SDSU's building are LEED Certified.
Dr. Arielle Levine is a professor in the Geography department at SDSU and the Director
of the Sustainability Major/Minor Program. Dr. Levine’s teaching and research focus
on the interactions between people and their environment, with an emphasis on how
management policies and practices influence environmental outcomes and sustainability,
particularly in coastal and marine environments. Her recent research and publications
explore community participation in natural resource management, the impacts of climate
change and other stressors on fisheries and marine resources, and understanding social
drivers and outcomes relating to environmental change.
Jessica Barlow is a professor of sustainability in the Department of Geography. Barlow is a linguist who has spent much of her career conducting research on child language acquisition and disorders. Currently, she focuses on sustainability, with a particular emphasis on sustainable cities through community engagement. Within the Center for Regional Sustainability, Barlow founded and directs the Sage Project, which engages in large-scale partnerships with local governmental and community-based organizations in the Southern California-Baja California region via replication of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) Model. She is a founding board member of the EPIC Network, an international 501c3 that unites the capacity of universities with local governments and communities to equitably improve quality of life and social wealth for all. Barlow has received funding to support her work through the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and numerous local community-based organizations.
Associate Professor of Marketing at SDSU’s Fowler College of Business/ University Senate Sustainability member[email protected]
Major/Year: 3rd year Environmental Science Major
Position: "As the zero waste intern, I will be responsible for data entry concerning waste management here at SDSU. I'll be using SkySpark to assess the amount of waste produced (both landfill and recycling), the cost as well as what percentage it accounted for here on campus. Beyond those deliverables, my overarching goal is to help our campus become even more sustainable."
Sustainability Origin Story: "Sustainability to me is like the cornerstone species of my entire life. I've always been interested in our natural environment since a young age as I helped my Nana (grandma) with her garden, to when I first learned about pollution and immediately wanted to do something about it (K-12). I became vegan at the start of high school, as making individual change is important, but even more important than that is to help be part of a collective solution."
Major/Year: 3rd year Sustainability Major, Business Minor, Honors Interdisciplinary Studies Minor
Position: "As the outreach intern, I spread the word about the work our office is doing and highlight all of the sustainability efforts being done by SDSU organizations, students, faculty, and staff. My responsibilities include updating the Sustainable SDSU website, creating the monthly newsletters, organizing outreach events, and running our social media platforms. I work to inspire people to be more sustainable and to get involved with sustainability on campus. There are so many different ways to care for the Earth and its inhabitants that I truly believe sustainability has something for everyone."
Sustainability Origin Story: "I grew up close to the ocean and was always concerned by the trash that accumulated there. In middle school, I did my Girl Scout Silver Award on ocean pollution. It wasn't until my junior year of high school when I took a marine biology class that I really dove into sustainability. I started reducing my waste to live a low waste lifestyle, something that is still a huge passion of mine, and started reducing my environmental footprint in other ways."
Major/Year: 4th year Sustainability Major
Position: "I will conduct energy analyst intern work with the Office of Energy and Sustainability staff and collaboration with other applicable SDSU offices and faculty. I will be responsible for scanning and entering energy data (electricity, water, sewer, and gas usage) of utility invoices into SkySpark, the campus energy information system. Additionally, in order to find an efficient way of reducing energy, the maintaining, analyzing, and reporting of correct data is very important in this position to promote a number of green programs on campus such as Green Labs, Green Office, and LEED certifications. I will help SDSU to further understand the most efficient way to utilize energy throughout campus buildings."
Sustainability Origin Story: "My sustainability origin story began when I worked in several local organic farms in Hokkaido, Japan, and in Christchurch, New Zealand after graduating from high school to expand my perspective and to be more of a diverse person. My task as a dairy farmer and garden farmer was taking care of several different kinds of farm animals as well as growing and selling organic vegetables at a local market. While living with local people who are passionate about sustainable living, I learned the importance of expanding the significance of sustainable agriculture, preservation of the water ecosystem, and educating the young generation about sustainable living. Throughout the experiences, I started to focus on more human-caused environmental issues such as ocean plastic problems and pursue my education on sustainability at SDSU."
Major/Year: 4th year Business Marketing and Sustainability Double Major
Position: "This year I will be serving as an Association of Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking Assessment Rating System (STARS) student intern within the Office of Energy and Sustainability. In this role I will be updating the SDSU campus STARS report by retrieving a wide range of data pertaining to sustainability/sustainable practices across our varying campus departments. Some of the categories taken into consideration across these departments on campus include academic curriculum, research, event-planning, building energy, social diversity, financial investment and human resources."
Sustainability Origin Story: "I have always felt inspired by the natural world. Since I was young, I’ve applied the mindset of “leaving something better off then when you first had it” to my surrounding environment. This mindset kickstarted my sustainability origin story, which begins my senior year of high school in pursuit of a college major. After choosing to pursue marketing, I felt disconnected with my major and was craving a topic of interdisciplinary dimension. I knew I wanted to have a meaningful and substantial career beyond the scope of my personal gain. That is when I decided to add a major in sustainability, allowing me to discover the practice of marketing sustainable initiatives to corporations, non-profits, and organizations."
Major/Year: 3rd year Environmental Science Major
Position: "As a Green Labs Intern, I am responsible for managing the new Green Labs certification program. This includes encouraging campus labs to develop sustainable practices, implementing energy efficient machinery, and awarding certification to labs. Since this is a new program, I am also responsible for outreach to other universities who have successfully implemented this program in order to replicate it. I am looking forward to creating a more sustainable campus together!"
Sustainability Origin Story: "I grew up in an environmentally friendly culture on the coast of California, so sustainability was always in the forefront of my mind. It wasn’t until I would travel and saw that sustainability wasn’t a priority for all cities. This is where my interest grew into a passion and I saw how it connected to every part of my life. Throughout high school and college I have only gotten more invested in environmental science and sustainability, and I hope to use what I have learned to create change to make the world a better place."
Major/Year: 2nd year Business Administration/Finance Major
Position: "As the Green Office Certification Intern, my focus is on aiding the SDSU Sustainability Department in implementing our certification program throughout the campus. My role involves evaluating offices based on their sustainability practices and aiming to provide solutions to better optimize our resources. To make sure these campus-wide efforts are being acknowledged, I am tasked with setting up meetings and making sure these offices are awarded their certification. Along with this, I am responsible for collecting and reporting data to other branches of our sustainability department, allowing for a lot of team-based work to be done. All of this is based on community, including my role as an intern. I aid the department in growing, and thus, we as a unit are able to aid the campus in growing and achieving our sustainability goals."
Sustainability Origin Story: "My parents are a large part of my understanding of how important the Earth is, not only for myself, but for everything that exists in it. I was fortunate enough to travel through some of the US, visiting many national parks and being taught how to take in such massive feats of natural occurrence. Though it may not have been explicitly stated by my parents, the value of these trips have heavily impacted me to continue to look after the ground I live on and the people that surround me. I hope to further any cause that benefits the greater good."
Major/Year: 4th year Management Information Systems Major, Sustainability Minor
Position: "We are working on improving the composting program at SDSU. We are starting with a small and controlled pilot program with a few collection sites and we will slowly increase the program until we have enough compost to take the materials to an Industrial composting site off campus. I will also be working on the map of edible plants on campus while updating and improving the information that is on there."
Sustainability Origin Story: "As a kid I grew up going camping and hiking and I came to really care about protecting the outdoors. In high school I took an environmental science class and learned about all the nuanced ways humans are impacting the world. This prompted me to take sustainability as a minor and continue to learn about the problems and ways to systematically reduce our impact. My goal is to work with businesses and governments on projects that promote sustainability."
Major/Year: 4th year Environmental Engineering Major, Sustainability Minor
Position: "As the compost intern, I have implemented composting services in the student union and executive sweets, and will continue expanding operations to the entire SDSU campus. Additionally, composting itself at the College Area Community Garden, where discarded organic nutrients can be utilized as soil amendments."
Sustainability Origin Story: "Spending my summers as a child on an organic farm in Oregon taught me what it means to cohabitate with nature, rather than using brute force to conquer the land. My time in the water as a surfer has taught me to cherish the untouched beauty of our coasts. As an entrepreneur and environmentalist, I have been able to merge my passions for innovative technological development and the establishment of equality for all life through my company, EnviroCentric."
Major/Year: 4th year Environmental Engineering Major
Position: "As an energy analyst intern, I will work closely with our Sustainability Analyst and collaborate with other applicable SDSU offices and faculty. One of my responsibilities is to maintain a database of SDSU’s utility and energy use data in SkySpark, the campus energy information system. I am also responsible for analyzing and reporting relevant data to support green programs on campus such as Green Labs, Green Office, and LEED certifications. The data I analyze and source from SDSU’s utility invoices will help SDSU to further understand the most efficient way to utilize energy throughout campus buildings and off campus facilities."
Sustainability Origin Story: "I was born and raised in Hawai’i on the island of O’ahu and I have always appreciated the natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands. As I grew older I developed a passion for plants, and eventually Native Hawaiian plants. I became a plant mom back home and from there I immersed myself in learning about the biodiversity of Hawai’i’s native flora and fauna. On the North Shore of O’ahu, I was an intern for an environmental conservation program. I got to participate in native seed collection, enviro remediation with Native Hawaiian plants, and plant mapping for a biodiverse botanical garden. It was such a fulfilling experience to be able to work so closely with plants, and now I’m fully committed to pursuing a career that protects plants and the ecosystems we share with them. Sustainability allows me to combine my passion for the environment with improving the quality of life for people, and I’m so excited to learn more about the work that goes into creating a more sustainable future."