Link: UCOP's e-newsletter

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

Sustainability at Home: Preserving your spring harvest

The UCOP Sustainability Affinity Group, in partnership with the UCOP Department of Energy and Sustainability, invites the UC community to participate in “Sustainability at Home,” a three-part virtual speaker series event in celebration of Earth Month (April).

Our third and final speaker series presentation will take place on Tuesday, April 27, from 12-1 pm. UCOP Director of Sustainability Matthew St. Clair will provide opening remarks on Earth Month, followed by a presentation by UC Master Food Preservers and Master Gardeners of Sonoma County Tobi Brown and Kathleen Fitzgerald-Orr.

UC Master Food Preservers are volunteers trained and certified by the University of California to provide research-based practices to safely preserve food in the home, reduce food waste, increase food security and engage Californians in exploring healthy food. During this one-hour presentation, Tobi will explain how we can preserve our spring garden harvest through canning, pickling, freezing and dehydration and answer any questions you may have. Bring your appetite to this lunchtime presentation!

UC Master Food Preserver Resources

About Matt St. Clair

Matt, a 2020 LEED fellow, has served as UC’s head of sustainability for nearly 17 years. He has grown his role from an initial focus on energy efficiency and green building standards into developing and leading a comprehensive sustainability program for the 10 campuses and five medical centers that comprise the UC system. He grew UC’s green building portfolio from one Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building when he was hired in 2004 into more than 350 LEED certifications today. In addition to implementing green building and other sustainability policy goals like sustainable food, water efficiency and zero waste, Matt partnered closely with former UC President Janet Napolitano in developing UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative — an industry-leading effort for UC to become carbon neutral by 2025. To learn more about Matt, read his UCnetwork Staff Snapshot.

About Tobi Brown

Tobi is a food gardening specialist and has been a UC Master Gardener of Sonoma County since 2016. She currently hosts the popular monthly Zoom talk, “Veggie Happenings” and educates the public at Harvest for the Hungry Garden in Santa Rosa. She has been a canner most of her adult life and recently became a UC Master Food Preserver of Sonoma County. After teaching more than 30 years in California public schools, Tobi retired to Sonoma County where she explores her gardening, canning and sustainability interests. She uses every part of the harvest from her large vegetable garden, where she and her husband use no-till practices to build the soil for their vegetables, fruit trees and berries.

About Kathleen Fitzgerald-Orr

Kathleen has been a UC Master Gardener of Sonoma County since 2011, volunteering as an Integrated Pest Management Specialist and a Food Gardening Specialist. Growing up in New York, Kathleen began canning with family members at an early age to supplement her family’s food supplies through the long winter season. In 2012, she took an online canning class from the University of Idaho Extension called Preserve @ Home, and recently completed the UC Master Food Preserver of Sonoma County training program. Kathleen has been in the nursing profession for 40+ years, and currently volunteers for the Sonoma County Health Dept as a registered nurse in the Medical Reserve Corps COVID-19 response effort.

To learn more about the Sustainability Affinity Group, please contact Michael Aires at or Donna Seaward at


Tags: ,

Leave your comment here