Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society, and the Environment. A "green" building at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Scripps' Leadership in Sustainability and Climate Change
UC San Diego has long been a leader in helping preserve the earth's resources for the future, devoting its considerable interdisciplinary strengths to balance society's needs with preserving ecosystems and habitats on the planet. Scripps Institution of Oceanography is a part of UC San Diego and as such, we share a commitment to sustainability with the entire campus. Many of the sustainability activities in which Scripps is engaged occur across the university's campus.
Sustainable Campus Operations
UC San Diego has a strong history of investing in energy projects to improve efficiency and reduce purchased utility costs. These investments span a variety of technologies, including commodity management, onsite generation, transmission and distribution improvements, building equipment upgrades and networked control systems (both of which generate substantial energy savings), and renewable energy projects. UC San Diego is also leveraging available incentives and rebates for renewable energy, enabling the campus to generate onsite renewable energy at costs equivalent to or lower than grid prices. For more information on campus activities, please visit the sustainability website.
At Scripps we are doing our part to conserve resources and reduce our carbon footprint:
Education in Climate Change and Sustainability
As a top-tier research and educational institution, Scripps offers numerous classes and research opportunities with a sustainability focus. Scripps offers over 45 undergraduate courses covering a wide breadth of earth and marine sciences providing a broad interdisciplinary perspective with an applied environmental focus. The graduate program has students concentrate in one of three program areas: Climate-Ocean-Atmosphere; Geosciences of the Earth, Oceans, and Planets; or Ocean Biosciences. Scripps offers excellent graduate instruction and graduate students perform or assist with a significant portion of Scripps research. And with more than 300 research programs currently underway, students have many opportunities to connect their education to sustainability initiatives.
In addition to formal coursework, Scripps is proud to have a nationally recognized aquarium - Birch Aquarium at Scripps. With more than 400,000 people visiting annually, including 45,000 school children, Birch Aquarium brings Scripps science to a wide audience. One current exhibit, Feeling the Heat: the Climate Challenge, presents the science of global warming and helps convey to visitors the dramatic climate changes taking place locally and globally through a dynamic multimedia experience. Through stunning images and interactive displays, visitors discover the forces driving dramatic environmental changes and learn solutions to slow the trend. The impact of Feeling the Heat extends far beyond aquarium walls. Birch Aquarium educators incorporate the exhibit and its science into programs for teachers and thousands of local schoolchildren.Back to Top
Unfortunately, when burdened with an aging infrastructure, as Scripps is, sustainable practices can often only be implemented with an infusion of capital. Real-time energy use monitoring is not available for a number of our buildings, many of our HVAC systems are inefficient because of their age, and the very nature of much of our research is energy intensive. However, our commitment is strong, and as funds become available, here are just a few projects Scripps will implement to create a greener campus:
Scripps campus features native vegetation and drought tolerant plants, reducing watering needs. As new areas are landscaped, smart sprinklers are installed. This irrigation system uses weather station data to ensure over-watering does not occur.Back to Top
New Construction Practices
All UC San Diego projects over $5 million are required to target the achievement of Silver or Silver-equivalent rating in the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. In addition, all new projects use integrated design tailored to the function of the building to maximize efficiency. Measures include:
Scripps researchers, students and staff not only share a commitment to understanding the environment on a professional level, but are compelled to help preserve it on a personal level. At Scripps, individuals are encouraged to make informed choices that have a direct effect on our local and global environments. We support:
In 2008 Scripps graduate students engaged in an energy competition to raise awareness and reduce energy usage. Two of our research buildings were installed with advanced real-time metering systems and a baseline was taken. Then, over the next quarter, the students vied to see who could reduce consumption in their building by the largest margin. It was a very successful event and indicative of Scripps' commitment to good stewardship of the environment.Back to Top
Receptacles are located all across campus, and business offices are encouraged to purchase partial, or 100%, recycled paper products.Back to Top
Research in Climate Change and Sustainability
Research at Scripps is not only describing the changes ahead, but is producing useful information for resource managers, decision makers, and the public. Scripps is partnering with agencies, industries, and others who can make a difference by putting science to work for society. A few critical activities Scripps is engaged in:
The hull of our largest research vessel, the Revelle, has been covered with a special paint designed to decrease drag and generate up to a 20% increase in fuel efficiency. If we realize significant fuel efficiency, we will apply it to all our vessels.Back to Top
Scripps takes pride in being a good steward of the environment. Our mission is to seek, teach, and communicate scientific understanding of the oceans, atmosphere, and Earth for the benefit of society and the environment. With a large portion of our research focused on the impacts of climate change, we communicate our findings to local, regional, state, national, and international communities to inform decision makers and benefit all.