Fall 2021 TGIF Grant Cycle Deadline:  Monday, November 1 @ 5:00pm Apply Now!

Granted 2017-18

Granted Projects

 2017-18 TGIF Grants Awarded, by the numbers:
  • 34 of 48 submitted projects funded
  • Total funds awarded: $134,320
  • The Committee returned 7 projects for possible revision and re-submission
  • Projects awarded in 2017-18 involved students from 19 different majors


Spring Grant Cycle

  • Bioremediation for Stormwater Runoff, $11,010
  • Project lead(s): Amanda Ho (Environmental Science & Management)
    Project description: This project improved water quality in Putah Creek by treating stormwater runoff at UC Davis where there are sources of nutrients, such as phosphates and nitrates, and sediment discharge. All stormwater from UC Davis flows to Putah Creek and the goal of this project was to reduce the amount of pollution entering Putah.
  • Dutton Hall Hydration Stations, $14,700
  • Project lead(s): Don Dudley (Director of Student Support & Judicial Affairs) and Ronda Papas (

    Customer Service Supervisor Accounting and Financial Services: Student Accounting)
    Project description: This project retrofit the water fountains in Dutton Hall with filtered water hydration stations.

  • Native Pollinator Hedge Rows and Gardens at the UC Davis Equestrian Center, $10,000
  • Project lead(s): Meg Drescher and Holly Fox (Equestrian Center-Campus Recreation)
    Project description: This project aims to utilize the 25 acres of the Equestrian Center to improve University sustainability. This will be accomplished by various plantings that will provide shade and rain interception, decrease soil erosion and water runoff, and improve air quality/ C02 conversion and campus aesthetics insofar as a small scale project can do. The plantings will include trees, gardens, and hedge rows designed to attract and provide habitat for native pollinators. The second goal of the project is to improve the aesthetic appeal of the Equestrian Center and provide more cohesiveness between the facility and the rest of core campus. We also hope to bring attention to climate conscious ways to add greenery to a large space. 
  • Rooftop Garden (Planning Phase), $780
  • Project lead(s): Brooke Garcher (Sustainable Environmental Design), Vanessa Lovel (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems), and Kelli O’Day (ASUCD CoHo Production Manager & Sustainability Coordinator)
    Project description: The overall goal of the Rooftop Garden Project is to create an urban garden for the purpose of growing produce to supplement vegetables in ASUCD Coffee House (“CoHo”) recipes and donate vegetables to the Aggie Compass. Growing produce on site will help reduce the CoHo’s carbon footprint and address food security concerns on campus.
  • Unitrans Near-Zero Emission Bus Propulsion System Pilot, $20,000
  • Project lead(s): Richard Bramble (Engineering) and Jeff Flynn (ASUCD Unitrans General Manager)
    Project description: This project will install a new Near-Zero Emission Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) propulsion system on one of Unitrans’ 40 single deck buses. These Near-Zero Emission engines are significantly cleaner than the current CNG engines on Unitrans’ buses, reducing smog causing Nitrogen Oxide emissions by 90% compared to our oldest single deck buses.


Fall Grant Cycle

  • Aggie Rack Restoration Project with Recycled Bike Parts, $2000
  • Project lead(s): Bryan Sykes (Political Science), Bianca Antunez (Aggie Distribution Student Manager), and Laurie Pederson (Aggie Business Development Manager)
    Project description: The Aggie Rack Restoration Project rebranded and repurposed recycled bike parts and other materials to create new California Aggie newsstands and racks. 
    A woman stands next to a newspaper stand decorated with bike parts
  • Aggie Reuse Store Revitalization, $1415
  • Project lead(s): Nicole Garcia (Communication)
    Project description: This project aims to revitalize the UC Davis on-campus thrift store, Aggie Reuse Store. Because Aggie Reuse Store is entirely run by student volunteers, extra funds to repair and renew services can be scarce. Because students devote an incredible amount of time to run this service (over 2,500 hours in a quarter and more than 10,000 community service hours in an academic year) the funds allowed from this grant would enable us to give back to the students by repairing services and enabling future project flexibility.
  • Aggie Stadium Zero Waste Signage, $1990
  • Project lead(s): Sue Vang (Engagement and Zero Waste Program Manager)
    Project description: Through the funding of updated signage, the project aims to improve student and user awareness and understanding of what can be placed in compost and recycle bins at the Aggie Stadium, and result in reduced contamination of those bins.
    Aggie Stadium ZW Signage
  • Biological Orchard and Gardens Final Site Development, $19,934
  • Project lead(s): Andra George (Animal Biology), Kelly Richmond (Plant Sciences), and Ernesto Sandoval (Botanical Conservatory Manager & Curator)
    Project description: The Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG) is a collaboration between students, staff, and academic programs at UC Davis and the purpose of this project is to serve as a multiuse reservoir of low water use plantings for use by UC Davis undergraduate students, courses, and an educational site to promote sustainable landscaping. This unique teaching site in the heart of the central campus currently holds a student developed orchard, and our goal with this project is to complete the development of several water-wise garden plots and finalize site accessibility. Three-quarters of the site will demonstrate plants native to the Mediterranean climate areas of South Africa, the Mediterranean basin, Chile, California, and Australia. These plots will serve as an outdoor laboratory directly supporting instruction for several university courses (Primarily BIS 2B). Site accessibility will be improved with ADA seating at an central seating area. Permanent signs for the orchard will allow visitors to familiarize themselves with fruit tree cultivars present. 
    S18-7 BOG
  • Calculating the UC Davis Campus Nitrogen Footprint, $1350
  • Project lead(s): Miroslava Munguia (Environmental Science) and Elizabeth Castner (Geography)
    Project description: The Footprinting University Nitrogen (FUN) student group, a sub-group of SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology, Education, Diversity, and Sustainability), consisting of students from multiple majors and class years, was established in 2015 to calculate, interpret, and communicate a nitrogen footprint for UC Davis. The nitrogen footprint contributes significantly to an understanding of campus sustainability by quantifying the reactive nitrogen linked to a cascade of negative environmental impacts that include smog formation, acidification, eutrophication, global climate change, and ozone depletion. The goal of this project is to use the new Sustainability Indicator Mapping and Assessment Platform (SIMAP) tool for assessing UC Davis’ nitrogen footprint, using both data previously collected by FUN for a 2015 baseline year calculation and new data that is collected with improved methods. The student group will be primarily responsible for collecting new data and entering it into the online platform of SIMAP. 
    Five women gathered around a research poster
  • CoHo Waste Diversion, $2000
  • Project lead(s): Brooke Garcher (Sustainable Environmental Design) and Kelli O’Day (CoHo Sustainability Coordinator)
    Project description: The overall goal of this project is to reduce the amount of landfill waste produced on campus by introducing a pilot post-consumer compost collection program at BioBrew by CoHo, which is located in the main lobby of the Sciences Laboratory Building and conducts approximately 900 daily transactions. 99% of the food service packaging at BioBrew is either compostable or recyclable, for which there is no convenient disposal location in the building. 
  • Ethical Eating and World Peace Speaker, $300
  • Project lead(s): McKenna Maxwell (Environmental Science and Management) and Ili Zisman (Animal Science)
    Project description: The projects goals are to educate and foster dialogue for the environmental, health, and social sustainability of a plant powered vegan diet. P.E.A.C.E. Club, People for the Elimination of Animal Cruelty through education, is a student organization that will be hosting this event. Description of lecture: “Author of the #1 Amazon best-seller The World Peace Diet (published in 16 languages), Dr. Tuttle sheds new light not only on the underlying causes of war, injustice, and exploitation, but also offers insights into how we can each contribute to a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. His research and synthesis is based on a new understanding of the far-reaching consequences of our food systems, as well as both science and ancient wisdom teachings.” Dr. Will Tuttle has lectured and performed widely throughout North America and worldwide. His doctorate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on educating intuition and altruism, and he has taught college courses in creativity, mythology, religion, and philosophy.
  • Floating Island in the Arboretum Waterway to Improve Water Quality, $2000
  • Project lead(s): Kendal Hicks (Environmental Science & Management), Tiffani To (Environmental Science & Management), and Nina Suzuki (UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens)
    Project description: Students in the Waterway Stewardship Learning by Leading Internship designed and installed a floating island of California native plants to take up excess nutrients in the Arboretum Waterway, provide wildlife habitat, and demonstrate innovative solutions to water quality issues in storm water and recycled water systems. 
    A woman is being handed a plant from another person as she works in a waterway
  • Fragrance-Free UC Davis, $1395
  • Project lead(s): Claire Montgomery (Clinical Nutrition & Music) and Liza Grandia (Associate Professor of Native American Studies)
    Project description: Fragrance Free UCD is a coalition of faculty, students and staff working towards a campus free of artificial fragrances. To give every student the right to learn in fresh, healthy air, we will assess pathways to both institutional and personal change. We will meet with campus procurement to discuss how the campus can and should shift to 100% artificial fragrance-free cleaning products, soaps and to remove air “fresheners” from bathrooms. Additionally, students will design, field-test, and distribute educational material to begin the slower cultural work of educating students and campus members about the personal hazards of fragrances, scented laundry products, and how these fragrant “personal care” products affect others.
  • Fresh Focus Program: Gleaning Coordinator, $1960
  • Project lead(s): Dana Ng (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems) and Katharine Ullmann (Director of the UC Davis Student Farm)
    Project description: ​This project​ ​will hire​ ​an​ ​undergraduate​ ​student​ ​as​ ​a​ ​Fresh​ ​Focus​ ​Lead Student​ ​Coordinator.​ ​Hiring​ ​this​ ​student​ ​will​ ​increase​ ​our​ ​capacity​ ​to​ ​reduce​ ​Student Farm ​(SF) food​ ​waste​ ​and donate​ ​SF​ ​produce​ ​to​ ​the​ ​ASUCD​ ​Pantry,​ ​Fruit​ ​&​ ​Veggie​ ​Up!,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​possible​ ​campus​ ​partners. Additionally, the coordinator will​ ​help us​ ​document​ ​our​ ​food​ ​waste​  reduction​ ​efforts and ​produce​ outreach​ ​materials​ ​showing​ ​how​ ​we’re reducing​ ​food​ ​waste​ ​at​ ​the​ ​the​ ​Student​ ​Farm.
  • Incentivizing Recycling Behavior Through Interactive Waste Bins, $800
  • Project lead(s): Joel Montalvo (Undeclared Life Sciences) and Sue Vang (Engagement & Zero Waste Program Manager)
    Project description: This undergraduate student-led project aims to incentivize and potentially improve recycling behaviors on campus by creating an engaging and interactive recycling experience.
  • Inclusive Sustainability Marketing to Residence Halls, $635
  • Project lead(s): Isabella Jimenez (Landscape Architecture)
    Project description: The project will be a collaboration with Student Housing & Dining Services Sustainability and Marketing teams. The goal is to change and expand the image of sustainability to be more inclusive of all backgrounds and present different perspectives of its significance with the hopes of changing behavior through visual messages. The vision for this initiative is to rebrand the blasé perception of sustainability into a newer, more impelling dialogue that reaches beyond the campus by establishing UC Davis as a leader in sustainability. For this project, advertisement messaging will primarily focus on waste awareness and reduction to align with RecycleMania.
  • Increasing Landfill Diversion within AEPi Fraternity, $800
  • Project lead(s): Zachary Jamison-Cash (Biomedical Engineering & Managerial Economics) and Daniel Vainish (Political Science)
    Project description: The project is designed to establish a more efficient recycling program within the AEPi fraternity house. 
  • Indigenous Foods Seminar Series, $5,080
  • Project lead(s): Ellen Sanders-Raigosa (Environmental Policy & Planning) and Jacquelyn Ross (Undergraduate Admissions)
    Project description: This project will be the first step in a multi-tiered project aimed at teaching students and members of the UC Davis community about traditional Indigenous foods of the Americas by establishing a speaker series on traditional Indigenous foods, increasing food sustainability and food security at UC Davis, creating an inter-departmental internship program for current students, and laying the groundwork for an Indigenous foods garden that will incorporate traditional ecological knowledge.
  • Low Impact Design Monitoring in the UC Davis Arboretum, $2000
  • Project lead(s): Vita Sandhu (Environmental Science & Management, Watershed Track)
    Project description: This project seeks to develop undergraduate data collection and analysis skills while completing useful research on low impact development (LID) features on UC Davis campus. 
  • Medicine Collection Bin, $2000
  • Project lead(s): Melissa Oh (Business & Managerial Economics) and Joanne Brasch (Lecturer, Textiles & Clothing)
    Project description: The proposed TGIF project works in collaboration with a prominent environmental NGO, California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) to impact pharmaceutical waste from the Davis campus and community. The goals are to place secured medicine collection bins at sites that meet requirements for the Board of Pharmacy and educate the public on the impact of pharmaceutical waste on human and environmental health and safety. CPSC will donate a minimum of two bins and use of their intellectual property for the “Don’t Rush to Flush” campaign, including pre-made flyers and advertisements. The TGIF funds will cover delivery/installation of the collection bins, promotional activities to educate the campus community on how to safely dispose of medication, including pet medication, over-the-counter, and vitamins.
  • Picnic Day Zero Waste Children’s Discovery Fair, $583
  • Project lead(s): Elisa Pohlhammer (Human Development & Psychology)
    Project description: This project will add sensory bins and hands-on activities to the Children's Discovery Fair at Picnic Day. In doing so, waste generation would largely be limited to the sensory activities (largely water, flour, etc.) rather than in the crafts that are produced. Our hope is that parents at the fair learn about sustainable activities (such as sensory tables and recyclable crafts) that they can replicate at home rather than purchasing new materials for crafts and contributing to more waste generation.
  • Project Invigorate: Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape Redesigns, $1992
  • Project lead(s): Chen Zhong (Sustainable Environmental Design) and Heigi Wan (Viticulture & Enology)
    Project description: Project Invigorate is a student initiated program that supports on-campus Arboretum Learning by Leading Sustainable Horticulture Program and off-campus outreach to the Davis community, beginning with Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School (MME) in south Davis. This project would accomplish three goals: To educate the UC Davis community and the public about sustainable horticulture, to involve undergraduate students, and to publicize UC Davis’s effort in sustainability via outreach to our community.
    F17-12 Project Invigorate
  • Research: Kinetics Study and Optimization of Crude Urease Extract, $1750
  • Project lead(s): Kahui Lim (Civil Engineering)
    Project description: The purpose of this research project is to optimize and characterize the kinetics and performance of a crude extract to convert urea into ammonia in dilute urine samples using Citrullus lanatus—watermelon seeds. 
  • Research: Reduction of Toxic Phenolic Compounds in Olive Oil Waste Streams, $1244
  • Project lead(s): Chelsey Souza (Pharmaceutical Chemistry) and Lauren Crawford (Food Science & Technology)
    Project description: Our goal is to increase the amount of phenolics in the olive oil using an enzymatic method, thereby decreasing the amount that ends up in the by-products. The primary compounds in olives are phenolic glucosides, which are too water-soluble to partition into the oil. Our idea is to add β-glucosidase during processing, which removes the glucose from these molecules and makes the resulting compounds far more miscible in the olive oil. The result would be a healthier olive oil and the waste streams would have fewer phenolics, which introduces more sustainable options for mitigation.
    F17-28 Olive Oil Toxins
  • Research: Smart Trash Can, $1990
  • Project lead(s): Pranav Gupta, Navid Al Nadvi, Jenny Yang, and Andrew Shephard (Computer Science & Engineering)
    Project description: The goal of this project is to build a smart trash can that automates the process of separating trash into Compost and Recyclables, thus obviating the need for multiple bins and reducing the burden of sorting on the customer.
  • Solar Compactors for Outdoor Compost Collection, $20,000
  • Project lead(s): Sue Vang (Engagement and Zero Waste Program Manager)
    Project description: This project will create additional organics infrastructure through the installation of solar powered compactors outside popular foodservice areas on campus. The compactors have solar panels on top of the structures and use this green energy to compress food waste, food containers, and other organics captured inside to reduce the frequency of labor and fuel needed to service the containers. The compactors also have sensors that track the level of organics collected, which are connected to an online network. Using a tracking website, staff can quickly see how full the compactors are in real time and determine when they need to be emptied, thereby making servicing more efficient and time and cost effective.
  • Solar Powered Ventilation and Education at the UC Davis Student Farm’s Greenhouse, $1550
  • Project lead(s): Noah Coleman (International Agricultural Development) and Raoul Adamchak ( UC Davis Student Farm Market Garden and CSA Coordinator)
    Project description: This project will enhance the Student Farm's greenhouse cooling capacity by installing a solar powered fan. This will be done in place of installing another grid based fan. Doing so will improve the sustainability of the Student Farm, reduce grid energy use through the implementation of renewable energy technologies, and provide an opportunity to educate students about sustainable energy and agriculture.
  • Solar-Heater Radiant Floor Upgrade at The Domes, $1440
  • Project lead(s): Jake Parkhurst (Mechanical Engineering)
    Project description: This project will upgrade the solar-heated radiant floor system in the yurt at The Domes. 
  • Sustainable Greek Life, $252
  • Project lead(s): Vivian Connolly (Environmental Science & Management)
    Project description: This project will make Tri Delta's fall and winter philanthropy events zero waste, establish a zero waste committee within Tri Delta that will turn in to a sustainability chair position in winter quarter, encourage composting in the Tri Delta house with a new compost bin, and act as an example for other Greek life chapters on campus so that they also set zero waste goals. 
  • The Happiness Project: Sustainable Self Care, $370
  • Project lead(s): Maria Bundang (Psychology) and Lilianna Russu (Communication & Cognitive Science)
    Project description: The project is based on three workshops centering around self-care and the importance of being sustainable. Being sustainable is an act of self-care because it makes people more mindful of their environment. The environment that we surround ourselves in also impacts our wellbeing and how that can influence and promote healthy, or unhealthy, behaviors.
  • Yolo County Farmworker Justice Awareness Project, $1000
  • Project lead(s): Matt Bridges (International Agricultural Development)
    Project description: There are two goals of this project. First, it is to increase the collaboration between university researchers and community governance efforts to assist farmworkers. Second, it is to increase awareness of regional farmworker issues within the UCD undergraduate student community and surrounding Davis community. Second, this project directly serves the TGIF aim of improving “educational opportunity” and advocating for “environmental justice” in the “immediate region” since it is focused on increasing outreach, community involvement, and collaboration with university researchers, undergraduate students and associated university programs.