The Shoreline Preservation Fund (SPF), which issues $150,000 in grants every year to groups seeking to protect the UCSB and Isla Vista coastline, is looking for a new student to help decide where it spends its money.
As a student-run organization, SPF is offering students the opportunity to apply for an open undergraduate representative position on its seven-member Board of Directors. SPF Grants Manager Scott Bull said the group is taking applications until 4 p.m. on Jan. 10 for the position, left vacant by graduating environmental studies major Robert Ryan. He also said the organization, which is funded by a $3 per student per quarter lock-in fee, has set a Jan. 14 deadline for students and faculty to complete grant applications to fund environmentally minded projects.
Bull said students who want to apply for the vacant position should submit a current resume and a half-page statement of purpose to the SPF office on the second floor of the Associated Students building, above the Multicultural Center. Those applying for grants should follow guidelines available on the SPF website at http://orgs.sa.ucsb.edu/spf/.
The ideal characteristics of a member of the board, Bull said, are strength of opinion and personality, not necessarily a background in environmental or biological sciences.
“We’re looking for people who are enthusiastic about coastal issues, are enrolled at UCSB, and experience with environmental issues is a plus,” Bull said. “We want people to be vocal and eager to participate in discussion. Strong opinions are highly desirable.”
Bull said SPF is a tight-knit group of 10 individuals who meet each Monday to debate and decide whether to fund applications for grants. During fall quarter, SPF provided almost $54,000 in funding to 11 projects, but he said SPF expects a lighter load this quarter.
According to the SPF website, the organization’s goal is to provide funds to preserve, protect, and enhance both land and marine habitats along the UCSB shoreline through preservation, education, open access, research, and restoration. Bull said the board distributes grants of $500 or more to individuals and groups whose proposals meet this goal, including funding for internships in environmental programs, coastal protection plans, restoration and research projects, water quality testing and educational programs.
“We don’t only fund applications, but we also fund larger capital projects such as repairing the West Campus Bluff’s path or other issues the board is excited about,” Bull said.
Bull said he thinks participation in the program is a rewarding experience for group members.
“Everybody loves it,” he said. “They’re so sad to leave when they graduate because it’s a very responsible position and board members feel they’re making a difference in the community.”
Undergraduate representative and fourth year law and society major Sarah Hooper said the small size of the organization allows every member to participate in all aspects of the SPF, regardless of official title. She said the board expects every member to arrive for meetings prepared to address agenda items and decide on grant distribution.
“We don’t really have different tasks because we all work together,” Hooper said. “We try to incorporate other aspects of A.S. and are there to consider the undergraduate perspective. We have to read proposals and come ready with questions.”
Ryan said his experiences at SPF allowed him the opportunity to work with and help members of the UCSB community.
“It’s a great group of people and you feel like you’ve really had an big effect on the school,” Ryan said. “You have a lot of money and you can fund a lot of projects.”