About the Sustainability Lab
S-Lab is an innovation hub that spans multiple locations and departments on the UCSC campus. Our purpose is to support the development of holistic solutions to the challenges posed by climate change by linking students to resources and real-world networks. S-lab collaborators come from different sectors with diverse areas of expertise: business enterprise, academia, and the civil society. Through multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaborations housed in real world projects, it is our belief that student teams learn faster and fail sooner to yield more impactful, innovative, and implementable solutions.
We recognize that sustainable innovation crosses environmental, social, economic, and technical disciplinary boundaries; thus, S-Lab is accessible to all UC affiliated students. Our facilities support the spectrum of design, prototype, implementation processes; from smaller course-related projects to start-up endeavors in partnership with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development. We offer: rapid prototyping, machine shop, electronics, material and device fabrication, wet lab, greenhouses, and meeting spaces dedicated for students. Additionally, S-lab provides a forum where students can connect with like-minded colleagues and professionals to meet, exchange ideas and accelerate knowledge sharing.
S-lab offers curriculum, workshops, and training that moves theory into practice. Students interested in engineering design-thinking can work closely with a mentor during the prototyping process, while those seeking hands-on training in sustainable technologies can participate in our suite of training modules. Currently, we have modules for accelerated foundational learning in: Device Prototyping and Fabrication, Sustainable Power Systems, Remote Monitoring and Control Systems, and Water Resource Management. Available module topics will evolve with the needs of the students and projects associated with S-lab.
Furthermore, the S-lab will be our link to the community, and has partnered with organizations, universities, companies and climate leaders across the Monterey and San Francisco Bays to communicate the impacts of climate change and develop mitigating technologies. Moving forward, the S-lab is cultivating interactions with civil societies of the global south to utilize our training resources for local capacity development. Together, we can co-develop solutions to reduce the impact of climate change on communities likely to experience the greatest impact from, but be the least responsible for, carbon emissions.
These resources will be integrated into existing campus sustainability programs to contribute a crucial, hands-on resource for curriculum: Impact Design: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service (IDEASS) program in Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE); Rachel Carson College’s Sustainability Minor; Everett Program in Sociology; Institute for the Study of Ecological and Evolutionary Climate Impacts (ISEECI) led by Physical and Biological Sciences Division; Social and Environmental Practice in the Arts (SPARC) at UC Santa Cruz housed in the Arts division; Senior exit capstone credit and internship programs through the Sustainability Office; among others.