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CAFES Students

About Us : Background


In 2008, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) convened all faculty and staff for a strategic visioning session to identify top priorities for the college over the decade ahead. Sustainability emerged as one of eight prioritized themes. Subsequently, the CAFES Dean convened a Sustainability Committee to identify a college-wide goal:

CAFES prepares leaders in sustainability through education, research, outreach, and through modeling sustainability in its operations.

One of the key objectives identified by the college was the establishment of the Center for Sustainability. The CAFES Center for Sustainability was formally recognized in February, 2010. The founding of the center was an interdisciplinary collaboration of College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) faculty and staff from across departments, stemming from a desire on the part of participants to create a clearinghouse for the many existing efforts within the College related to sustainability, and to provide more focused support of new ones.

The effort was led by the Sustainable Agriculture Resource Consortium (SARC), founded in the fall of 2000. SARC was conceived as a student project under the supervision of college faculty and had been successful in developing curricula and staging scores of conferences, seminars and events on the topic of sustainability in agriculture. With the founding of the new Center, all previous SARC efforts were merged with other College initiatives for sustainability.

Cal Poly Centers

The CAFES Center for Sustainability is one of approximately two dozen centers and institutes at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. It is one of the most active on campus.

Center Roles – as defined by the Office of Research and Graduate Programs:

  • Focus communication, planning, research
  • Complement departmental offerings
  • Foster interdisciplinary work
  • Enhance professional development
  • Build links with industry and the community
  • Provide identifiable campus entities for practitioners
  • Aid in obtaining external support