Cool Campus Hero: David Auston, UC Santa Barbara

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Rachael Nava, UC chief operating officer, and David Auston, UC Sustainability Champion for 2015. Credit: Hagop’s Photography

Professor David Auston is a UC Santa Barbara energy expert and the University of California Sustainability Champion for 2015, an honor that acknowledges his tireless efforts on behalf of the systemwide Carbon Neutrality Initiative.

Auston has fostered new kinds of collaborations between researchers and facilities managers, helping build connections that will be essential for UC to reach the initiative’s ambitious goal of emitting zero-net greenhouse gases from operations by 2025. 

“I’m very optimistic that we will achieve the goal, as ambitious as it is,” Auston said. “We’re learning a lot along the way, and there is great educational value for students. They’re a key part of it. It’s their future.”

Together with Sandra Brown of UC San Diego, Auston co-chaired the UC Global Climate Leadership Council’s Applied Research Working Group, a body that makes recommendations on how UC’s scientific and operational innovations can help the university become carbon neutral.

“I’m very honored and was certainly not expecting it,” Auston said of being named UC Sustainability Champion.

Read more about Professor Auton’s contributions to campus sustainability and carbon neutrality.