CSU, EPA Increase Opportunities for Environmental Stewards

Creates Stronger Partnership Between Agency and 23 Campuses
_The following was provided by the CSU Chancellor's Office._

The California State University (CSU) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (EPA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to increase environmental opportunities at all 23 CSU campuses over the next five years.

“Environmental protection is an integral part of maintaining California’s natural resources, health, economy and infrastructure,” said CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Ephraim P. Smith. “A stronger collaboration with the EPA will help the CSU produce graduates prepared to meet these environmental needs.”

The MOU identifies opportunities with the EPA—including internships, service-learning, and curriculum development—for CSU students, faculty and staff. In order to streamline the collaboration, the CSU plans to designate a central contact on each campus that will coordinate projects and other efforts with the EPA. Activities outlined in the MOU will also encourage CSU students to participate in environmental fields of study and help the EPA attract a highly-trained workforce.

EPA is excited to collaborate with the California State Universities, the largest system of higher education in the country,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We look forward to the innovative environmental work that will be achieved as a result of our partnership.”

The MOU presents numerous benefits for both partners including:

*CSU student volunteer service-learning opportunities with the EPA
*Independent study opportunities where CSU students can earn credit at multiple campuses for completion of EPA projects, lectures, or curriculum
*EPA input for the CSU to develop current and pertinent environmental curriculum

As part of this collaboration, CSU Channel Islands recently partnered with EPA’s Marine Debris Program. The partnership implements scientific protocols with geographic information system (GIS) mapping as part of a beach cleanup throughout the region and creates opportunities for faculty, students and EPA experts to interact.