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New program helps UCSB students’ environmental projects grow

A new program at UC Santa Barbara is helping undergraduate students get the money and resources they need for projects that can help our environment.

The program—called the Environmental Leadership Incubator—is finishing up its first quarter on campus.

Students pitched their ideas Tuesday as a final project for the pilot class. Those ideas included an app that tracks someone’s carbon footprint like a FitBit counts steps, and an fashion sustainability index that includes a tag on clothing items that shows how they were produced.

Associate professor Simone Pulver wanted to give these students the structure to turn these ideas into action.

“I just saw that there was a need there,” she said. “I feel like there’s a lot of leadership stuff aimed at graduate students but not undergraduates. And undergraduates are amazing because they have so many great ideas and so much passion… and we need people who know how to take action, who know how to translate that passion into sort of real world outcomes.”

Pulver says UCSB is already known as a leader in environmental sustainability, and that this program will empower individuals to be leaders in the field as pressing environmental issues continue around the world.

In the fall, students will pitch their ideas to other students and organizations, test and refine them over the course of nine months.

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