UC Global Food Initiative

Center for Agroecology staff and students helped organize the 2015 Higher Education Food Summit at UC Santa Barbara as part of the Global Food Initiative work on food access and security.

The UC Global Food Initiative and Student Fellowships

The UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) is an effort to use the university system’s expertise in research, education, and outreach to improve the food system on UC campuses, throughout the state and nation, and around the world. GFI is addressing topics such as UC student food security, agroecological practices, and resource conservation, as well as encouraging hands-on agricultural education and increasing the amount of locally produced, organic food available to the UC community. Student fellowships are available for both undergraduate and graduate students (see below).

The Center for Agroecology and UCSC have been at the forefront of this type of work for decades. At UCSC, the GFI creates a framework and provides resources to enlist the expertise of the Center for Agroecology staff and other members of the campus community to identify existing best practices and knowledge within the UC system, develop new resources, and share this information across UC campuses, the state, and beyond.

You can read more about the UC systemwide Global Food Initiative at the UC Office of the President website

Student Fellowships through GFI

The Global Food Initiative offers a student fellowship program for undergraduates and graduate students to work on research projects or internships related to the initiative. Look for the call to apply in fall 2024.

Meet the 2023-2024 UCSC GFI Fellows


Alia Espinoza, UCSC Basic Needs Sustainable and Equity Driven Food Sourcing Fellow 
Alia Espinoza (she/her) is a third year Global & Community Health and Latin American & Latino Studies double major at UCSC. She holds a Student Success position at Cowell Coffee Shop, a non-transactional cafe designed to increase student access and basic needs resources. As a member of this student development model on campus, she has experience in equity driven food sourcing and hopes to extend and build her knowledge of sustainability to improve all basic needs sites on campus. In collaboration with other fellows, she hopes to resolutely and amenably increase food recovery practices and support the wellbeing of students and community members at UCSC.

kiaya.jpgKiaya Moser, UCSC Dining Sustainable and Equity Driven Food Sourcing Fellow
Kiaya (he/they) is a fourth year majoring in Environmental Studies/Economics and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. He has experience in food sourcing analysis and food systems outreach as a Real Food Calculator Research Assistant and Food Systems Working Group member. As a GFI Fellow, Kiaya aims to advance sustainable and equitable food options and create more educational opportunities around food systems on campus.

emily.jpgEmily Blanco, UCSC Farm to Campus Sustainable Food Project
Emily Blanco (she/her) is a third year majoring in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and Sociology. Land stewardship has been woven into her life, coming from a long lineage of farmworkers in Michoacán, México, and more recently, Madera, California. Through working in the field at UCSC and experiences like the GFI Fellowship, Emily hopes to continue a tradition of passionately and responsibly tending to the land and supporting the livelihood of its people.

lily.pngLily Nord, UCSC Regenerative Agriculture Applied Research and Action
Lily Nord (she/her) is a third-year Education, Democracy, and Justice and Agroecology double major. Lily is passionate about sustainable agriculture, food systems, and education. Working as a UCSC GFI Fellow will allow her to continue to build upon her knowledge and interests.


See Also