Educating and positively influencing our campus community is directly at the heart of our mission. Pepperdine hosts multiple groups, clubs, and events which give students the opportunity to engage in environmental stewardship.
For the past 22 years, Pepperdine has come together on "Step Forward Day" to benefit the community and dedicate students to a lifetime of service. In 2009, more than 1,400 participants provided 4,200 hours of community service at more than 45 different locations. Some of the services included brush clearing, trash pickup, and community beautification.
The Pepperdine Green Team, hosted by Housing and Community Living, brings passionate students together who want to continually improve sustainability on campus. The group primarily focuses on researching innovative ways for the college student and campus as a whole to implement sustainable, holistic practices into everyday life. The Green Team visited Vital Zuman and planted their own organic garden with garlic and artichokes. Watch the video of their work day visit.
The Center for Sustainability and Pepperdine Green Team participate in the Environmental Committee hosted by the Malibu Chamber of Commerce. The committee works to help educate local businesses on how to be sustainable.
The preeminent scholar on grunion research, Dr. Karen Martin, is a full-time Pepperdine faculty member. Students have the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Martin, assisting in research and analysis. Grunion are one of the only fish in the world that spawn on-shore. Dr. Martin discovered that beach grooming close to shore decreases the grunion's successful reproduction rate. The San Diego City Council, followed by most other California Coastal cities, implemented measures recommended by Dr. Martin, to ensure that beach grooming does not harm the grunion.
Pepperdine faculty member Dr. Stephen Davis is a renowned scholar in chaparral ecology, a drought and fire resistant evergreen shrub covering native to Mediterranean climates. He is working on post-fire recovery of native vegetation lost in and around Pepperdine's campus following the 2007 Malibu Canyon Fire. His work also yields vitally important information to the National Parks Department, regulatory agencies, and environmental organizations by providing insight into environmental preservation efforts. In 2008 he received the Robert Foster Cherry award for Great Teaching, the only national teaching award.
Dr. Davis is currently working with the National Parks Service and the Mountains Restoration Trust to examine chaparral post-fire recovery at both the Corral Canyon and Sherwood Lake fire sites, while collaborating with the National Science Foundation and the Catalina Island Conservancy on recovery following the Imperial Fire at Catalina Island.
Dr. Lee Kats and his colleagues in the Seaver College biology department emphasize the value of conducting and engaging their students in hands-on research. Pepperdine students roll up their sleeves and enter the field to study ecosystems surrounding the Malibu campus. Seeking to protect native species, the biology program works with the Mountains Restoration Trust in nearby Calabasas to study stream health. Using state-certified protocol, they collect samples of macro-invertebrates in the water and send the samples to a lab to be analyzed. Because streams run near homes, roads, and oceans, its health is crucial to the community.
The Pepperdine Volunteer Center hosts ongoing environmental volunteer opportunities. Programs include a trail maintenance workshop, native tree planting, creek cleanup and barbecue, community beautification, environmental programs meetings, evergreen tree planting, beach cleanup, and a Santa Monica trails restoration and maintenance program.
Seaver College's TV production class created a public service announcement on "thinking green," which aired in November of 2007. The announcement educated the larger community about incorporating sustainable practices into everyday life.
Net Impact is an international organization with over 10,000 members from over 90 countries. Its members are current and emerging leaders in corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, international development, and environmental sustainability. During its first year, Pepperdine won the Rookie Chapter of the year award. Net Impact also hosted "Social Enterprise Week" during the week of March 2009. During this week nonprofit, private, and public sectors are brought together to explore innovative approaches to critical social issues. Some of the discussion topics included "Green Finance," "Partnering for Sustainability," and "Social Responsibility Through Walt Disney."
The 2009 Social Enterprise Week kicked off the month of March on the Pepperdine University Drescher Graduate Campus. The five day event, hosted by the Graziadio School of Business and Management, aimed to communicate the values of social and environmental responsibility as well as sound ethical practices in business.
The Graziadio School of Business and Management hosted the "Magill Symposium" on March 6, 2009 for the tenth year. The event brings together Pepperdine MBA students, faculty, and leaders from the business community for a day of sharing insights and ideas regarding contemporary business practice. The event aims to communicate the values of social and environmental responsibility as well as sound ethical practices in business. Some of the 2009 breakout sessions included, "The Reality of Going Green: Why We Need to Do it, and Why Going Green Will Not be a Moral Issue, But a Financial One," "Challenges and Opportunities in Greening the Architecture and Building Engineering Industry," and "Environmental Governance - Accessing new capital through sustainability."
The School of Law Geoffrey Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law hosted the "Join the Revolution Through Social Enterprise," conference on September 12, 2008. This conference focused on social entrepreneurship towards ending poverty, the solution to global warming, and creating a corporate culture of caring and responsibility. They also hosted Dr. Muhammad Unus, 2006 Nobel Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. He spoke about microcredit, the process of using small, collateral-free loans to help families out of poverty.
The United States Geological Survey ("USGS") conducted post-fire erosion and debris flow research in Pepperdine's Winter Canyon debris basin following the Malibu Canyon fire in 2007. The resulting data will provide valuable information on flash flood and debris flow hazards in post-fire environments. Pursuant to this important study, the Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, met several Pepperdine representatives prior to taking a tour of the USGS research sites, which include Winter Canyon.