View the 2024 ES Commencement and Awards Ceremony Program Here

Please see below for info about this year's celebration, including complimentary campus parking in Structure #10.

Our Yearly Celebration of ES's Graduating Class of Scholars!

At the conclusion of each academic year the Environmental Studies Program enjoys hosting a celebratory reception and awards presentation in honor of the year's graduating Environmental Studies seniors. If you are graduating this year we invite you, your family and friends to join us.  During the reception a number of Environmental Studies faculty say a few words as well as present the Environmental Studies Program's senior awards to students who've demonstrated outstanding academic performance and service. Recipients of these awards will be announced in late May and email invitations for the event will be sent out to all ES and HYDRO seniors who have declared candidacy for any quarter during the current calendar year by early May.  So be sure to 'save the date' now and please find below more information about the current year's celebration.

The 2024 Environmental Studies Graduation Celebration and Awards Ceremony will be held in-person on Friday, June 14th from 3:30-5pm. It will be located in the Michael J. Connell Courtyard in Bren Hall.  All graduating seniors and their family and friends are welcome to attend. If you have any questions about this event please email

RSVP is requested, but not required, to attend:  If one plans to attend, a RSVP with the total number of guests in your party sent to by Tuesday, June 11th, would be appreciated as it helps ES estimate overall attendance and plan accordingly. Please also include in your email RSVP any special mobility needs. However, a RSVP is not required to attend the event  One is always welcome to just show up as we want to include as many of this year's graduates and their family and friends as possible.   

Light refreshments will be available.  We anticipate most students and family will be anxious to head off for a celebratory dinner that evening, so we will just be providing light refreshments during the event to prevent anyone from getting low blood sugar levels before dinner.

Parking for the event: The closest public parking lot/structure to Bren Hall is Parking Structure 10 (see map here). Please note that Lot 1 (directly behind Bren Hall) is restricted for faculty and staff. Parking on campus is limited and will be heavily impacted. For complimentary parking on Friday, please print and display this parking pass on your windshield. No parking fees are collected during Commencement weekend.

Dress/Attire:  This event is designed to be casual/comfortable. There is no need to wear one's commencement cap and gown unless you want to - best to keep them fresh for UCSB's official Commencement Ceremony over the weekend.  But as award winners will be coming up onto a small stage to receive their certificate, and photos likely taken by family members, one might want to consider wearing 'nice' clothes.  ;-)

UCSB COVID-19 policies can be found hereThe ES Commencement and Awards Ceremony will be held completely outside in the Bren Hall Courtyard. Masks are no longer required but individuals should use information about the current COVID-19 community levels to guide which prevention behaviors to use and when (at all times or at specific times) based on their own risk for severe illness and that of members of their household, their risk tolerance, and setting-specific factors.

ES Awards Ceremony Map

Click on the map to enlarge it.

Environmental Studies Community Award Recipients

2024    Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)

2023    Condor's Hope Ranch

2022    UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER)

2021    Greg Graves

2020    Roman Baratiak

2019    Paul Wack 

2018    Cameron Benson 

2018    Margaret Connel

2017    Melvyn "Mel" Manalis

2016    Lois Capps

2015    Wilderness Youth Project (WYP)

2014    Paul Relis

2013    Paul Wack

2012    Community Environmental Council (CEC)

2011    Darlene Chirman 

2010    UCSB Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board (EAB)

2009    Hillary Hauser

2008    Michael Lunsford

2007    Linda Krop

2006    Vie Obren 

2006    George Obren 

2005    Louise Boucher 

2004    Naomi Schwartz

2003    Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.

2002    Ada Babine

2001    Robert H. Sollen

2000    Selma Rubin 

1999    Sue Higman 

1998    Lee Moldaver

1997    Jean K. Schuyler 

1996    Bill Wallace 

1995    Tom Rogers; Patagonia, Inc

2024    Chris Ragland

2023    Alexis Racelis 

2022    Susan De Anda 

2021    Eric Cardenas; David Fortson; James Peterson

2020    Michael Reynolds; William Shafaroth; Lelia Salazar-Lopez

2019    Christopher Gavigan 

2018    Charlotte Strem

2017    Richard "Rick" W. Halsey

2016    Darcy L. Soiseth-Aston 

2015    Tamara "TJ" DiCaprio

2014    Stephen J. Stanley 

2013    Greg Mohr

2012    Tim Olson 

2011    Merrilee Fellows

2010    Meghan Conklin

2009    Susan Black Anderson 

2008    Stephen Olivia

2007    Susan Becker

2006    Karen L. Feeney

2006    Micahel P. Feeney

2005    Thomas J. Starrs

2004    Karen Kraus

2004    Kaitlin Gaffney

2003    Howard J. Wenger

2001    Brian Baird

2000    Susan Van-Atta

1999    Carla Frisk 

1998    Eric Zimmerman 

1997    Debra Callahan 

1996    Robert C. Wilkinson 

1995    Brian Trautwein