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The Environmental Leadership Incubator (ELI) is primarily funded through gifts from generous donors.  Gifts to ELI support a 9-month leadership experience for undergraduate students. While leadership programs abound at the Masters and Ph.D. levels, opportunities for training and self-directed leadership experiences at the undergraduate level are rare. ELI fills this gap and provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students at UCSB to gain essential leadership skills while engaging in projects that further environmental causes.

The ELI students take coursework and engage in student-driven environmental projects across disciplines of social activism, cultural change, technological development, and policy engagement. ELI incubates both students and their environmental projects, transforming students into environmental champions both at UCSB and in their post-graduate careers.





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The ELI program welcomes mentors from a wide range of backgrounds.  ELI mentors make a 6-month commitment (December-May) to support an ELI student team and leadership project by providing advice related to project challenges, as well as general guidance regarding leadership and professional development.  Mentor support may come in various forms but is likely to include regular conversations, in-person or via phone, about project goals and progress, recommendations for project development, and contacts for furthering project objectives.  

The mentoring program is actively supported by the ELI Program Manager, who also maintains regular contact with the ELI students throughout the December to May time frame. If you are interested in being contacted regarding mentoring an ELI student team and leadership project, please fill out this short survey about your background and areas of expertise.  If an ELI project aligns with your area of expertise and skills, we will contact you regarding your interest and availability in being an ELI mentor.  By completing this survey, you are not committing to mentoring but simply expressing your willingness to be contacted about potential ELI mentorship opportunities in the future.  If a student’s needs meet your expertise, we will reach out and tell you about the student and his/her project.  At that time, you can decide to mentor or not, or to be considered in future years.

Students are matched with mentors at the end of the fall quarter (at the middle to end of November).  Starting in December/January, mentors and mentees begin communicating regularly until the end of the spring quarter (end of May) when they would be giving a final capstone presentation about their environmental leadership project. The frequency of meetings or communication between mentors and mentees is determined by the mentor and mentee, based on availability and needs. We welcome all mentors and other interested individuals to attend the Capstone Presentations at the end of May.