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Sustainable 2nd Century

Sustainable 2nd Century

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Student Involvement: The Green Initiative Fund

MISSION: The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) promotes sustainable development by providing necessary funding to the UC Davis community. TGIF involves and educates students of all backgrounds by empowering them to develop, propose, and enact sustainable projects on campus.

TGIF is pleased to announce its first year (2017-18) of grant awards, totaling $134,320. For the Fall Mini-Grants, the TGIF Committee funded to 26 of 30 submitted projects, with a total of $32,816 in Fall Mini-Grant funds awarded. For the Spring Major Grants (2018-19 projects), the TGIF Committee funded 8 of 18 submitted projects, and returned 7 projects for possible revision and resubmission; major grant awards totaled $101,504.


Photo: Student holds tray of plants in the sustainable garden located next to Segundo Dining Commons.

Sustainable gardens are an example of the many student-led projects that align with the mission of TGIF.

The Green Initiative Fund, a campus program hosted by the Office of Sustainability and supported by student fees, offers students the opportunity to develop and launch innovative sustainability projects on campus, and to have a greater impact on sustainability within the UC Davis campus and the immediate region. The Fund awards between $20,000 and $200,000 each academic year to projects that positively impact students through increasing educational opportunities, promoting environmental awareness, engaging in sustainability research, advocating for climate and environmental justice, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy and water efficiency, limiting the amount of waste created on campus, and encouraging healthier, more planet-friendly lifestyles.

TGIF funds are available to UC Davis students, faculty, and staff. Undergraduate students are encouraged to submit proposals. Staff, faculty, and graduate students may also submit proposals. To be considered, proposals must articulate the undergraduate student role in the project proposed for funding. Priority is currently given to projects that involve undergraduates and that are located on the central UC Davis campus. Projects awarded in 2017-18 involved students from 19 different majors.

Grant proposals are currently accepted twice a year. The proposals are evaluated by an annually appointed Grants Committee that includes students, faculty, and staff (students hold a majority). The 2017-18 Grants Committee was comprised of 7 students, as well as Annaliese Franz (faculty), Bob Segar (fall/winter quarter staff), and Camille Kirk (spring quarter staff). Financial mentoring to the Committee was provided by Laurie Carney, Principal Budget Analyst; Diane Jellison, Senior Budget Analyst; and Greg Ortiz, Interim ASUCD Business Manager. Many departmental fiscal managers across the university supported students in their individual projects.

Watch for new funding cycles in Fall 2018-19 and sign up for notification about new opportunities at TGIF@ucdavis.edu!

ABOUT Grantsmanship and the work of the The Green Initiative Fund Grants Committee

Students who work with the Grants Committee or as a TGIF intern gain opportunities to develop, evaluate, and fund sustainability projects and research. Those who graduate with grantsmanship experience will be better positioned for careers as program officers and analysts at state agencies, in private consulting firms, at federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes for Health (NIH), and at private foundations such as Moore, Hewlett, and 11th Hour/Schmidt. They will be better prepared for graduate school and for future grant-intensive research careers, as well as for work with nonprofits or in proposal-intensive corporate careers. The TGIF Committee welcomes applications from students in all majors and seeks to build a collegial team that represents the diversity of the UC Davis campus while making wise use of student funds to support projects across the full spectrum of campus sustainability.

Students are appointed to the Committee by an application process developed by the 2017-18 TGIF Committee and staff in the Office of Sustainability. In addition to student voting members, non-student voting members include one staff member from Office of Sustainability and one faculty member nominated by the Academic Senate office. Non-voting assistance includes a representative from the Committee on Student Activities and Fees (COSAF), the Office of Sustainability's Grants Program Manager, and ASUCD staff. The Committee works with the Grants Program Manager to administer the fund.

Are you interested in participating on the TGIF Advisory Committee and helping to grant projects? Download the application in MS Word document format, fill it out, save as a PDF, along with your resume, and return to the TGIF Grants Program Manager, J.C. Ross, at TGIF@ucdavis.edu.

Background on TGIF

An undergraduate student fee funds TGIF ($3.00 per quarter, beginning in fall 2016). Twenty-five percent returns to student aid. Student leaders created a successful campus campaign and the student body approved the fee referendum during the February 2016 elections. It received final approval by the Chancellor and UC Regents during summer 2016.

The Green Initiative Fund is hosted by the Office of Sustainability in recognition of the office's central role in campus operations, academic projects, planning, design, and policy. TGIF outreach, proposal coordination, and grant management is managed by a staff member, paid 50% by TGIF funds. The Committee and the Grants Program Manager regularly report to the ASUCD Senate and COSAF.

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