New website highlights UCSC's "living labs"

Living Labs map
The Living Labs map offers easy access to program descriptions and contact information.
students examining a banana slug
UC Santa Cruz offers many opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning.

UC Santa Cruz offers many opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning, from the Sustainability Laboratory to the Natural Reserves. Now, a new website provides easy access to the full range of UCSC's "living labs," with program descriptions, links to websites, and contact information.

The UC Santa Cruz Living Labs Map is an interactive map that provides links to a wide range of programs organized into six categories:

  • Agroecology
  • Design & Engineering
  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Justice and Sustainability
  • UCSC Natural Reserves
  • Stewardship & Natural History

Alex Jones, campus natural reserves manager, worked with UCSC undergraduates Jon-Mychal Cox and Sarina Sylavong to create the new website using the Esri Story Map platform. Each living lab is marked on an interactive map and includes a program description and information about ways for students to get involved.

"UCSC has so many great opportunities for students to get involved with hands-on learning. We're hoping this tool makes these programs more accessible, and that we can highlight more and more programs as time goes on," Jones said.

A paper UCSC Campus Living Lab map developed by the Sustainability Office provided the starting point for the web site. The online map was created in response to the Campus Sustainability Plan, which calls for developing new outreach materials to promote experiential learning opportunities and creating an inventory of current offerings.

Anyone who has updated information for organizations currently listed on the map, or would like to add organizations not currently listed, can contact Alex Jones at