UCSF Sustainability Stories

Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, October 2014

2014 UCSF Sustainability Award Winner:  Spotlight on Daniel Ciccarone

DanielEarlier this year, UCSF faculty, students, and staff honored the achievements of individuals and teams who are advancing sustainability at the Fourth Annual Sustainability Awards.  The award in the faculty category went to Dan Ciccarone, MD, MPH, a professor in Family and Community Medicine.  Nominated by Jenny Cohen, one of his medical students, Ciccarone has inspired others to choose biking as a way to get to and around the UCSF campus locations. “With Dr. Dan’s help, I was able to re-start the UCSF Velo Club with the intention of supporting and stimulating the cycling culture within UCSF and the greater community,” said Cohen.

We had the opportunity to catch up with Ciccarone and ask him a few questions about sustainability at UCSF. 

1.  Why do you think sustainability is important for UCSF?

UCSF is very visible, locally and globally, in its leadership roles in education, healthcare, and public health. The actions this institution and our community take will be noticed by the larger society. We can also make the connection that environmental stewardship is part of a greater vision for a healthier society and world.

2.  What do you see as the link between health and the environment?

Pollution has public health, economic, and environmental justice concerns. Air and water pollution are epidemiologically connected with a number of highly prevalent diseases such as asthma and cancer. Unequal distribution of pollution leads to higher rates of some diseases (e.g., asthma, in poorer communities). And poorer health leads to reduced school performance and economic productivity. Better stewardship of the environment is good for public health, global development ,and economic justice policy.

3.  What accomplishment are you most proud of around promoting LiveGreen at UCSF?
Bike commuting for the past 25 years.

4.  What is one action you would like to see your fellow staff/students take?

Take the lightest carbon footprint way to work: if you can’t walk, take a bike; if you cannot bike then bus it; if not that then carpool; if that doesn’t work for you then hitchhike (joking).