How many college kids can say that the university they attend has a campus on an island. Well if you go to USC you can! About 26 miles off of the coast of California, Catalina Island houses the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies. The mission of this institute is “to encourage responsible and creative decisions in society by providing an objective source of marine and environmental science and fostering an understanding of the natural world among people of all ages.” Here professors and students are doing ground breaking research that will help make the future more sustainable. Current main projects include the Kelp Biofuel Project, Aquaponics, and the Black Soldier Fly Project. I personally find the Black Soldier Fly Project the most interesting. In this project, Wrigley focuses on recycling food waste by using the natural life cycle of the black soldier fly. This project has given the Wrigley Institute the ability to have zero food waste.
The institute’s goal is to lead by example and practice what they preach. They have a vision to become a campus that is energy independent, water independent, and have responsible waste disposal and food production. In addition to creating these sustainable initiatives, Wrigley also works with USC and the public to increase environmental awareness. USC takes classes out to the island to help show that sustainability is a common theme among all fields of study. It is crucial for the future to get more people involved in helping the environment and this beautiful island campus is a great place to start!
If you’re interested in getting involved check out the Wrigley Student Ambassadors on instagram at the handle @wrigleyambassadors or learn more on the Wrigley website https://dornsife.usc.edu/wrigley/.