UCLA Sustainable Resource Center: Building Connections
Perhaps the biggest challenge the UCLA Sustainable Resource Center faces is confusion over what "sustainability" actually means. Many people associate the term with renewable energy. And while renewable energy is a core component of sustainability, the concept encompasses a great deal more.
By Nancy Steiner
Originally appeared in UCLA Student Affairs Publication Spring 2006
Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations, says Nurit Katz, director of the UCLA Sustainable Resource Center. It aims to integrate economic prosperity, environmental health and social equity into viable systems which will function effectively in our common future.
The UCLA Sustainable Resource Center provides information and education to the graduate student body, the UCLA campus and the community at large. Funded by the Graduate Students Association, the Center links together individuals and organizations, providing a vast array of avenues through which to explore sustainability.
The Center evolved from what was previously known as the Environmental Resource Center. Located in Kerckhoff Hall 160, it is a place where students can come to ask questions, access publications from the Centers lending library, or use a computer to research sustainability topics such as land use issues, the impact of consumerism, reduction of synthetic materials and toxins, and even international security. A comprehensive website provides an extensive calendar of campus and community events and campaigns, as well as links to student groups, research centers and community resources. The Center also hosts lectures and forums especially geared for graduate students.
The Centers mission is in keeping with the Universitys commitment to sustainability, recently highlighted by Chancellor Albert Carnesale at the dedication of La Kretz Hall. Home of the Institute of the Environment, La Kretz Hall is UCLAs first certified green building. It has been accredited by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, which certifies buildings meeting strict environmental criteria.
Because of its broad implications, sustainability is a topic of interest to students from many disciplines. Students affiliated with the Sustainable Resource Center include those in business, public policy, and film as well as computer science, engineering, and chemistry among others.
Published: Friday, April 14, 2006