USC Wrigley Institute Science of Sustainable (SoS) Food Spring Break Program

The Science of Sustainable (SoS) Food:
the future of food production in aquatic systems

Photo by Michelle Boston


Food Revolution, USC Dornsife News
by Michelle Boston, 04/07/2014

Students spend Spring break at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island studying the science of sustainable food. After lessons on aquaculture and aquaponics, they get their hands dirty creating compost in an edible garden.

March 17-22, 2014 (Mon-Sat)

The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is offering an educational spring break program at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. This 6-day trip will feature outdoor activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking to explore local marine and terrestrial environments.  Students will also gain exposure to important issues related to food production, with an emphasis on two sustainable methods of food production in aquatic systems -- shellfish aquaculture and aquaponics.  The program will include special lectures and hands-on activities led by researchers and industry leaders (see below for special guest speakers).

$500, all inclusive (travel from/to USC, housing, meals, activities) • For more information, please contact Dr. Diane Kim at

Space is limited to the first 16 students who register.
NEW:  The program is now full, but you can still Register to be placed on the waiting list.

Special guest speakers

**NOTE: Tentative and Subject to Change**
Most talks will take place in the morning and are open to the USC community.  The USC boat runs Mon-Fri from San Pedro.  Please e-mail for exact times and to RSVP for the talks.

Monday, March 17: Dr. Tony Michaels (former Director and Professor of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies and currently Managing Partner and Director of Proteus Environmental Technologies, LLC) will provide a big picture overview of some of the problems associated with current methods of food production with a focus on food chain sustainability.  Dr. Scott Applebaum (Postdoc for the Future of Food from the Sea research program) will discuss food production in marine systems and the need for sustainable aquaculture.  Dr. Ken Nealson and Dr. Radu Popa will discuss food waste recycling using black soldier fly larvae. 

Tuesday, March 18: David Rosenstein (CEO and Founder of EVOFarms and Chair of the Aquaponics Association), will share his expertise in aquaponics. Students will work with David to construct an aquaponics system, from scratch.

Wednesday, March 19: Dr. Scott Applebaum (Postdoc for the Future of Food from the Sea research program), Ryan Lesniewski (graduate student the Marine Environmental Biology section at USC), Tyler Hild (Aquaculture specialist at the Wrigley Institue) will have stations set up for students to get up close and personal with the biology and chemistry of shellfish aquaculture.  

Thursday, March 20: Dr. Sharon Herzka and Dr. Juan Pablo Lazo from the Department of Oceanography at CICESE (Centro de Investigacion Cientifica de Educacion Superior de Ensenada) will introduce students to fisheries management and policy issues related to aquaculture. 

Saturday, March 22: Neelam Sharma (Executive Director of Community Services Unlimited, an organization that works to create and sustain urban farms in South Los Angeles) will introduce students to the food movement right in our very own backyard (South Los Angeles). 

  • USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
  • 3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF 410
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0371