Grant Proposals

Resources on this Page

With the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund's rebranding to SHIFT (Sustainable Humboldt Innovative Futures Trust), the committee voted to rename the process of soliciting ideas for funding from "Idea Papers" to "SHIFT Grant Proposals" to make clear any confusion on what we are looking for. We apologize for any discrepencies or confusion during this transition. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

For a comprehensive list of submitted proposals throughout the years, click through the accordian on the side of this webpage.

To get a general idea of how Grant Proposals are recruited, considered, and evaluated, see below.

Submitting a Grant Proposal

SHIFT/HEIF is no longer accepting Grant Proposals for AY 23-24. We look forward to considering your idea next year! So you can start planning now, here are SHIFT Grant Submission Requirements.

The timeline for 2023-2024 school year submission was as follows:

  • December 1, 2023 - March 1, 2024: Proposals will be accepted anytime through a google form.
  • Feb 7, 2024: SHIFT held a Grant Proposal Mixer in which students, staff, and faculty were invited to connect and ask questions about proposals and proposal process. SHIFT Staff and governance committee members will be in attendance. 
  • March 1, 2024: Final Deadline for all submissions.
  • March - April: Committee discusses and vote on proposals during the SHIFT Committee meeting.
  • May: All applicants will be notified of award decisions. 
  • August 2024: Funds will be allocated to the respective department.


Grant Submission Toolkit: 



Grant Proposals 2024

Grant Proposals 2024

As of Spring 2024, 'Idea Papers' are known as 'Grant Proposals'.

Jacoby Creek Forest Carbon Inventory 

Submitted by Alan Cooper, Destiny Rivera, Ioana Mahony-Moyer, and Zachary Jones 

Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH) has an 888-acre forest in Jacoby Creek which sequesters unknown amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To quantify this carbon uptake, the “University Forest Carbon Sinks” project proposes to conduct ongoing data collection, inventory, and calculation of carbon stored in trees. When measured according to protocol, carbon sequestration data can be used to offset carbon emissions coming from energy used on campus. This work will be done by experienced field trained student employees. Within the project proposal group, two members began work in 2022 installing long-term carbon monitoring plots on CPH’s Jacoby Creek Forest, and one conducted the same work in College of the Redwoods (CR) campus forest. Using their experience, they propose to train future students to continue this work. Additional project oversight will come from faculty partners at both CPH and CR.  

To complete the inventory in CPH’s Jacoby Creek Forest, the submitters requested funding for a group of students to work year-round when available, to complete the last three years of the 5-year measurement cycle. The proposed budget for the total cost for wages, transportation, and supplies to be $189,944 over a duration of three years. The committee voted to approve this project in the amount of $61,453 for one year. Upon completion of deliverables, the committee will consider funding for another year.

OZZI Collection Expansion

Submitted by Austin McAskill, Environmental Science and Management (Energy & Climate)

This submitter proposed to bring five more more OZZI box drop n' go bins across campus to increase the return rate of OZZI boxes from students. The proposed budget for this project is $15,000. 

The committee decided, after careful consideration and communication with Chartwells and other campus entities to not fund the addition of more Ozzi box collection receptacles. There will be 3 additional Ozzi box receptacles purchased by chartwells with integrated C-Card functionality. It is unclear what the barriers to Ozzi box returns are, and thus the committee voted to fund a student in the amount of ~$6,000 to research this and to evaluate if C-Card integration to receptacles will increase return rate. 

Green Space Pocket Prairies

Submitted by Carter Daniel, Rangeland Resource Management and Jack McCain, Ecological Restoration

This project proposal seeks to take a radical approach to landscaping by establishing guiding principles that challenge human-centric relationships with the “landscape”. The selected preliminary sites for this project were regions that have been proven difficult to maintain as lawns, making them ideal for this conversion. These areas are difficult to access with equipment, have smaller/more irregular shaped lawns, and where leisure would not be preferred (damp and shady). Removal of current lawns and implementation of native grasses and shrubs will reduce water usage, attract native pollinators, provide educational opportunities, and decrease maintenance.  

Upon further discussion with Liz Whitechurch at Facilities Management, two lawns (Greenhouse and North SRC) were selected as ideal candidates for conversion. The committee voted to reallocate remaining funds ($23,000) from the previous green space conversion project (see the final report here).

ROSE E-Workshop Student Technician

Proposed by Ethan LeVering, Julina Belo, and Daniel Tixter

This proposal requested funding for an additional student technician position dedicated to maintenance and operation of the ROSE E-Workshop. The committee voted to not fund this proposal because there is already a for-credit intern doing this work.

Exercise is Medicine Club 5k Program

Proposed by Oh Byung Kwon, Biology

The Exercise is Medicine Club at Cal Poly Humboldt proposed to implement incentives to increase attendance to the 5 km program held at the Redwood Bowl on Mondays and Wednesdays. With a budget of $11,000, the club proposed the purchase of chocolate milk, fruits, reusable EIM OC branded towels, and tumblers to give to runners to instill a sense of community within the student population. To further encourage student involvement, two undergraduate/ graduate students would oversee the distribution of incentives and count attendance weekly to measure the trend of overall participation.  The committee has not yet voted on this idea.

Idea Papers 2023

Idea Papers 2023

Indigenous Food Festival (IFF)

Submitted by Cory Kragness and Kalani Ortiz

Idea Summary: This idea requested funding for the second indigenous food festival at Cal Poly Humboldt, which previously had 350 attendees. The Indigenous Foods Festival is focused on uplifting Indigenous Food Sovereignty across many regions. This inspiring event centered around the important work that folks across communities are doing to elevate Indigenous knowledges and foodways. Almost 50% of IFF event attendees consisted of representatives from various Tribal organizations, community and non-profit organizations, and local businesses; the remainder included students, staff and faculty from Cal Poly Humboldt. The second annual IFF is envisioned to be held in late November 2023, corresponding to both Indigenous people’s week and the completed construction of the interior of the Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab, which will contain a commercial kitchen and spaces for Indigenous chefs and cultural practitioners to engage attendees in cooking demonstrations and tasting opportunities. The IFF is an opportunity for Cal Poly Humboldt to invest in visionary ongoing Indigenous and BIPOC food sovereignty work, helping to connect people to place and food in a way that is in an indivisible relationship with landscapes and ecosystem. They expect to increase the scale of this event from the 2022 IFF. (Read More Here)

The committee voted to allocate $20,000 in funds to the IFF for use of supporting student wages for event planning, marketing, honorariums, and other event fees.  

Environmental Studies Club NorCal Intercollegiate Climate Community Conference

Submitted by Mason Rewerts and Zachary Meyer

Idea Summary: The Environmental Studies Club proposes a two-day Northern California Intercollegiate Climate Community Conference, which aims to bring together students, faculty, and staff from universities and colleges that often feel isolated. The conference seeks to address the urgent need for collaborative efforts to tackle climate change, and to provide a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices among the participants. Each invited school will be requested to bring a presentation on their campus climate initiatives, accompanied by a faculty member and art. The organizers believe that creativity is an essential part of environmentalism and can help inspire innovative solutions to the complex challenges we face. The two-day conference will be filled with a range of activities, including workshops, presentations, keynote speeches, and Q&A panels. Workshops will focus on community building, team building, and understanding worldviews. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in lively discussions, share ideas, and learn from experts in the field. By fostering a sense of community and collaboration among participants, the conference hopes to create a network of like-minded individuals who can continue to work together to address the pressing environmental challenges facing our planet. (Read More Here)

The committee voted to allocate $5,000 to fund the conference for what the organizers may need in supplies. 

Supplemental Funding for ADPI MENA

Submitted by Nicole Suzuki 

Idea Summary: The Asian, Desi, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern North African Center (ADPI MENA Center) is a student run and funded cultural center. They are run entirely by student staff and volunteers. Fall of 2022 was the first semester the ADPI MENA had a physical space for students to come, and due to this new physical space, funds originally allocated for graduation materials and student salaries were used to furnish the space. They requested funding for the student staff until the end of the semester to keep it open. (Read more here)

The committee voted to allocate $3,500 to fund the student staff through the end of the semester and help pay for their graduation materials. 


Submitted by Alex Buangsuwon

Idea Summary: The CCAT M.E.O.W. or Mobile Energy Operation Wagon or Mobile Energy On Wheels for short is a trailer that currently resides in the CCAT driveway. Inside the trailer are four pedal-power bikes, four 12v batteries, and three solar panels on the top of the trailer powering the system. CCAT wants to use the M.E.O.W. to power small student-led projects/events, act as an emergency clean power generator in times of blackouts, and supply a space for students to charge phones, laptops, etc. while in use. Lastly, CCAT wants the M.E.O.W. to be used as a demonstration tool to showcase the usability of clean solar power. The M.E.O.W will be fixed and simplified to make it easier to use and more accessible for all students. (Read more here)

The committee voted to allocate $1,500 to fix the CCAT M.E.O.W.

Revamp the CCAT Reclamation Station

Submitted by Maddy Hunt, Nicole Suzuki, and Kristina Fiebig

Idea Summary: The objective of this project is to update and organize the existing CCAT Reclamation Station to make it easily accessible, safe, and welcoming for student use. This project will create a space that will increase the availability of reclaimed building materials to the campus and Arcata community. Goals of this project are to increase the feasibility of using reclaimed materials, as well as to increase the ease of use for both donations and users. This includes the safety of obtaining materials at the site, shed organization standards, proper shelter to protect materials, and creating a community code of conduct for Reclamation Station usage. (Read more here)

The committee voted to allocate $2,000 to this project for building materials for proper storage.

Ongoing Support for OhSnap!

Submitted by Michelle Long

Idea Summary: Oh Snap!'s project goals include: develop increased capacity and opportunity for circular economy at Cal Poly Humboldt by collecting items from Donation Dash at Move-out and donation drives with the intention of disbursing items to students; design and implement online advertising through social media and emails engaging the Cal Poly Humboldt community with Oh Snap!; deliver materials recovered during Move-out and donation drive to students during Move-In and Orientation and at other times of the year; support the Pop-up Thrift Store concept in all its forms (Read more here). This idea was then revised to request funding an electric van to move wares and make deliveries.

Through collaboration with facilities management, OhSnap! identified a used hybrid Ford Maverick for $29,000. In February of 2024, the committee voted to fund this purchase. For more details, see the committee meeting minutes here.

Transition Rubber Crumb Turf to Sustainable Turf

Submitted by Hannah Dominguez

Idea Summary: This project proposes transitioning from harmful rubber crumb turf on campus fields to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative turf. Implementing this proposed idea will help to limit campus community members' exposure to the harmful chemicals and microplastics that are found in rubber turf. Additionally, it will help to mitigate the turf from entering our campus’ local creeks and drains (read more here).

The committee voted to fund student employees to research plausibility and implementation costs for this project. 

Recycled Plastic for 3D Printer System

Submitted by Ethan LeVering

Idea Summary: This project proposal would involve a shredder, filament extruder, and 3D printer being integrated to form a streamlined plastic recycling system. This system would be able to fully demonstrate the recovery and reuse PETE (type #1 plastic), alongside other plastics depending on final setup and calibration for the student body (read more here). 

The committee voted to provide $10,000 for the installation of a plastic recycling system for 3D printing.

Laundry Detergent Refill Stations

Submitted by Emily Chao

Idea Summary: This project proposes the implementation of Generation Concious laundry detergent refill stations around campus. The refill stations, installed to be conveniently accessed by students, dispense laundry detergent sheets that are toxic free, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and without the plastic wrapping or packaging of typical store-bought laundry detergents. Each sheet is $0.20/sheet, which is ~15% cheaper than Tide Pods on subscription from Amazon. This project will allow more students to reduce laundry costs, thus improving hygiene and freeing up limited funds for other basic needs like food and housing (read more here).

The committee voted to allocate $4,000 to this project.

Facilities Compost Shed

Submitted by Daniel Chaidez 

Idea Summary: Improve the current compost site in facilities to include a shed for storage of compost buckets used by WRRAP to collect compost from around campus. Upon learning of the installation of a commercial composer, it was instead requested to reallocate previous funds towards WRRAP's general budget. The reasoning being that no there seems to be no current route for where that fund is to go and wrrap is currently dealing with an insufficient budget to pay their employees. With this fund WRRAP may also begin investing in other sustainability projects. We could see this being done by giving our interns a budget to work with to complete the project required for their academic internship. (Read more here)

The committee voted to not move forward with funding this proposal. It is not within the scope of the HEIF to fund without a project or goal in mind. 

Fund the Mens Rowing Club

Submitted by Kevin Moy

Idea Summary: This request was for funding the mens rowing team to equalize funding between the men's and women's rowing team. The goal of the Men's Crew would be to become one of the top rowing programs in the nation. (Read more here)

The committee voted to not allocate funds towards this idea because it is not within the HEIF mission goals, and is something that should be requested from the Athletics Department. 

Move Bookstore Back To Campus

Submitted by James George

Idea Summary: Return the bookstore to campus to improve ease of access to school materials and supplies for students. 

The committee voted to not move forward with this proposal due to it being outside the scope of the HEIF. HEIF would not have authority to fund this change.

Ecofriendly Housing for Students

Submitted by Carly Tambling

Idea Summary: This project proposes the replication of the CCAT house around Arcata and Eureka, providing more regenerative housing for students. (Read more here)

The committee voted to not move forward with this idea because it is outside the jurisdiction of the fund to purchase private land with student dollars. The scope of the project was also too large for the amount of funds the HEIF has to offer. Lastly, the fund can not allocate funds towards off-campus projects.

Install Bike Racks at Valley West Motels

Submitted by Zachary Meyer

Idea Summary: Install temporary covered bike housing to increase bike parking spots from 8 to more than 40 at Valley West Motels, and in the future Motel 6 and Super 8.

The committee voted to not allocate funds toward this project as the campus will be installing something similar at the motels. The HEIF cannot allocate funds towards off-campus projects.

CCAT Deer Fencing

Submitted by Cody Ellis

Idea Summary: CCAT was seeking funding to rebuild deer fencing around the on-campus CCAT garden. A successful outcome of the project is the creation of a fence that is rot-resistant, made of reclaimed wood in some capacity, and is still inviting to students and visitors while effectively keeping deer out. (Read more here)

The committee voted to not allocate funds towards this project because this would be categorized as maintenance costs, not innovation towards on-campus sustainability. 

Campus Food Forest

Submitted by Danika Zikas, Christina Giltzow, Heather Davis, Ana Sofia Velarde Chong, Kamomikea Logsdon, and Quinn Whisman

Idea Summary: This project proposes researching food forests and permaculture and looking into ways to implement them into communal food security for campus and/or surrounding communities. A food forest is a type of garden modeled after the patterns and ecosystems found in nature. The goal is to install a vibrant food forest on campus in one of the key, flatter locations on campus, or at least a model/demonstration food forest, sourcing fruit trees from a local nursery. They would also include a simple visual explaining the basic concept of food forests to accompany the plantings. Other deliverables would be signage and informational offerings at the food forest of what it is and how it improves the community. (Read more here)

The committee voted to fund student employees to research plausibility and implementation costs for this project. 

Community Engagement with SJEIC and other Diverse Clubs

Submitted by Shay Konradsdottir

Idea Summary: To host SJEIC and other diverse club community building events around Humboldt county to foster a safe space for marginalized individuals to live (Read more here).

The committee voted to not fund this idea as it required more specifics on what the proposer was requesting.

Idea Papers 2022

Idea Papers 2022

Pilot Project Electric Landscaping Equipment

Submitted by Katelyn Dendas

Idea summary: This pilot project will include extensive testing of alternative brands and models of electric landscaping equipment. The housing grounds staff members will demo all products to ensure the electric equipment meets satisfaction. After the initial testing, one of each product (string trimmer, leaf blower, backpack leaf blower, and a hedge trimmer) will be purchased for further testing to ensure the longevity and practicality of the product. The electric equipment must meet the demands of the housing grounds staff and the Northern California climate. (Read more.)

The Committee voted that no funding will be allocated to the pilot project for electric landscaping equipment because the scope of work will be supported by the Facilities Management budget. 

Jon Van Duzer Theater Lighting Retrofit

Submitted by Amaya DeShasier

Idea summary: Cal Poly Humboldt has four working theaters with old-fashioned energy-hog lighting: the John Van Duzer Theatre, the Gist Hall Theatre, the Studio Theatre, and the Gist Hall 02 Theatre.  Replacing the lights in all four spaces would cost around $142,000, and it would be our preference to be able to replace them all now.  However, we understand that much money might not be available immediately, so on the attached cost summary, we’ve prioritized the work, with the most essential work listed first and the least essential last. The priority is to replace the lights in the John Van Duzer Theatre as it is the campus' largest and most-used theater space. (Read more.)

The Committed voted to approve scopes of work for lighting retrofits prioritized as 1A, 1B , 1C in the John Van Duzer for a total of $80,000. 

Sustainability Film Project

Submitted by Tria Xiong

Idea Summary: Create and disseminate a mandatory sustainability video that describes resources and programs relating to sustainability, including waste sorting information. (Read more.)

The Committee voted to not allocate funds for this particular film project at this time; staff were directed to revisit an existing funding allocation for films from past semesters instead. 

Compost Bins

Submitted by Douglas Sumeriski

Idea Summary: Add compost bins in high traffic areas and water refill stations in more buildings. (Read more.)

The Committee voted to approve the hiring of 2-3 students for the expansion of the compost collection plan and ensuring compliance of SB1383. Work will be completed in Fall 2022 for what is typically called "development" and will entail evaluation of existing compost bin placement, type, signage, and complete gap analysis and recommendations. Expansion of water bottle filling stations will be pursued by Facilities Management with other funding. 

Electric Scooters

Submitted by Mary Crane

Idea Summary: Implement a program to make electric scooters available for students to travel around Arcata in order to minimize transportation fumes and free up parking. (Read more.)

The Committee voted to not recommend funding allocation for this proposal due to health and safety concerns with scooters being left in roadways and walkways, lawsuits related to scooters, and due to the City of Arcata not supporting electric scooter programs. 

Hydroponic Gardens

Submitted by Alyssa Huynh

Idea summary: Implement hydroponic gardens or farm/ teach hydroponic practices in a class. (Read more.)

The Committee voted to not recommend funding allocation for this proposal due to the shared opinion that hydroponics is not practical in most situations, there have been some limited hydroponic projects already on campus, and it is more efficient to grow plants in the ground.

Climate resilient landscaping project

 Submitted by Shaye Grant

Idea Summary: 

The Climate Resilient Landscaping Project aims to demonstrate the integration of resilience science into landscape management and design for a university campus. We define climate resilient landscaping as a design, installation and maintenance process that sustains biodiversity, enhances ecological functions, and honors the indigenous cultures of our bio-region, all while meeting campus aesthetic needs, Grounds department capacity, and despite the multiple stressors anticipated for our climate constrained future. Requested funds will be utilized to a) fund the work of a landscape architect, with expertise in native plant communities, to develop a landscape plan, b) prepare the site, and c) procure the plants, signage, and other related materials to complete the installation. (Read more.)

 The Committee voted to allocate $50,000 to the climate resilient landscape project for funds to hire a landscape architect to design the Climate Resilient Landscaping Project near Founders Hall and Van Matre, and begin the implementation process.

Black Educational Farm Program

Submitted by Gloria Thompson and Dakari Tate

Idea Summary: Develop a Black Educational Farm program in collaboration with the Umoja Center for Pan African Student Excellence at the Bayside Park Farm. The Black Educational Farm program has 3 goals: 1. To teach and develop farming skills with Black students 2. To develop a sense of belonging in the local community 3. Facilitate discussions and learning that center Black experiences, knowledge and challenges pertaining to sustainability and land. The program will leverage the local communities culture of community agriculture to support students in integrating into the local area through exposure to farming and knowledge rooted in the Black farming experience.Funding would be used to buy gardening supplies, materials to build raised boxes, and a mini hoop house styled greenhouse, boots, gloves, seed and starts. (Read more.)

The Committee decided to approve $8,000 in funding for requested equipment for the black education farm program.

Enhancement to Donation Dash

 Submitted by Dev Fields

Idea Summary: Create a virtual catalog of what is collected through Donation Dash at the end of the semester for the incoming students next semester to browse. This would require a staff person to oversee the project, an online catalog domain, storage space for collected items, and the hire of a team to work Donation Dash. This team would organize usables vs unusables, movement to storage, entry of items into the catalog, and distribution at the start of next semester. (Read more.)

 The Committee approved a not to exceed amount of $32,000 to hire two students to help facilitate the development of the Donation Dash program over the next year and progress will be reassessed at the end of the 12 month period. The students are intended to be supervised by Oh SNAP to support their existing efforts at Donation Dash. 

Accessibility Retrofit in the Natural Resources Building

Submitted by Dev Fields

Idea Summary: Make the Natural Resources building second floor accessible, in particular by adding an elevator and restrooms that are accessible. (Read more.)

The Committee voted that no funding will be allocated to this project because the scope of work will be supported by the Facilities Management budget. 

Idea Papers 2021

Idea Papers 2021

Bicycle Storage Center

Submitted by Justin Delgado

The establishment of a sheltered, and protected bicycle storage area (capable of storing tens of bicycles in one secure location) is needed to protect student property, keep more bicycles on the streets rather than discarded as trash, and finally encourage sustainable habits in the campus community. The expected outcomes would be: less crime on campus, more bicycles in use, and reduction in vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gases emitted. (Read More)

The committee passed the motion to move the Bicycle Storage Shelter into the HEIF development phase.

Bulk Foods in the Marketplace

Submitted by Rachel Ostrander

"We need to create a bulk foods section at the Marketplace in order to move towards a zero waste future.

The expected outcome would be that students will have a low cost option for zero waste foods." (Read More)

The committee passed the motion to, “ approve the bulk foods in the marketplace idea paper and move this project to the development phase and add the Giants Cupboard as a second location of interest.”

Buses Fueled by Vegetable Oil

Submitted by Angel Ortiz

Using oils from the College Creek Marketplace, The J, and the Depot fuel the buses that bring students to campus would reduce the emissions of fossil fuels. (Read More)

 Due to feasibility concerns, the committee voted to not move this idea forward in the HEIF process.

Ethnobotanical Map

Submitted by Josefina Barrantes

“This project will create a digital map of the Humboldt campus in preparation for bringing edible landscape to our campus community as per the recommendation of facilities management. This is an educational project as students will be taking note of all the plants' scientific and common names, their uses and their edibility. In addition to this students will be physically gathering the coordinates of each plant to log into a map that will record all the information. There is a map that exists of certain plants/trees but it is not inclusive of all the plants and their uses. 3 interns have been working on this project by mapping out quadrant B of the campus (back to Founders to Science B). We wish to continue this project next semester so that we can complete the entire map of the campus.” (Read More)

The committee passed the motion to, “allocate $7500 to continue work on the ethnobotanical map for Fall 2021 for three student workers (students already involved with project would be selected for this work)”

Hydration Stations

Submitted by Josefina Barrantes and Theressa Lopez

This submission requested “that hydration stations and/or water bottled filling stations be placed in the College Creek Field, Science A, Van Matre, Campus Apartments (or one of the surrounding buildings or that general outside area), Forestry 2nd floor, UC Quad (outside), and Founders 2nd Floor”. (Read More)

The committee passed the motion to, “put this Idea forward to get a quote for what the costs would be to implement at locations listed in Idea Paper Submission. Cross reference with existing approved hydration station locations.”

Orange Juice Machine in the Depot

Submitted by Rachel Ostrander

In an effort to pursue a zero waste future for Humboldt, this submission suggested adding an orange juice machine to the Depot. The machine would create “zero waste orange juice that you could fill up your mason jar with and then compost the peelings.” (Read More)

Because it does not align with HEIF’s mission and goals, the committee voted to not move this idea forward in the HEIF process.

Hand Dryers

Two students (Karly Johnson and Rachel Ostrander) submitted separate requests for more hand dryers on campus.

“Hand dryers were implemented on campus by HEIF in 2009 to replace paper towels because hand dryers significantly lowers waste and energy consumption. This project implemented 4 lower energy Dyson AirBlade hand dryers in the Library's 1st floor bathrooms. There are many other bathrooms on campus in which I believe need the upgrade to hand dryers to help lower overall cost and energy usage. This would specifically be very beneficial if implemented in the KA building. This building, similar to the library, is used constantly by lots of people going to classes, using the pool, locker room, and basketball court. If all the bathrooms in the building could be changed to hand dryers, then Humboldt could significantly reduce its waste production and energy consumption. Using less energy and producing less waste is very important, especially during the times we live in now where we are seeing irreversible effects of climate change. Implementing more hand dryers on campus is a perfect way to make campus more sustainable and environmentally friendly.” (Read More)

The committee passed the motion to, “add K&A to the list of hand dyer locations to be evaluated against the previous assessment of building spaces to install this equipment”.

El Centro Tote Bags

Submitted by Angelica Alvarez

This submission requested for “the cultural centers to have about 30 tote bags with their cultural logo along with a culturally relevant artwork designed by a person who works at the cultural center” (Read More)

Reusable Utensils and LatinX Guest Speaker on Composting and Sustainability

Submitted by Angelica Alvarez

This submission requested, “funding for El Centro to invite(virtually or in-person) a Latinx speaker to talk about the importance of composting, sustainability, and etc. At the event, I would love for reusable utensils to be dispersed to students. Due to the fact that there is a need for reusable utensils at the cultural centers on campus because they usually always have food. For this reason, renting out utensils and dishes from the J or another campus organization is not always an option.” (Read More)

The committee considered the El Centro Tote Bags and Reusable Utensils and Latinx Guest Speaker submissions together, and passed the motion to, “work with El Centro and any other interested Cultural Centers next semester to figure out ways HEIF can collaborate on some kind of sustainability event or program (hire a student or two for the development phase next semester to plan some sustainability program)”.

Idea Papers 2020

Idea Papers 2020

Food Sovereignty Lab 

Submitted by Amanda McDonald

"The Food Sovereignty Lab will function as a workshop and research center for practicing food sovereignty in multiple innovative ways. Centering Indigenous food sovereignty through Indigenous pedagogies, the location of the lab as part of Native American Studies program at Cal Poly Humboldt, and respect for Indigenous cultures such as the Wiyot and surrounding peoples of Humboldt Bay. The lab will include a commercially certified kitchen, storage cabinets, large work tables, office space for research and studying, a white board, a large television for use in presentations, and a sound system. May it be proposed the HEIF supports the Food Sovereignty Lab by purchasing energy efficient kitchen equipment and facility renovations. May it be recommended the HEIF funding contribute to the development of non grid tied solar to support the Food Sovereignty Lab and Native American Forum and further demonstrate sovereignty through energy independence." (Read More)


Food for Thought 

Submitted by Kelsy Fletterick, Pheobe Hughes, Harrison Kummer, Thomas Premo, and Collin Slavey

"Food for Thought will create parcels of edible landscape in convenient, accessible and appropriate locations at Humboldt. The landscape will expand the scale of food bearing terrain on campus including a diverse orchard, abundant native berry bushes and plots of perennial produce." (Read More)


Paper Towel Compost

Submitted by Natalie Rynne

"My idea is for HEIF to fund enough hours for student positions through WRRAP’s compost team to collect paper towels from campus restrooms. The existing bins can become paper towels only, trash can go in the small bins in the stalls or trash bins outside of the restrooms. The paper towels can be composted at CCAT, by WRRAP in the earth tub, or by the Local Worm Guy. This project would require education materials such as signage on bins themselves and digital media such as short videos and instagram posts to inform campus community members that we are collecting paper towels separately. Paper towels are a great source of carbon and would divert more of Humboldt waste from the landfill." (Read More)


Solar Carports G11 

Submitted by Cassidy Fosdick and Nicholas Brandi

"G11 is the largest and minimally shaded area on Cal Poly Humboldt’s campus that could feasibly have a large solar and battery system. Appendix A is a diagram depicting the suggested area for the solar paneled carports. The total area available to be covered by solar panels is 54,801ft². The area was found using the Google Earth measuring tool. Utilizing the specifications from the average solar panel and how much solar radiation is received in this location the system has the capability to produce around 1,007,888kWh per year. The estimated energy was found using the NREL calculator. The total power this system would produce is 822kW. This estimation was achieved by taking the amount of watts generated per square foot of the average solar panel, 15W, and multiplying it by the total square feet. The excess power from this solar system has the potential to be stored into batteries that could therefore make Humboldt into an island of resistance against times of crises." (Read More)

Idea Papers 2019

Idea Papers 2019

Reusable Utensils and Dishware Washing Stations

Submitted by Cassandra Castruita

"This project would support and encourage students, staff, employees and Humboldt visitor’s usage of reusable utensils and dishware through the construction and the implementation of four designated outdoor R.U.D. (Reusable Utensils and Dishware) Washing Stations throughout campus. These stations would be located by the 5 main dining locations on campus: The J, the Depot, the College Creek Marketplace, the Library Café and the Hilltop Marketplace." (Read More)


Utility and Style: A Cargo E-Bicycle for the Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program

Submitted by Austen Thibault and Jay Ryan

"The Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) is a student-led program at Cal Poly Humboldt which embodies the university’s culture of sustainability while providing numerous free services to students and employees. But we have a problem. WRRAP does not have a consistent way to transport its materials, causing a bottleneck effect on operations of every branch of WRRAP. For instance, Compost Squad has had to delay or even cancel compost pickups across campus due to the unavailability or failure of the current transportation borrowed from Facilities. The Zero Waste branch struggles to find suitable locations for clothing swap events due to the limitation of having to manually haul all clothing to and from our base of operations at the Warren House. Therefore, to gain sustainable transportation independence and increase the success of our mission, we submit the proposal to purchase a cargo electric bicycle for WRRAP. This e-bike would solve transportation issues, while also serving as a highly visible and attention-grabbing presence on campus, encouraging conversation and participation around sustainable practices. Further, this purchase synergizes with the recent absorption of the Bicycle Learning Center under WRRAP’s umbrella. The Bicycle Learning Center would use this e-bike as an educational tool for students and could assist in its maintenance."  (Read More)


Sustainable Green Space Management

Submitted by Jacob Gellatly

"To increase on campus carbon sequestration, reduce on-campus fuel consumption, build healthier soil structures, and reduce facilities labor costs, this project aims to explore alternative management practices for green spaces on campus. Green space will refer to areas on campus that are covered primarily by grass. The goal of this project is to identify and implement green space management practices that consider carbon sequestration, fuel and water consumption, long term soil impact, and maintenance costs. (Read More)


Personal Access Display Device (PADD)

Submitted by Daniel Evans

"The goal of this idea is to put into motion an exploration of the quantitative and qualitative costs and benefits of shifting Cal Poly Humboldt to a virtually paper-free institution through the widespread use of widely available digital technology, i.e. cellphones, tablets, personal computers and the internet.

This satisfies HEIF’s mission of reducing the impact of Humboldt’s energy use, in this case, with respect to the energy associated with the manufacture and transportation of paper resources. Implementation of this idea would also meet two of HEIF’s five primary goals. The project’s success can easily be quantified by students and economic analyses of projects is fundamental to any major on campus. Furthermore, conservation of natural resources is an integral part of curricula in multiple disciplines within the College of Natural Resources." (Read More)


OZZI Enhancement

Submitted by Jessica Ramirez

"This Idea paper purposes that Humboldt Energy Independence Fund enhance the current Humboldt’s OZZI system through increasing the accessibility & usability, and the awareness to reduce the solid waste disposal at Humboldt." (Read More)


Off-Campus Park-and-Ride Lots and Shuttles

Submitted by Chih-Wei

"The off-campus park-and-ride lots and shuttles would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from student and faculty commuting. The potential lots such as retail store parking lots (e.g., Target) would be connected to campus via third party shuttle or bus service (i.e., Humboldt Transit Agency) or the university’s shuttle or bus service. The project could alleviate the campus parking supply issue and serve as an alternative transportation mode to further commit to the university’s sustainability goals. (Read More)


Conversion of Fluorescent Light Hoods with Fluorescent Tubes to LED Light Hoods with LED Tubes

Submitted by Alex Cody-Prentice

"In order to save money, decrease power consumption, and decrease carbon emissions, fluorescent light fixtures can be converted into LED light fixtures. This project can start within the Science D building, which has outdated flourescent fixtures running outdated flourescent lights. The project can potentially expand to all buildings within the Humboldt campus that use fluorescent hoods with fluorescent tubes, because that would mean more energy savings and cost savings for the school overall. The project would be very low cost because the school already needs to replace fluorescent bulbs on a regular basis. By converting to LED tube lights, the school would not need to replace the LED tube lights as often because of the much longer lifetime of an LED tube light compared to that of a fluorescent tube light. (Read More)


Fume Hood Retrofit

Submitted by Solar Decathlon Team Members, Lynn Brown and Nancy Charco. Advised by Assistant Professor Peter Alstone.

"This is a proposal to investigate possible energy savings of the 100 fume hoods on the Cal Poly Humboldt Campus. Some of the equipment is almost fifty years old and efficiency savings could be found in focusing on replacing energy intensive equipment. The primary intent is to understand opportunities for investment in more efficient hoods and whether there is also user behavioral or operations changes that could reduce energy use while maintaining or improving safety." (Read More)


Electric Bicycle Fruit and Produce Cart

Submitted by Ben Nguyen

"This project would seek to generate accessibility to fresh fruit and produce to students around campus. There is a lack of distribution and signage for fresh fruit and produce at Humboldt which leads to the consumption of more packaged and processed foods. In cooperation with the Oh-Snap program, this bicycle produce cart would distribute healthy alternatives with convenience. Additionally, this project will serve as a learning demonstration for electric powered transportation, food justice, community supported agriculture, and appropriate technology. (Read More)


Cal Poly Humboldt-Bayside Community Garden

Submitted by Anh Bui and Luke Pascasio

"This project would seek to reduce the campus’ footprint on food transportation and make use of the local gardening scene and would foster the connection with the community through partnership with Bayside Park Farm and Community Garden in renting garden plots that can provide food for campus Dining operation. (Read More)


CCAT Solar Array Upgrade

Submitted by Jacob Gellaty

"This purpose of this paper is to propose a project to analyze and upgrade the solar PV array at Humboldt State’s Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. CCAT is a student funded, and managed organization that demonstrates appropriate technology in a residential setting. CCATs current panels are dating back to 2001, before the home was moved from its original location where the Behavioral and Social Sciences building now stands. In the spring of 2019 CCAT replaced their defective inverter with a new Fronius Primo 3.8 kW. Currently the system is producing solar energy, but improvements in efficiency could be made by upgrading the solar PV panels. The goal of this project is to analyze the current system and installation setting at CCAT, and to optimize the energy output of the system." (Read More)


On Campus Demonstration Biogas Digestor

Submitted by Jacob Gellatly

"How can Cal Poly Humboldt manage food waste resources while simultaneously providing and promoting energy independence? The purpose of this paper is to present an idea on how to move forward with these challenges, by showcasing an on-campus biogas digester at Humboldt. Biogas digestion is a process of anaerobic decomposition, in which natural gases that occur during the decomposition process, are contained with intention for a fuel source. This project will provide an opportunity for the campus to showcase and pioneer how our waste streams can be managed in a holistic approach providing additional resources. A potential site for the digestor could be the school’s Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT). The digestor would serve as a demonstration for how food and other organic waste can be effectively managed and turned into a source of energy independence. Biogas digestors can range from consumer ready, commercially manufactured packages, to one-of-a-kind, do it yourself masterpieces. Further development for this project may include determining feasible packages for demonstration, determining the appropriate size of the digestor, and designing the final system." (Read More)


Idea Papers 2018

Idea Papers 2018

Earth Tub Cover 

Submitted by: Diana Orozco

The goal of this project is to improve the efficiency of the Associated Student run Waste Reduction Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) compost program by constructing a cover to reduce rain entering Cal Poly Humboldt's Earth Tub composting unit and creating a covered space for student workers to process the compost and provide educational demonstrations. The Earth Tub has been an important part of WRRAP’s composting program since 2013, as it serves as an important example of sustainable waste management on campus. WRRAP’s student run Compost Squad operates the Earth Tub to help divert nearly 300 pounds of food waste from small buckets placed in break rooms, and coffee carts every week, and provides finished compost to programs such Oh SNAP, local businesses, and WRRAP users. The current attempt to cover the Earth Tub with tarps has been ineffective and this material does not provide a sturdy cover to withstand the amount of rain and moisture that is prevalent in Humboldt County. Tarps are also very time consuming to set up and take down.

This Idea was accepted and later approved for development. It is curently in the design stage of implementaion.



HGH Heat Pump Design

Submitted by: Christina Ortega, Xavier Hernandez, and Craig Mitchell 

This project looked into the feasibility of installing a heat pump, or series of heat pumps, at the location of the decommissioned Forbes Complex Cogen. Additionally the team looked at the feasibility of replacing a natural gas boiler with a heat pump that would utilities the existing hydronic heating infrastructure.

After an initial review looking for similar projects, the team concluded that using the district heating loop posed too many unknowns and funds would probably be better spent retro-fitting a single building with some configuration of heat pump technology. Harry Griffith Hall was the recommended building, based on feedback from Facilities Management The final approval by the Committee was to direct FM Planning Design and Construction to solicit a design for heat pump system in HGH.

 This project was accepted and approved for development. It is currenytly in the design phase of implemenation.




Idea Papers 2017

Idea Papers 2017

HEIF received five Idea Papers in Spring 2017, all which were approved to go on to the next stage of development. Attached to the title of each idea is the pdf that was submitted by students. 

Telonicher Marine Lab Indoor LED Retrofit

A survey and report conducted by the Redwood Coast Energy Authority on the Cal Poly Humboldt Marine Laboratory showed that the university could save an estimated $9,439.39 per year and an estimated energy savings of 44,952kWh per year by changing their lighting system. This project seeks to replace the lights in Humboldt's Marine Lab to high-efficiency LEDs, where students will potentially conduct an energy analysis before and after installment.

Campus Street Light LED Retrofit

This project seeks to reduce Cal Poly Humboldt's energy expenditures and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, reduce light pollution, and improve campus safety and visibility by retrofitting campus street and pathway lights with energy efficient LED.

HEIF Documentary

Students will be researching a range of subject matters such as target audience, themes, successes and challenges that would be covered in making a HEIF video presentation. The vision for the documentary is flexible, and much of the creativity will come from the development team.

Electronic Receipts

This project presents an opportunity to conduct research into providing alternatives to paper receipts currently used for all sales conducted on campus. The team will focus primarily on the food service area, such as the J dining hall, Depot, and Marketplace.

Shower Water Reduction

Students will research various approaches to reduce the current water consumption from on-campus showers. This might materialize in behavior modification of students or equipping the showers with a new physical device.