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UCSB Sustainability Champion to Present Symposium

David Cleveland will discuss localizing Santa Barbara County's food system

David Cleveland, a professor of environmental studies at UCSB, will wrap up his inaugural term as UCSB’s Sustainability Champion by presenting a symposium on localizing the Santa Barbara County food system.

The symposium, featuring Cleveland’s speech titled “Sustainability: More Greenwash or the Key to Our Future? The Example of Localizing the Santa Barbara County Food System,” will be held from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in Corwin Pavilion on the UCSB campus. The session is free and open to the public.

The symposium is the culmination of the first year of the UCSB Sustainability Champion Program, which was created to recognize faculty innovation at UCSB and to encourage ongoing research and teaching in sustainability on campus and in the community.

Under Cleveland’s direction, a team of UCSB undergraduate students spent the past year researching the Santa Barbara County food system. They learned that, while the county produces an abundance of fruits and vegetables, much of the produce consumed by residents of the county is imported, which contributes to food insecurity and global warming.

“We also found that many people are working to localize the system as a way to make it more sustainable, often successfully overcoming skepticism and institutional obstacles,” Cleveland said. “But what effect will this localization have? How can the concept of sustainability be put to work for localization?”

Cleveland’s speech will be followed by an edible demonstration of the local food system. The symposium also will include the introduction of the 2010-11 Sustainability Champion, Eric Matthys, professor of mechanical engineering, and an announcement of the inaugural year of the Chancellor’s Sustainability Internship Program. The Sustainability Champion is sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and The Green Initiative Fund.

KCSB, the campus radio station (FM 91.9), will record the lecture and air it later as part of the station’s Santa Barbara Lectures series.

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