Meet the CSF: September Spotlight


Nearly 300 students worked on CSF projects or with the CSF Office last academic year! In the interest of highlighting these committed students, each month we will be interviewing select CSF project leads, volunteers, alumni, staff and committee members.

Sunni Wissmer, Alumni

UW Graduation Year: 2015
Major: Community, Environment, and Planning
Minor: Astronomy
Hometown: Steilacoom, WA
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Sailing
What position did you hold when you worked with the CSF?
"Resident trouble-maker, but formally I had a number of positions. For a year I was the Student-Staff-Faculty liaison. I would go around trying to get people to start projects, which I had been doing before anyway. I also worked on the Husky Sustainable Storms and UW Solar projects; two of the largest infrastructure projects the CSF has funded. Lastly, I was on the CSF committee for a year.”

What takeaways do you have from working with the CSF?
"It taught me to just ask for what you really want and be genuine. Be professional, but be real. Just go out there and make friends. Climate change is too big of an enemy for us to not be on the same side. So, the more you can turn enemies into friends the better. It’s about showing people that you are not trying to make them look bad or show them up. You are not trying to challenge their authority. You are throwing a party and they are invited. Make it fun.”

What is your current job? 
“I am the Global Network Coordinator for the International Living Future Institute at the Bullitt Center. I work with the Living Future Network, which includes 690 professionals in 43 countries. Lots of different time zones. Lots of different ideologies of life. But we all have one thing in common: we want to fight climate change. And we feel that the best way to do that is to implement Living Building projects.
The Living Building Challenge is the most stringent green building standard in the world. The Bullitt Center is a Living Building and there are only 11 certified Living Buildings in the entire world. There are about 346 registered projects pursuing the certification. The program recognizes buildings that collect all their own water, all their own energy, and are made with healthy building materials. They can’t use any lead, PVC or asbestos. All those things are highly toxic and are known to cause cancer, and yet we build with them every day.
The Living Building Challenge is based on the idea of biomimicry. We as biological organisms have evolved as part of a system that is 3.8 billion years old. This system that we evolved within has certain chemicals, processes, and substances that our species has learnt to deal with. A huge part of why we are starting to see things like higher rates of autism, cancer, or multiple sclerosis is that we are now chemically creating materials, substances, and processes that we’ve never been exposed to before. We are forcing our bodies to do things they haven’t evolved to do like sit in an office chair all day in the dark. So why not design in a way that’s respectful of our biological need to fit in with our local ecology? That’s the whole idea behind living buildings."
To learn more about the International Living Future Institute or the Living Building Challenge, please visit

Jordan Hoy, Project Lead

UW Graduation Year: 2017
Major: B.A Environmental Studies
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Favorite UW Class: ENVIR 240, The Urban Farm
CSF Project: Green Square: UW Tower Urban Garden Demonstration
What inspired you to get involved with CSF?
"This project is a good representation of my past 2 years at UW studying environmental studies and focusing on the social science aspect of the environmental movement. It's exciting that we can incorporate greenery into our environment, into our daily lives and the countless benefits it can bring. Our project team is trying to make urban agriculture really accessible. We hope people will see different permaculture techniques in our garden and think, “Wow, I can apply that to my backyard, or my little porch that I have, or the top of my boat, for example. I currently live on a boat, which has no yard whatsoever, so I would like to have some food production. I have a couple blueberry plants, but I am just getting started."

What's your takeaway from applying for a CSF grant?
"During the grant writing phase, it was all about the context that we presented. Key in our application was the context of the UW and the sustainable vision this institution wants to present to the outside world. The Green Square project is unique because the UW Tower is the face of the UW. Visitors come through our project space daily, and with the new light rail station,  it will experience even more exposure. So, it's very important for that little brick courtyard to express the sustainable values of the UW. We also addressed the larger context of our food system and unsustainable practices. The most effective way to learn about this is to look at our personal lifestyle choices. So we hope that people can take little techniques or aspects from our garden demonstration into their daily lives."

What advice would you give to other students interested in the CSF?
"If you see something that really needs to be done, go for it! The university is such a great platform for people who want to make a difference and the CSF is a great program to fund those activities. There are so many different exciting things that are going on because of CSF."

Gunnar Colleen, Project Lead

UW Graduation Year: 2017
Major: Public Health
Hometowns: Seattle, WA and Vienna, Austria
Favorite UW Class: CHID 480: Life in Excess: Waste, Want and the Politics of Surplus
CSF Project: ASUW Student Food Cooperative Bulk Buying Storefront
What inspired you to get involved with the CSF?
"At the co-op, one of our main goals is to move towards a sustainable food future. This is tied to many environmental and labor issues. We see the bulk-buying project as a somewhat small but completely concrete way to try and change the local food system in the university community. We are trying to connect students with sustainable, healthy food in a way that is affordable and accessible."

What is a challenge or reward you have experienced in implementing your project?
"There are both issues and rewards tied to moving beyond our small group and trying to be a larger entity. Right now we mostly do educational work, cooking workshops, and different things like that. Membership has been flexible, meaning students can come whenever they’re interested and help out when they can. Moving towards a concrete location with regular operating hours, we are going to have to completely change the way we organize ourselves. It will change our community."

In your own words, what is a cooperative?
"A democratic model for organizing an entity. Unlike most private businesses, you aren’t having someone at the top of the hierarchy making all of the decisions. In a cooperative, everyone is making the decisions together based on what each member can and wants to do. It’s a true community."

What advice would you give to other students interested in the CSF?
"If you have an idea, and you think you can do it, go for it. I was kind of cynical when one of our members went through the grant process because at that point we hadn’t made much progress with our plans. But everything worked out and we are moving forward with it. So biggest advice: go for it. Things only happen when someone does something to make them happen."


SER UW Edible Native Plants Class

The SER-UW Native Plant Nursery is partnering with the UW Botanic Gardens to give free classes on various native plant topics!  The first class is this month on September 19th, from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. The topic is Eat Native: Identifying Edible Native Plants.
Full Class Description: Learn to safely identify many of our native edibles here in the Puget Sound area as well as ways to incorporate native edible plants into your home landscape! This class will include a small tasting of different native plants you can grow and harvest as well as a short walk around the Union Bay Natural Area to take a look at some of the native edibles and compare them to invasive look-alikes. Children are welcome, but class content will be geared towards an adult audience.
Instructor: Mary-Margaret Greene, graduate student and co-manager of SER-UW Native Plant Nursery
Cost: Free! Your optional $5 donation at the door will support our education programs and native plant nursery
Please RSVP online, by phone at (206)685-8033, or by email at

Campus Sustainability Fund Bike Tour


Join us on September 27th from 1:30-3:30pm for a 4.5 mile Dawg Daze tour of on-campus, sustainability projects funded through the CSF. We are a student-run, student-funded grant organization that makes available over $300,000 a year for on-campus, student-led sustainability projects. Since our founding in 2010, we've funded 80 projects; a handful of which we'll visit on the tour! Please RSVP via our Facebook event page. We will be meeting at the south end of Drumheller Fountain.

We highly encourage you to bring your own bike and helmet. If that option is unavailable, email us at and we will help you find a rental.

Event Partners: ASUW Bike Shop, Kincaid Ravine Restoration Project, The UW Farm, Society for Ecological Restoration -UW Chapter, UW Grounds Management and UW Transportation Services

Summer Newsletter 2016


Stay in the loop by checking out our summer newsletter! Get updates on projects and also learn more about the students behind the CSF. Sign up to see the newsletter in your inbox here.

Meet the CSF: August Spotlight


Nearly 300 students worked on CSF projects or with the CSF Office last academic year! In the interest of highlighting these committed students, each month we will be interviewing select CSF project leads, volunteers, alumni, staff and committee members.

Kyle McDermott, CSF Coordinator

UW Graduation Year: 2018
Major: Master of Environmental Horticulture
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Bicycling
What inspired you to get involved with the CSF?

"I’d worked diligently as an undergraduate researcher at Northern Arizona University to find alternatives to using toxic herbicides on campus lawns. The project was severely underfunded and I worked for over two years on a volunteer basis with a very small budget. Looking back, if I had access to something like the CSF, my project could have been more successful. My mission has since been to support sustainability projects on school campuses—the CSF does exactly this, so it’s great to be involved."

What is your favorite CSF project?
"Education is important for instilling environmental practices amongst our community members. For this reason, I’m fond of the Education and Outreach project at the UW Farm. The project’s reach is impressive, involving Education majors, and elementary-age students from the Seattle area. It’s great to see the CSF facilitate a program that not only has a positive impact on UW’s campus, but the greater Seattle community."

What do you view as your greatest responsibility as the CSF Coordinator?
"Making sure that current and prospective projects are adequately supported. Additionally, since all UW students are helping to support the CSF through the Student Activity Fee (SAF), I feel inclined to grow our reach amongst diverse disciplines, individuals, and groups on campus."

What is your dream job?
"I love working with kids and the community. I grew up in a more impoverished and culturally diverse part of Tucson. I’d like to give back to our communities most in need. Environmental and food justice is important to me—providing folks with fresh and organic meals and access to nature and healthy ways of living. Being an integral part of an organization that does this type of work would be both exciting and gratifying."  


An Huynh, Outreach Coordinator Alumni

UW Graduation Year: 2015
Major: Community, Environment and Planning
Minor: Environmental Science and Resource Management
Hometown: Bothell, Washington
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Biking and Hammocking
What is your favorite CSF project?
"Hmm... hard to say. ​There are many favorites for many different reasons. ​I love it​ in general when projects are inter​disciplinary, communicative, and ​are able to change and evolve over time... The greatest thing is seeing a project making an impact, no matter if they were awarded $1,000 or $100,000."

What is your current job?
"I am currently the Public Space & Community Coordinator at SCIDpda​ (the Seattle Chinatown/International District Preservation Development Authority). We work on community and economic development projects in the C/ID which includes Chinatown, Little Saigon, and Japantown. I mainly work on public realm projects in Little Saigon and facade improvements with individual businesses in Chinatown. Right now it's mainly coordinating a future parklet and park site, decorative crosswalks, and advocating for the neighborhood in general in discussions involving streetscape changes."

How did working with the CSF impact your career path?
"CSF gave me a lot of the transferable skills that have translated to my current role. Thinking holistically and individualistically about projects and how they work together, ​public speaking,​event planning, relationship building are a few of the things I've taken away. I was also exposed to the power of student-based/community-based work, and that's something I definitely get to see and think about now."

What is you dream job?​ 
"Are dream jobs ok? Something between and urban planner and international development-er. Also photojournalist, reporter​, and hip-hop dance crew member."

Dan Hintz, Project Lead


UW Graduation Year: 2016
Major: Master of Environmental Horticulture
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Downhill skiing

What CSF project are you working on?
"The Kincaid Ravine Restoration project. We are trying to restore a neglected, 4 acre open space on campus into a healthy urban forest that provides ecological benefits and opportunities for education and respite."

What has been your greatest challenge and reward in implementing your project?
"Restoration is a very slow process, takes a lot of coordination and results can be slow to come by.  However, through partnerships with CSF, non-profits like EarthCorps and Stewardship Partners, and myriad student groups, professors and UW administrators, the positive changes at KR over the past 3 years are undeniable.  While there is still much work to be done, you can already see much more plant diversity, wildlife and there are even small trails and interpretive areas with benches at the ravine now."

What advice would you give to students interested in the CSF?
"Don’t hesitate and be creative!  There are so many ways to make UW a more sustainable and healthy campus and CSF is a great mechanism to make that happen, but you have to have an idea or passion and run with it.  CSF staff is very approachable and talking to them during the grant process is also helpful.  Not only can you initiate a project for the benefit of the UW community, but you can also learn many valuable skills in the process."

What is you dream job?
"Since I don’t think I will be a professional musician or basketball player anytime soon, I am pretty thrilled to have secured a job as a Restoration Specialist with the Mountains to Sound Greenway right after graduating with my master’s degree back in June."

CSF Doubles Mini Grants Program


We proudly funded eight project teams in the second year of the CSF Mini Grants program. Comparatively, last year we funded four. Mini Grants are CSF grants up to $1,000 which are processed through a streamlined application process. Although Mini Grants only accounted for 2% of our annual project funding, they engaged 20% of the students working on CSF projects this year. The program is not only cost-effective, but also provides a lower barrier means through which students can access CSF funding. As a result, we had a higher percentage of first time applicants and new departments through the Mini Grants program compared to our large funding cycles

The Mini Grants program is lower barrier given its shorter application process, rolling deadline, and quick turnaround time. Our large grants, on the other hand, require an application process that spans three month from the initial request to the final approval. Also, applications are only accepted twice a year. This process helps to fine-tune complex, long-term project ideas, but is too exhaustive for small capital projects or events. Meanwhile, Mini Grants can be submitted any time throughout the year. Even more conveniently, applications are approved or denied within two weeks. 

In this way, our Mini Grants program helps the CSF engage with students who do not have the time or expertise to implement a large-scale capital project or program. In particular, this application process is conducive to educational, sustainability events. This year we had three projects from departments with no previous engagement with the CSF. Two of these projects were events funded by Mini Grants: the Next System Teach-In and the Tribal Water Security Colloquium. Additionally, over 70% of our Mini Grant project teams were first time applicants.

Looking forward, we hope to continue expanding the Mini Grants program in order to increase our engagement with students across campus. Given we are financially supported by all students across every discipline at the UW, we believe that every student should be encouraged to get involved with the CSF. In order to truly foster a more environmentally-conscious campus community, sustainability work must come from all areas of campus.

Yesler Swamp Boardwalk Completed!


Congratulations to the Yesler Swamp team for completing their cedar boardwalk in late June after two years of construction work! If you're interested in a tour, join the July work party this Sunday, July 10th from 11-2pm. Learn more and RSVP here.

Although the boardwalk is finished, the CSF-funded Yesler Swamp Trek Stop student group is still looking for help completeing their bird blind. Check out the internship positions here. Also be sure to explore their website for volunteer updates and scenic photos.

Year in Review Newsletter


We've accomplished so much at the CSF over the past academic year! Check out our latest newsletter for a holistic review of project funding, campus involvement and departmental inclusivity. Sign-up for the newsletter here.

CSF Awards $323,486 to 21 Student Projects


Update on June 21st, 2016: The CSF Committee has just voted to fund one final Mini Grant. This brings the new total to $324,466 awarded to twenty-two projects.

After an exciting sixth year of applications and committee deliberations, we are pleased to announce that $323,486 has been awarded to twenty-one CSF projects. Each project aligns with the CSF's mission to lessen the University's environmental impact and foster a more environmentally-conscious campus culture. If you are interested in getting involved with the CSF either by applying for funding, joining our committee or volunteering, please email Veronica Guenther at The next opportunity to apply for funding will be in the middle of Fall Quarter 2016. Be on the lookout for confirmed application deadlines. Thank you again to the following project teams for their creativity and hard work:

Cycle 1: Funded March 4th, 201
Seven projects totaling $175,792

2nd Annual UW Resilience Summit, $1,250
Campus Illumination: An Implementation Strategy for Sustainable Exterior Lighting, $50,965
Composting Toilet at the Center for Urban Horticulture, $33,000
Kincaid Ravine Restoration Budget Amendment, $35,000
Lab Glove Recycling Pilot Program, $2,000
UW Floating Wetlands Project, $11,379
UW-Solar Life Sciences Building, $7,500

Cycle 2: Funded June 1st, 2016
Seven projects totaling $141,094

"As Viewed through the Looking Glass" Photography Piece", $5,350
ASUW Student Food Cooperative Bulk Buying Storefront, $2,500
Electronic Waste Educational and Information System, $11,294
Engaging Students and Public in Marine Conservation Through Sustainable Shellfish Aquaculture-Phase II, $14,484
Green Square: UW Tower Urban Garden Demonstration, $59,730
Putting the Green in Greenhouse (revised), $34,635
SER-UW Native Plant Nursery Improvements, $47,799

Mini Grants: Funded case-by-case
Eight projects totaling $7,580

2016 UW Night Market, $1,000
Earth Day 2016 Celebration, $1,000
Environmental Display for Paccar Hall, $890
Fossil Fuel Divestment Pacific Northwest Network Spring 2016 Convergence, $1,000
NEW: Mobile Maintenance Trailer for the ASUW Bike Shop, $980
Next System Teach-In, $1,000
Planting and Installing Pollinator Habitats at the UW Farm, $1,000
Tribal Water Security Colloquium, Rethinking Our Relationship with Water, $960

Seattle City Light Matching Funds


So many of you expressed interest in seeing more on-campus solar panels at our Earth Day table! When asked "What would YOU do with a CSF grant?", students wrote that they would like solar panels on Paccar Hall, Denny Hall, the UW Medical Center, Suzzallo Library and Kane Hall as well as solar powered charging stations and solar tables around campus (see below).

Now is the time to turn these ideas into tangible impacts on campus. Seattle City Light will provide up to $15,000 of matching funds for renewable energy projects through the CSF funding cycles. For more information, check out our web article from the fall.

Student responses at the Earth Day 2016 Celebration:

Campus Illumination Survey


How do you move through campus at night?

Where is outdoor lighting working well? Where could it be improved?

Take the Campus Illumination Survey today!

Campus Illumination--a Campus Sustainability Fund project--wants to better understand how the campus is experienced when it is dark. The team hopes to collect your invaluable feedback through an interactive map survey to use as a foundation for creating a roadmap toward sustainable exterior lighting at the UW.

The project is led by an interdisciplinary team from the Integrated Design Lab, the Office of the University Architect, and Seattle City Light's Lighting Design Lab to guide the UW as it transitions to more energy efficient outdoor lighting. The project is looking at sustainable lighting from a comprehensive perspective, encompassing efficiency, maintainability, wildlife impact, and the human experience. The roadmap is set to be completed in the Spring quarter of 2017.

For more information, check out articles on UW Today and The Daily.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Douglas at

Yesler Swamp Trek Stop Internships


The CSF-funded Yesler Swamp Trek Stop is looking for management support from student interns this quarter and beyond! The objective of the project is to construct a bird blind on the shoreline of the Yesler Swamp lagoon on Lake Washington in order to provide UW students and visitors a unique wildlife observation platform. If you're interested in applying, please contact project manager Tyler Licata at

Time commitment: 5 hours per week
Deadline: Rolling

Available positions include:
1. Permitting Manager – Oversees the projects land use and construction permit applications
Completing Seattle’s land use permit submittal checklist and verifying that all requirements are met
Compiling the construction documents into a complete package and submitting them to the City of Seattle per city standards

2. Grant Writing Manager – Oversees the projects budget
Administering CSF funds to pay for design consultant fees and permitting fees
Applying for grant funding from the Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods “Large Project Fund” and The Rose Foundation’s “Puget Sound Mitigation Fund”

3. Design Manager – Oversees construction document drafting
Detailing the construction documents per City of Seattle development standards


Earth Day Week Newsletter


Get ready for Earth Day this Friday by browsing through our latest newsletter! If you haven't already seen this in your inbox, subscribe today.

Earth Day Ivy Pull

Join the Society for Ecological Restoration-UW Chapter (SER-UW) and the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) for our 3rd annual Earth Day Ivy Pull! This year we will be working from 10-2pm on Friday, April 22nd behind the bike shelter at the SW end of the HUB. Tools and snacks will be provided, so just make sure to arrive in clothes and shoes that can get dirty. After you volunteer, track your hours for the UW Earth Day Challenge. Please email with any questions.

CSF Ambassadors Program Application


Great news! This quarter we will be rolling out our brand new Ambassadors Program. As a volunteer with this program, you will work closely with the CSF Outreach Coordinator to expand the reach of the CSF across campus through outreach visits, tabling opportunities and other communication platforms. This position accommodates flexible schedules, is conveniently located on campus, and provides opportunities for both collaborative and individual work environments. Through this role you will greatly develop your environmental advocacy, public speaking, professional networking, communication and public relations skills. Please fill out this survey by 11:59pm on Thursday, April 14th to be considered this quarter. (Update: Rolling admissions will be accepted through Week 8 of spring quarter.) Please email with any questions.

Confidence with public speaking
Competency in contacting faculty, staff and RSO leadership teams
Self-motivated work ethic
Duration: 1-3 hours a week during Spring Quarter

CSF Coordinator Application Closes Sunday


Job Description: CSF Coordinator

Start Date: early-June 2016
Hours/Times: 19.5 hours/week, workdays & times flexible
Duration: through June 2017, continuation into future years possible if student status is maintained
Compensation: GSA Package (Tuition Waiver, Health Insurance, Stipend*) *estimated at approx. $2000/mo before taxes Application
Deadline: April 10th, 2016 HuskyJobs ID#: 100934

The mission of the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) is to create a sustainable campus and foster an environmentally conscious culture by funding student-lead projects from a portion of student fees to lessen the university’s environmental impact. The CSF is currently seeking a student to serve as the primary staff point of oversight and management for all aspects of the organization. 

The CSF Coordinator will be a team player as well as a self-starter, with excellent collaboration skills and ability to communicate effectively with students, faculty and staff. Other important characteristics for a coordinator include strong project management skills; attention to detail; ability to prioritize; flexibility and resilience; creative problem solving skills; ability to gain consensus; ability to manage sensitive situations; superior verbal and written communication skills; and proficiency and comfort presenting to both small and large groups of people.

Bachelors degree in a related field and currently matriculated in a UW graduate program (or planned for Fall 2016)
Approximately 2+ years work experience in related positions or with related functions  Interest in and knowledge of sustainability issues both on and off campus
High degree of professionalism, integrity and ownership; high energy and results oriented
Team player, flexible and open to new ideas and continual improvement or change
Excellent written and oral communication, presentation, analysis, project management, and financial reporting/budgeting skills.
Excellent skills with Microsoft Office (Access, Excel, Outlook PowerPoint, Word)

Knowledge and experience with operational and financial planning
Previous program and/or staff management experience
Knowledge of UW budget and accounting systems
Experience with basic web editing features and HTML
Experience with information visualization and/or graphic design

Lead the solicitation and vetting of project proposals from UW students, faculty and staff.
Support & organize the CSF Committee
Track and report on active CSF projects
Oversee multiple budgets (both internal and external)
Guide strategic initiatives  Pursue and secure auxiliary revenue streams
Maintain strong relationships with the CSFs myriad of campus partners
Manage up to 3 part time staff and 3-6 regular volunteers at any given time
Continue to raise the visibility and profile of the CSF throughout UW.

To Apply
Please visit HuskyJobs (, search for position 100934 and submit a resume and cover letter detailing relevant experience and interest in the position. Questions about the position can be directed to

Winter Quarter Wrap-Up Newsletter


Take a quick moment to update yourself on upcoming CSF events and opportunities as well as to review CSF accomplishments from the past quarter! Find our winter quarter newsletter here. Subscribe here.

MobilizeGreen Conference coming to UW April 7-8


The 2016 MobilizeGreen Annual Conference and Diversity Career Fair will be held at the University of Washington on April 7-8, 2016. Speakers for the event include Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Leslie Weldon, the Deputy Chief for National Forest System with the USDA Forest Service. 

The theme of this year’s event is Equity & the Environment:  Mobilizing the Next Generation of Leaders.  The goal of the event is to inspire, engage, and mobilize the next generation of diverse green leaders to help communities solve equity and environmental challenges. Through thought-provoking panel sessions, workshops, and high-impact networking opportunities, the event will help change the way employers and diverse young people connect for green career opportunities.

All students are encouraged to apply to attend - there is no cost but students must show commitment and passion, and attend both days of the event.

Apply now.


Campus Sustainability Fund grants over $140,000 in last funding cycle


Last week the CSF was featured in a UW Daily article to celebrate the end of our first funding cycle this year! The committee approved over $140,000 to fund 7 innovative, student-led sustainability projects, including the Lab Glove Recycling pilot program, Green Futures Lab Floating Wetlands project, 2nd Annual UW Resilience Summit, UW Farm Composting Toilet, Campus Illumination project, Kincaid Ravine amendment, and UW Solar Life Sciences Building project. You can learn more about the mission and background of each of our new projects under our 2015-16 Approved Projects tab. As these project teams kick into implementation mode, the CSF committee has already started reviewing Letters of Intent (LOIs) for our second annual funding cycle. Stay tuned to hear what incredbile projects the CSF will approve this spring!

Spring Letter of Intent Deadline Extension


Great news for anyone who missed the deadline last week! The CSF committee has voted to extend the deadline until March 27th. Go to to get started on your grant application today.