Each cohort of ELI students begin their leadership experience in the fall quarter with a ten-week undergraduate seminar (ENVS 195). 


The primary goals of the course are fourfold: 

  1. To help refine and develop initial project action ideas; 

  2. To build self-awareness and to help students understand their leadership strengths and weakness, preparing them to step into leadership roles;

  3. To train students in the leadership and project management skills needed to advance a project idea through to its implementation; and

  4. To connect students with mentors and advisors, with the goal of establishing long-term mentoring relationships.


Leadership skills training includes setting a goal and mapping a theory of change, pitching an idea, identifying leadership practices, networking and working with a team, and applying for funding. Students also have the opportunity to present project ideas, obtain instructor and peer input, and discuss challenges and progress throughout the fall quarter.

The course is led by Dr. Simone Pulver, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, with guest speakers including a range of UCSB faculty and invited experts who lead the students through skills building exercises.