Mark Gold, E.S.E. 1994

Mark Gold’s research on local urban runoff and the health risks posed to swimmers led to California’s toughest-in-the-nation beach water quality standards. It also helped create the $100 million Clean Beach Initiative to address the state’s most polluted beaches. While he was executive director and president of Heal the Bay—an environmental group dedicated to healthy watersheds and coastal waters—Gold created the Beach Report Card, which grades over 500 west coast beaches. Back on campus, he’s now UCLA’s associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability and a leader of the Sustainable L.A. Grand Challenge, which has an ambitious goal of getting L.A. to 100 percent renewable energy and 100 percent locally sourced water by 2050.