CNR Student Receives Environmental Leadership Award

October 17, 2007

By Yasmin Anwar, UC Berkeley Media Relations

A UC Berkeley student is among six young North American environmental leaders to win a 2007 Brower Youth Award for her work in boosting funding for environmental sustainability on the UC Berkeley campus.

Rachel Barge, 21, a junior majoring in conservation and resource studies and minoring in forestry, has been honored for spearheading such campus projects as The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), which finances clean energy and transportation, water conservation and improved recycling and composting programs.
As director of sustainability on campus for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), Barge founded the Sustainability Team, a 60-member group whose projects have included converting the campus's transportation fleet to biodiesel and establishing UC Berkeley's first student-run cooperative organic produce stand.

"The greatest honor was the opportunity to work with my incredible fellow Cal students to make TGIF happen," Barge said. "I didn't do it alone - I have them to thank and they share this award with me."

The Brower Youth Award is bestowed annually on young environmentalists selected by the San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute, which was founded in 1982 by veteran environmentalist David Brower. The organization provides support for conservation and preservation projects and recognizes leaders in this area.

"Rachel is smart, impassioned and, above all, energetic," said David Phillips, executive director of Earth Island Institute. "She isn't waiting for environmental solutions to come down from those in power. She is taking action now to conserve, protect and restore the earth."

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the campus's Free Speech Movement Cafe, Barge and three other Brower winners will host a discussion from 6:15-8 p.m. titled "Oil, Gas and Global Warming: Youth Confronting America's Oil Addition."

A ceremony to honor Barge and the other Brower winners will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 24, at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. Winners will each receive a $3,000 cash prize and are called upon to participate in skill-building and mentoring workshops to develop future environmental leaders.