Biology Teaching Labs wins honorable mention for Freezer Challenge 2020

Julio Harvey, biology teaching laboratories manager in the Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Department, has won an honorable mention in the 2020 Freezer Challenge, a friendly competition meant to encourage researchers to use best practices in managing laboratory cold storage.

Harvey was one of three honorable mentions in the individual category among 88 research institutions and 218 labs that participated worldwide. UCSC’s Sustainability Office sponsored the Freezer Challenge on campus through its Green Labs Program.

The Freezer Challenge is a joint program run by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories. Over the course of a year, labs receive points for taking sustainable actions related to their cold storage units, including actions that promote energy efficiency, sample accessibility, and sample integrity.

Winners are determined based on the number of points they earn as well as the amount of energy they saved. Participating labs and institutions for 2020 saved a combined ~3.2 million kWh/year, equivalent to reducing carbon emissions by 2,260 metric tons per year, or removing 360 passenger vehicles from the road for a year, according to the challenge.

Harvey was honored for his efforts to improve cold storage management and to reduce the environmental impact of the UC Santa Cruz Biology Teaching Labs which are an essential part of the curriculum for undergraduate STEM students.

Additional information about the UCSC Sustainability Office’s Green Labs Program is available at