Sustainability Certificate Program Instructors

  • thumbnail chris bennerDr. Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change, and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment.  His two most recent books include: Equity, Growth and Community (2015), which examines diversity and dynamics of regional knowledge communities, and their relationship to social equity and economic growth; and Just Growth (2012) which helps uncover the subtle and detailed processes, policies and institutional arrangement that help explain how certain regions around the country have been able to consistently link prosperity and inclusion.  He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. 
  • thumbnail shauna casey

    Shauna Casey is a Sustainability Program Manager at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she oversees education programs that draw upon our unique campus resources to support sustainability education and leadership. She has over two decades of experience developing environmental education programs for public institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. At UCSC Shauna works to create educational experiences that bring out the best in people through the Sustainability Certificate Program, the Green Office Certification Program and the Provost's Sustainability Internship Program. Shauna is an alumnus of UCSC’s Environmental Studies Program and received her M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan. She’s the mother of a rambunctious toddler whose  curiosity about our world inspires her work in sustainability.

  • Thumbnail Image EricksonElida Erickson joined the University of California, Santa Cruz campus in 2005, and the Sustainability Office in 2011. Over the years, she has collaborated with the local community, students, faculty and staff to support the goal of Zero Waste by 2020, as well as reduce campus water usage by 25% in response to the California statewide drought in 2014-15. In her current role as Sustainability Director, she is a strong advocate for student engagement and empowerment, and is passionate about challenging the environmental movement to be more open to diverse cultural interpretations of sustainability. Elida received her M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from Indiana University in 2004.
  • Thumbnail HernandezDr. Rebecca Hernandez, PhD is Director of the UCSC American Indian Resource Center. She earned an MFA at CSU Fullerton, an MA from UCLA and her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her current work focuses on raising awareness about the experiences of Native American students in the university setting, with particular attention to the stereotypical expectations surrounding Native identity. She has worked in a variety of institutions including the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, UCLA American Indian Studies Center and the Center for Southwest Research.  Rebecca is Mexican American, Mescalero and Warm Springs Apache.
  • Hesse Thumbnail Image

    Andrea Hesse is the  Academic Divisional Computing Director in Information Technology Services where she oversees the local IT staff and operations embedded in the campus's five academic divisions and the Silicon Valley Center ( Prior to joining ITS, Andrea worked as Associate Director for UC College Prep Online, a UC Systemwide equity in access demonstration project and laboratory for the development media rich academic content and its delivery via the Internet.  Leading up to that were various roles in a range of educational settings including university art gallery director, charter school administrator, healthy start coordinator and outdoor education director.  She also serves as president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum board of directors.  More information is available at

  • Thumbnail Jeffrey Kiehl imageJeffrey Kiehl, PhD is an adjunct professor in both the department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and the department of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. He has carried out research on climate change for nearly forty years. He is a Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Meteorological Society. He is the recipient of the AGU Climate Communication Prize. Jeffrey also holds an MA in psychology and is a certified Jungian psychoanalyst. He is interested in the psychological dimensions of our relationship to the natural world and how we can live more sustainably. Jeffrey is the author of Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future, published by Columbia University Press. He has been a practitioner of meditation for over 40 years.
  • Kevin Koenig thumbnail imageKevin Koenig is the Ecuador Program Director for Amazon Watch. He is a leading expert on resource and rights conflicts in the western Amazon Basin, having worked for over two decades with indigenous peoples in the defense of their territories and rights throughout the region's rainforests. From the frontlines to the corporate boardroom, Kevin has collaborated with indigenous peoples in challenging and influencing oil drilling projects, government development policies, finance for mega-infrastructure projects, lending practices, and demand-side U.S. oil consumption, winning important victories and setting legal precedents. He is a UC Santa Cruz alumnus.
  • Lee Thumbnail Image

    Kristen Lee works in the Sustainability Office at UC Santa Cruz as a Sustainability Programs Manager.  She has worked in sustainability in higher education at five institutions in five different states.  Kristen received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Dickinson College and her master's degree in Public Affairs & Environmental Policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.  She likes to garden, hang out with her cat, and take care of her 30+ pet chickens in her spare time.

  • Thumbnail Flora Lu

    Dr. Flora Lu (A.B. Human Ecology, Stanford and Ph.D. Ecology, UNC-Chapel Hill) is the Pepper-Giberson Endowed Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies at UCSC and Provost of Colleges Nine and Ten. Her scholarly interests include: ecological anthropology, environmental justice, conservation politics, indigenous livelihoods, and political ecology. For the past two decades, she has conducted research in the Ecuadorian Amazon examining the relationship between extractivism, indigenous communities, and rainforests. As College Provost, she builds co-curricular programs at UCSC around food justice, inclusive sustainability, and environmental equity in policymaking, forging campus/community partnerships in the Bay Area and Central Coast. She is a recipient of the Division of Social Sciences “Golden Apple” Distinguished Teaching Award (2010); Committee on Teaching's Excellence in Teaching Award (2011); and Chancellor’s Diversity Award (2016, for the People of Color Sustainability Collective).

  • Thumbnail of Darin Matthews

    Darin Matthews (FNIGP, CPPO, CPSM, C.P.M.) is the Director of Procurement and Supply Chain at UCSC. He has over 25 years of procurement and supply chain experience in a variety of sectors, and formerly served as President for NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement. Darin is the author of several books and articles on procurement, including NIGP’s Warehousing and Inventory Control and Effective Supply Management Performance published by the Institute for Supply Management. He is also a columnist for Government Procurement magazine and speaks throughout the world on such issues as strategic procurement, sustainable procurement strategies, and global logistics. He is a currently a faculty member for UCSC Silicon Valley Extension and California State University – San Bernardino, and formerly taught at Florida Atlantic University’s Public Procurement Research Center.

  • Rajan ThumbnailDr. Ravi Rajan is Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he has served since his appointment in 1997.  He has also served as Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, Visiting Senior Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, and Visiting Professor at TERI University. He received his undergraduate and master degrees at the University of Delhi and his doctorate at the University of Oxford, and subsequently conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University, and the Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin. Ravi’s research spans environmental history, theory, and policy. It is particularly focused on the political economy of environment – development conflicts; environmental human rights and environmental justice; and environmental risks and disasters. He is the author of many academic publications, is a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace International, and a certified yoga instructor.
  • Thumbnail Chrissy Thomure image

    Chrissy Thomure is the Climate Action Manager at UC Santa Cruz where she led the Climate and Energy Strategy (CES) that resulted in a report and roadmap for how the Santa Cruz campus will achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, along with a 2016 Innovation Award through the California Higher Ed Sustainability Conference’s Best Practices Award. Chrissy serves as the Staff Engagement liaison to the UC Global Climate Leadership Council and has been the Co-Chair of the UC Climate Change Working Group since January 2016. She is a founding board member of the S-Lab, a center that fosters student, faculty, and community ingenuity from project conception to deployment, facilitating a multidisciplinary approach to sustainable design and development. Chrissy has a B.S. in Community and Regional Planning from Missouri State University and fifteen years experience in planning, green building, sustainability, and climate action.