the verdict, future plans, and beyond

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The Verdict, Future Plans, and Beyond

By Kiana Chan, Alex Wolfsan, Stephanie Gonzalez, Sarah Huang, Jonathan Tedjakusnadi, and Helen Lu

So, after two quarters of early mornings and late afternoons at Wooden, what are we looking at? In short: there’s nothing to fear, business as usual. Through deliberation with our post doctorate student Eon and corroboration within our own research, we’ve come to the conclusion that the air quality in UCLA’s recreational facilities is not a current hazard to human health. We’ve observed a couple outlier days where readings displayed concerning concentrations of PM2.5, but our outside measurements corresponded with these anomalies and thus were outside the scope of our project.

What lies ahead? Our team began to look for new ideas to improve the health and sustainability of our recreational facilities. One side project that we’ve started was a cleaning product audit that aims to assess the current state of cleaning products used by facilities management and suggest safer and more sustainable products. We modeled our approach after the sustainable purchasing guide that last year’s SAR Housing Team developed. We’ve also looked at the thoughtful responses we received from our focus group and we decided that education and science outreach regarding air quality was also something to be considered. We’ve completed our project content with our work and optimistic about what future projects are able to achieve. Our time at SAR has been a real treat and we’re sincerely thankful for the opportunity to work with so many talented and enthusiastic individuals. Air Quality team signing off.

Sarah: “Every time I think I’ve mastered all the issues related to the environment and sustainability, I always find myself learning a new aspect that shifts my understanding of what this topic means to me. As one of my final experiences here at UCLA, SAR has made an impact on me through various team challenges we faced together, in addition to the great community of sustainably-minded people. I definitely feel inspired by everyone and look forward to seeing what positive changes we can all bring to the communities outside of UCLA.”

Stephanie: “Being a part of SAR was a truly an amazing, it has given all of us the tools to enact real change in the communities that we will go forth and help in our careers.”

Helen: “Thank you SAR for the opportunity to connect with individuals who are deeply passionate about sustainability and actively involved in making an impact at UCLA. SAR has helped me become more aware of the various sustainability projects that are happening around campus, and inspired me to be more active within the community. Huge thank you to everyone who supported us and helped with our project along the way! Also thank you to my team members for being yourselves. You all are amazing, and I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished together in the last two quarters! I can’t wait to see how each of you are going to change the world.”

Alex: “SAR has been an incredible experience and has taught me so much. Of course I learned a great deal about the science behind my team’s specific issue, air quality, but I also gained first-hand experience designing, executing, and troubleshooting a real scientific research project. I learned more about project management and team dynamics, and had a ton of fun joining a community of people with similar interests. SAR has been a valuable experience, both personally and professionally.”

Kiana: “In SAR, I loved working with a motivated team where we could all collaborate with stakeholders, mentors, and the UCLA community in the learning and research process. Measuring air quality at Wooden and B-Fit would not be nearly as exciting without this wonderful team and the support of the SAR/UCLA community! Moving forward, I’m excited to apply the project management and collaboration skills that I have gained in SAR into other team environments!”

Jonathan: “SAR has been one of the most enjoyable organizations that I’ve been a part of on campus. It’s exciting to see so many people driven towards progress in sustainability at UCLA. This organization has allowed me to apply myself to materials I’ve previously studied in a team based setting. As a part of the environmental science practicum, it was nice to be able to work on projects that would directly impact our own students as well. Looking back, I’m grateful for the professional skills and friendships I’ve developed under SAR.”