Sustainability NOW


UCSC’s Educational Partnership Center (EPC) strives to build college-bound communities that improve student learning and increase college-going rates among traditionally non-college-going students and families. But in as few as 22 years, the world will experience food shortages, wildfires and the mass dire off of coral reefs (Davenport, 2018). The EPC, as a service provider, must maintain operational viability by altering service models to address both college access and sustainability issues that are threatening the vibrancy of service regions and constituencies.

Climate change is threatening the viability of our service regions and will soon have significant effects on the socio-economic well-being of Monterey County, affecting critical employment sectors like agriculture. Global population continues to surge and is expected to reach 8.4 billion by 2032 (Basile, 2013). Dwindling resources and the scarcity of vital natural resources pose very real threats to our service region and constituents. Technological automation also poses a significant threat, with the Global Risks Report of 2017 reporting that “47 percent of US jobs are at risk of automation, affecting over 80 percent of low-income workers.” The urgency to address these issues is NOW.

Sustainability NOW is a project-based STEM curriculum designed to educate and inspire students to address matters of sustainability on a local level. The curriculum, developed by UCSC GEAR UP & the EPC, aims to increase cohort student knowledge on climate change, the carbon cycle, C02 emissions, ocean acidification, population growth, and technological automation.  It is aligned with Common Core State Standards & Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Curriculum: Student workbook & lesson plans

Click on the links below to download the Sustainability NOW curriculum. Limited reproduction for educational, not-for-profit use only is allowable.

 Sustainability NOW can be adapted to be delivered electronically via google sites.  If you have questions regarding the curriculum or transcribing it to a digital format please contact Christopher Mutshnick at 

Student Workbook

Lesson Plans