• UC Santa Cruz awarded "Best Practice Award in Social Equity & Justice" by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference for our Expanding Sustainability: UCSC's Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program.
  • World News and Reports placed UC Santa Cruz 4th in Nation for Social Mobility.  The list measures how well universities graduated students who received federal Pell Grants, which are typically awarded to students who come from households that earn less than $50,000 annually. The ethnic diversity of UC Santa Cruz was also highlighted in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. US News and World Report’s diversity index for UC Santa Cruz was .72—with values closer to 1.0 meaning a student is more likely to run into students from a different ethnic group. Only ten universities across the United States had a higher index than UC Santa Cruz. 
  • UC Santa Cruz awarded with "Honorable Mention" by My Green Labs for International Freezer Challenge, the Biology Teaching Laboratories at the University of California Santa Cruz. For their reduction in the environmental impact of cold storage as well as improved sample integrity and sample accessibility. 
  • The National Science Foundation awarded Jennifer Derr of UC Santa Cruz the "Early CAREER Award" for their contributions to the History of Science at the Interface of Biomedical and Environmental Concerns".
  • Savannah Shange of UC Santa Cruz was awarded the "Award for Community Engagement and Scholar Activism by UC Davis"
  • The American Anthropological Association awarded Mayanthi Fernando of UC Santa Cruz the "AAA President's Award" for "putting together (the Awards') virtual Raising Our Voices series and for (her) work co-organizing Distribute 2020, another virtual conference explicitly designed as a model for carbon-conscious conferencing."



  • The UC Santa Cruz S-Lab earns a Best Practice award from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Learn more.


  • UC Santa Cruz is one of the 20 greenest colleges in the country, according to the Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” ranking. Learn more.
  • UC Santa Cruz ranks No. 7 in The Princeton Review’s first list of the top 50 green colleges. Learn more.
  • The People of Color Sustainability Collective wins a Best Practice award from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Learn more.


  • The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) gives Sustainability Champion award to UC Santa Cruz alumnus Mark Lipson, currently a researcher with UCSC's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Learn more.
  • Graduate student Joseph Hoyt is awarded a Switzer Environmental Fellowship. Learn more.
  • UC Office of the President recognizes Dr. Sue Carter's efforts to deepen climate change teaching and research at UC Santa Cruz. Learn more.
  • CHESC "Sustainability Innovations" award for UCSC’s Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality by 2025: In 2013, UC President Janet Napolitano committed the UC system to reaching carbon neutrality by 2025.  Around this time, UCSC was beginning to consider the impacts of pending Cap & Trade regulation. UCSC therefore invested in a comprehensive Climate & Energy Strategy (CES) to address how the campus could reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and mitigate the financial impacts of Cap & Trade regulation associated with campus growth. The resulting collaborative process developed an integrated and dynamic plan presenting an array of strategies that includes specific projects, policies and procurements, and detailing financial and emissions impacts and risks.
  • CHESC "Sustainability in Academics: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math" award for UCSC Sustainability Studies & Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Program. Learn more.
  • CHESC "Energy Efficiency in Existing Design: Lighting Design/Retrofit" Learn more.


  • The EPA recognizes that the UCSC campus achieved impressive source reduction of wasted food through a variety of approaches involving both staff and students. Learn more.
  • UC Santa Cruz wins a Best Practice award for drought planning and water conservation efforts at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Learn more.
  • Grad student Sarah Kienle is one of four students nationwide selected by NOAA to receive a 2015 Nancy Foster Scholarship. Learn more.
  • UCSC is awarded the University of California President’s Award for Campus Excellence in Environmental Health and Safety.  Learn more.
  • Julie Guthman, UC Santa Cruz professor of social sciences, whose research looks at agricultural systems, food justice issues, and environmental health, is selected to receive the 2015 Excellence in Research Award from the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society. Learn more.
  • A prestigious governor's award is given to the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC for the creation of Green Wharf, a program designed to foster the development and incorporation of innovative technology into the structure and operations at the Santa Cruz Wharf. Learn more.


Learn more about prior awards here.