University of California, San Diego


September 4, 2007


SUBJECT:    Update on UC San Diego Environment and Sustainability
Initiative (ESI)

I am writing to provide an update regarding UC San Diego’s environment and sustainability developments. The Environment and Sustainability Initiative (ESI) that I announced in 2005 has helped to catalyze a variety of research, education, and outreach activities across campus and to create partnerships with the greater San Diego region.

I am pleased to announce that Paul Linden, chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, assumed the role of director of the ESI on July 1, 2007. Paul brings a distinguished record of achievement in environmental engineering and energy-efficient building design to his leadership of the ESI. Charles Kennel, the founding director, will continue to represent the ESI to the external science and policy community, and he will establish and chair a distinguished international advisory board to help guide the ESI. Lisa Shaffer, who previously served as assistant director at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, will serve as ESI’s executive director, reporting to the vice chancellor for Research.

To underscore our campus commitment to provide leadership on a national and global scale, I have asked Vice Chancellor for Research Ellis to chair a working group to develop a vision and plan for what we are currently calling the UC San Diego “Climate and Sustainability Institute” that builds on the strong foundation provided by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the ESI. The institute will facilitate the development of solutions-oriented collaborations across disciplinary, geographic, and cultural boundaries.

As another measure of our commitment, departments have identified at least 15 upcoming faculty recruitments in areas relevant to the environment and sustainability. I have asked the working group to advise me on how best to use those appointments to enhance the impact of our research, education, and outreach activities.

In order to strengthen the myriad campus sustainability efforts, we have established a position for a UCSD Sustainability Coordinator who will be responsible for coordinating internal campus sustainability efforts, including conducting campus sustainability assessments and promoting campus awareness and action related to sustainability.

We all have a stake in sustainability. With its extraordinary history, resources and expertise, UC San Diego is uniquely positioned to create and communicate new knowledge and practices that will help our society move confidently forward. I look forward to working with you as we draw upon our tradition of innovation to build a sustainable future together.

For more information about UCSD’s sustainability efforts and the ESI, I encourage you to visit the ESI website, http://esi.ucsd.edu

Marye Anne Fox