UCSF Sustainability Stories

Lauren Ng, Sustainability Communications and Outreach Fellow, July 2020

Accomplishments from Our 2019-2020 Climate Corps Fellows

For the past year, Lauren Ng (left) and Eden Harris (right) have served as Climate Corps fellows at the UCSF Office of Sustainability. Both Ng and Harris have implemented a variety of energy efficiency projects, developed innovative outreach campaigns, and utilized their research and analysis skills to further UCSF’s progress towards sustainability goals.

The UCSF Office of Sustainability has partnered with Strategic Energy Innovations since 2015 to host two Climate Corps fellows each year. The fellows help UCSF, with its three hospitals and more than a dozen campus sites across San Francisco, make progress towards reaching its ambitious goals of Zero Waste by 2020 and become Carbon Neutral by 2025.

For the past year, Harris served as the Energy Communications and Outreach Fellow, focusing on energy reduction campaigns, analysis, and research. As the Sustainability Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Ng focused on strategic communications, content development, and campaign management.


Key Accomplishments of the 2019-2020 Climate Corps Fellows

  • Over the course of their 10-month fellowship, Ng and Harris saved more than $140,000 through energy efficiency, behavioral change campaigns, and rebate programs. They exceeded their savings goal by 57 percent, surpassing previous years’ records.
  • Ng and Harris spoke to more than 1,500 people, shuttling to events held at Mission Bay and Parnassus campuses. From weekly new employee orientations, to tabling at conferences, symposiums, e-waste days, and lab vendor events, they interacted with, and became a part of, the vibrant and widespread UCSF community.
  • In collaboration with UCSF Recycling, they saved the university more than $16,000 in new equipment costs and prevented over 1,100 pounds of e-waste from the landfill through the Equipment Reuse Program. This program provides free secondhand computer peripherals for employees to telework, while saving functional electronics from landfill.
  • They managed a successful Adopt a Spot  campaign, encouraging lab researchers to save energy by powering down equipment at the end of each day. As a result, they estimate annual savings of $43,000. Read their full story here
  • During remote work, Harris and Ng co-hosted two virtual workshops for CLS People Month. You can view them here.
  • Adapting to the shelter-in-place orders, Ng managed a five-week remote Earth Day campaign in April and produced an original Earth Day video for the UCSF Office of Sustainability.
  • Ng also wrote the script for the 2020 Sustainability Awards including speeches by Chancellor Hawgood and Sheila Antrum, senior vice president and COO at UCSF Health. View the recording
  • To analyze commute survey data with over 2,500 data entries, Harris programmed a Python script to automatically calculate yearly greenhouse gas emissions using Google Maps API.
  • Harris helped suppport a UCOP MRI Energy Study in collaboration with PI, Alastair Martin, medical physicist and professor of Radiology. She coordinated energy metering data and drafted a progress report of the study before COVID-19 paused the study. Ideally, study results will help create EPA Energy Star ratings for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.

Harris is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a degree in Bioengineering and a minor in French. She hopes to use this experience to shape her plans in the sustainability sector, including pursuing higher education and working towards environmental justice. Ng has a B.A in Environmental Studies from Soka University of America and studied Chinese Language at Nanjing University. After this fellowship, she will pursue graduate education and continue her career in sustainability.

To see Harris and Ng’s final project posters, visit our About Us page.