Lisa Clarke, PhD

Lisa Clarke is an Epidemiologist who worked in the field of cancer research. After her children began school, she volunteered to restart their school’s green programs. In the process, she discovered that schools offered incredible opportunities to address climate change but rarely had anyone trained, tasked, or paid to run sustainability programs.

Lisa set about developing a comprehensive approach to addressing carbon emissions (waste and energy), environmental education for students, and building resilience to extreme weather events within schools. She connected with experts across California, including school district sustainability coordinators, zero waste and energy experts, waste haulers, elected officials, environmental organizations, county superintendents, and government organizations. Based on their input, she created a pilot program she is currently carrying out with the Novato Unified School District (NUSD).

The objective is to provide a service for schools that facilitates their green transition by providing the expertise, people power, community outreach, and funding for sustainable programs and includes:

Monitor energy, waste, and water
Foster behavioral changes to reduce energy, waste, and water use
Transition schools to reusable foodwares
Establish recycling and composting programs
Identify infrastructure changes to reduce energy use
Explore opportunities to make schools more resilient to climate change
Train and mentor high school students interested in green careers
Bring schools into compliance with mandatory state laws
Seek funding and manage projects

Working with SMS, NUSD increased recycling and composting rates, introduced reusable foodwares pilot programs, and took meaningful steps to institutionalize a sustainability culture throughout the district.

Sustainable Marin Schools
Climate Action in K-12 Public Schools